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How to Obtain a UK Pension

Updated: May 18, 2022

If you live and work in the UK, learning about the pension system can help you plan for a safe UK retirement. If you are a foreign national living and working in the UK, it is important to know what will happen to your pension entitlement. If you are retiring from outside the UK, understanding how the expatriate pension system works can help you decide how best to receive your pension and how to apply from abroad. Our detailed guide to the UK pension system explains how UK migrant pensions work, including UK government pension rates, to help you calculate how much you will receive, your retirement age and what contributions you will need to pay to qualify.


Check with the pension authority in the country where you lived or worked on how to file a claim. Outside these countries, you will need to apply separately to that country's pension authority to claim your pension. Depending on where you lived or worked, you may need to submit multiple pension applications.


As an expat, if you reach your contribution period, you will be able to apply for a pension when you reach retirement age. There is no statutory retirement age in the UK, and there is no need to apply for a pension once you meet the conditions. You can receive a pension from the country where you lived (or last worked) only after you have reached the legal retirement age in that country. If you have accumulated pension entitlements in other countries, you will only receive those pensions after you reach the statutory retirement age in those countries.


If you are outside the UK by the time you reach the age at which you can start claiming a UK Government Pension, you may need to apply for a UK Government Pension at the pension authority of the country in which you live at the time, not to the British Social Security authorities. As with the UK government pension, it is possible that your previous periods of insurance, work or residence in other countries may be taken into account when applying for other government benefits in the UK. If you initiate a UK State Pension claim in the European Economic Area (EEA) country where you live, that country will forward your claim details to the UK and any other country in which you were insured.


If you contributed to UK National Insurance or other pension schemes in the EEA or outside the EEA while you were working, you can apply from your country of residence. If you live or work in another country, you can contribute to that country's government pension scheme and be eligible for that country's government pension as well as your government pension. If you made social security contributions in an EEA country outside the UK, the UK will look at the contributions you made under the UK scheme to calculate the amount of public pension you are entitled to. If you have not worked in your country of residence, you should apply for the UK National Pension directly at the International Pension Centre, unless you have worked in another EU country after leaving the UK, in which case you must apply through the last institution Where are you insured.


If the conditions for receiving a national pension are met, regardless of any length of service worked in other countries, the social security authority will also calculate a national pension (known as an independent allowance). To do this, each social security authority adds up the periods that you have accumulated in all EU countries and calculates the amount of pension that you would receive if you contributed to their system all the time (the so-called theoretical am The Care Quality Commission (CQC).


Therefore, the amount of pension you receive depends on how many years you have paid. There will be a deduction from both calculations when calculating the starting amount of the new state pension if you participated in a contractual personal or professional pension plan, for example if you were a member of a public sector pension fund. To receive a full pension, the pension rules require a 35-year contribution period; if your contributions are less than this, you will receive a pro rata pension amount based on the pension contributions you have paid (provided it is over 10 years). You may receive less than your final UK pension rate if you have not paid contributions for 35 years.

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