State Pension

The UK State Pension is a regular income that you receive from the government at State Pension age. Eligibility and the amount of State Pension you receive is based on National Insurance (NI) contributions.

What state pension do I get?

The UK State Pension is a regular payment made by the UK government to those who qualify and have reached the specified retirement age.

A State Pension can be claimed in the UK or abroad. Your eligibility and the value of your State Pension will be based on how many ‘qualifying’ years you have. To receive the basic State Pension, you need to have made at least 10 years of NICs and to receive the full amount you need to have made a minimum of 35 years of full contributions.

If you’ve ever worked in the UK you can check your National Insurance contributions on the government website.

There is a top-up scheme that allows you to make a payment if there are any gaps in NICs. Using the link above you can also check your State Pension. This will give you an estimate of how much you could get and will highlight any gaps in NICs that can be made up.

The full new State Pension is £168.60 per week. The good news is that amount rises each year by a minimum of 2.5% thanks to the triple lock government ruling.

The triple lock ruling guarantees that the basic State Pension will rise by either a minimum of 2.5% the rate of inflation or average growth, whichever is greatest.

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When to claim my UK State Pension?

State Pension age was 65 for men and women as of November 2018. This is increasing and is now dependant on when you were born. Ageuk.org.uk say that the pension age will reach 67 by 2028. You can check your State Pension age on the UK Government website to get a more accurate idea.

You can claim your pension online, over the phone or by posts. You will need to provide your National Insurance number when you make your claim, evidence of your date-of-birth may also be required.

You pension can be paid into:

  • A bank in the country you’re living in
  • A bank or building society in the UK

You can use:

  • An account in your name
  • A joint account
  • Someone else’s account as long as you have their permission and it doesn’t breach the banks terms and conditions

To be paid into an account abroad you will need the international bank account number (IBAN) and the bank identification code (BIC). All payments will be made in local currency and could change due to exchange rates.

Remember, you can receive a state pension and still carry on working.

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Who to contact about my State Pension?

You must be within four months of your State Pension age to claim. You have two options for claiming your pension overseas:

  • Contact the International Pension Centre (IPC)
  • Complete and send the international claim form to the IPC

If you have queries about your UK State Pension, speak to your financial advisor.

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Will State Pensions be affected by Brexit?

Brexit has caused some uncertainty. The current stance is that eligibility for UK residents and expats living in Europe will be unaffected. Accessing your pension abroad and its value is not expected to be impacted by Brexit.

Brexit has made Defined Benefit Pension Transfers more attractive. Employers are upping the cash equivalent transfer values to get employees out of increasingly costly schemes.

Thanks to the UK-Cyprus double tax treaty, all UK pensions were taxable solely in Cyprus. This used to include both State and Government service pensions.

A revised version of the treaty which came into effect in January 2019 means that UK Government service pensions are now taxed in the UK. State Pensions remain unchanged and will still be taxed in Cyprus at the same rates.

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