1. How to claim

You can claim your basic State Pension abroad.

You should be sent a claim form 4 months before you reach your State Pension age.

Contact the International Pension Centre (IPC) if you haven’t received a letter 3 months before you reach State Pension age.

You can do this by email or phone, or fill in the international claim form. You’ll need the IBAN and BIC numbers for your overseas account.

Check you’re eligible for a State Pension before you contact the IPC.

International Pension Centre
tvp.internationalqueries@thepensionservice.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 7777
Textphone: +44 (0)191 218 7280
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

The Pension Service 11
Mail Handling Site A
Wolverhampton
WV98 1LW
United Kingdom

You’ve worked in the UK and abroad

To claim your State Pension if you’ve worked in the UK and abroad, send the international claim form to the IPC.

You’ve only worked, lived or are working abroad

You must claim the State Pension through the relevant authority of the country you’re in if you currently live and have worked in:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland.

Contact the IPC if you’ve worked or lived in a country not listed above.

You’re thinking of moving abroad

Contact the IPC for advice on how your pension might be affected if you’ve already retired and are thinking of moving abroad.

Change in your situation

Tell the IPC if you change any personal details, eg your address or bank account details.

You can only report these changes by telephone or in writing - don’t send changes by email.

Getting a life certificate

A ‘life certificate’ is a form the Department for Work and Pensions might send you to check you’re still eligible for the State Pension.

If you get sent a life certificate, you’ll need to get it signed by a witness and send it back, as instructed on the form. Your payments may be suspended if you don’t send it back.

Check the list of people who can witness a life certificate. This is now the same as the list of people who can ‘countersign’ a passport photo - though they don’t need to live in the UK, or have a passport from a specific country.

Returning to the UK

Call the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Residency Helpline if you’re going to return to the UK after living or retiring abroad.

HMRC Residency helpline
Telephone: 0300 200 3300
From outside the UK: +44 151 210 2222
Find out about call charges

Contact the Pension Service if you’ve been living abroad and you’re returning to the UK to retire. You’ll need to give them your return date and contact details, both abroad and in the UK.

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