State pension: Payments can be claimed abroad but these rules must be noted | Personal Finance

State pension can be received by anyone who qualifies and has a minimum of 10 years of national insurance contributions. If 35 years of contributions have been attained, the full amount of £168.60 per week could be received.

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State pension can also be claimed by people who live abroad.

For anyone to make a claim for their state pension, they must be within four months of their state pension age.

It is important to note that a state pension must be claimed, it will not automatically be given.

The state will usually send a letter to a person approaching state pension age to remind and guide them on their options.

READ MORE: State Pension and coronavirus: How will coronavirus affect my pension?

Retire abroad

Many people dream of retiring abroad (Image: GETTY)

Retirement standards

Retirement standards vary across Europe (Image: EXPRESS)

In some extreme cases, it may be possible that some people reach state pension age while being unexpectedly stuck abroad.

Due to the coronavirus epidemic, many European countries are imposing strict rules on travel.

Some have speculated that if the problem gets much worse, some countries may impose complete travel bans covering all circumstances.

This could result in some British people being tapped abroad indefinitely.

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Some people may require state pension income while abroad.

There are two options for claiming state pension abroad. People can:

Contact the International Pension CentreSend the international claim form to the International Pension Centre

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Retirement standards can also vary across the UK (Image: EXPRESS)


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When claiming state pension, a person must specify an account that it will be paid into.

For people retiring abroad, they must choose between a bank in the country they’re living in or one within the UK.

An international bank account number and bank identification code will be needed for overseas account.

It’s important to note that income from state pension will be paid in local currencies, meaning that exchange rates could affect the amounts received



Pensioners may be vulnerable to coronavirus (Image: EXPRESS)

If a person retires abroad they have a choice in how they receive payments. It is possible to receive state pension once every four or 13 weeks.

If a person’s state pension is under £5 a week it will be paid once a year in December.

While there will be few issues with receiving state pension abroad it should be noted that it is not possible to receive pension credit if a person decides to permanently live overseas. In the UK state pension is obligated to rise each year under the triple lock system.

However, entitlement to annual increases abroad is only available in:

Gibraltar or SwitzerlandThe European Economic AreaA country that has a social security agreement with the UK