What happens to my pension when I move abroad? Can you transfer pension from one country to another? Find out what you need to know.

Thinking of moving overseas? If you are headed towards retirement age, you might have one looming thought – what happens to my pension if I move abroad? Whether you are doing an international move to Europe or elsewhere across the globe, this question will stress you out.

As we get older, many of us want to start a fresh life and try something new overseas. This could be in sunny Australia, or just over the channel in a country like Italy or France. However, while the thought might be appealing, you are probably going to soon start worrying about the logistics of it, with your pension being close to the top of that list.

Luckily, we’re here to make your life easy, and we can answer your questions. So, if you are thinking of retiring abroad, we can help.

What is a Pension?

A pension is a regular payment that comes from your taxes under a set of conditions in order for you to save for your retirement. There are a handful of different types of pensions, including workplace pension, and personal or private pension.

In a workplace pension, your employer and you both contribute monthly to a pension. For private pensions, you set it up and do all the work yourself. You’re allowed to have more than one pension, but you need to stay within your lifetime and annual limits.

Is it Possible to Retire and Move to Another Country?

Is it Possible to Retire and Move to Another Country?

It is absolutely possible to retire and move to another country, and people do it all the time. Some countries are incredibly popular retirement locations, and people have been moving there for many years now.

Popular countries to retire to from the UK include:

  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • France
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Cyprus
  • Mexico
  • Ireland
  • Costa Rica
  • Switzerland

If retiring abroad is something that you want to do, we would encourage it. You can experience a completely different way of life, and enjoy your freedom to the fullest.

Retiring Abroad and Taxes

We encourage you to look into the particular rules of pension taxes in the country you would like to retire to. In some cases, you might be taxed by the UK as well as the country you live in. However, you will usually be able to get some or all of this money back through claiming tax relief.

The UK has a ‘double taxation agreement’ with some countries, too. In this case, you will only have to pay pension tax once.

What Happens to My Pension if I Move Abroad?

What Happens to My Pension if I Move Abroad?

According to NiDirect, you can have a workplace and/or private pension scheme, and it should not be affected if you move abroad. No matter where you move to in the world, you are entitled to any and all rises in your pension, and it should keep getting paid in full.

With that being said, you always need to look at the details and small print of your particular pension scheme before you decide to make the jump. The first thing to have a look at is whether your workplace pension scheme can get paid into overseas bank accounts. Some schemes will only pay to UK bank accounts.

The second thing to look at is whether the company you have your pension with can transfer your pension to overseas accounts for free or not. You will be charged for overseas payments from some companies, so it’s always best to know all the little details before making a decision.

UK State Pension and Moving Abroad

You can keep getting your UK State Pension even if you move abroad. However, if you move to a country that the UK has a social security agreement with, or an EEA (European Economic Area) country, you can get annual pension increases.

European Economic Area countries include the following:

  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Liechtenstein

Can You Transfer a Pension from Another Country?

In order for an overseas pension scheme to be eligible to be transferred to your pension savings, it has to be a QROPS, or ‘qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme’. You will need to inquire about this with whichever scheme and provider you are using.

There is a chance that your UK pension scheme will decide not to make the transfer in the event that the scheme is not QROPS. Alternatively, you may have to pay a minimum of 40% tax on your pension transfer.

Can You Keep a UK Bank Account if You Move Abroad?

This depends on your bank. Unfortunately, there is no answer that will apply to all UK banks, as they have their own way of operating and their own rules to follow.

Some banks will allow you to keep your account if you move abroad, while others might not. You will need to speak with your bank provider and see what they have to say.

Unfortunately, some banks don’t like expats using their savings or current accounts overseas. However, this can depend on the country that you move to, and the rules and regulations surrounding your accounts or the bank itself.

We Make Moving Easy

We Make Moving Easy

Although we can’t work out your pensions and finances for you, we can make moving easy. You don’t need to worry about logistics, and can leave the stress of moving behind. It might be a challenge, but the process can be more straightforward than you could ever imagine if you get the right help.

At Weston & Edwards, we offer not only worldwide shipping and international removals to France, Ireland, Spain and more after Brexit, but also safe storage. We can help with packing and part or return loads, and help you with house or office removals when you need it.

Our international removals across Europe are made even easier for you, since we do all the paperwork and customs clearance. We offer full insurance cover to protect your belongings while in transit and storage, so you can rest easy – it’s even included in our quote.

Since packing your house up can be one of the most stressful parts of the process, we can do that for you. There’s no need to feel like you’re camping in your own house, so we can start packing the day before the big move to make the process as comfortable as possible.

If you want to do the packing yourself, or part of it, we can work with that, too. In fact, we can even provide you with boxes and all the necessary packing materials in advance for you to get the job done right.  Whatever your needs are, we can cater to them.

What We Offer

What We Offer

We can help you with anything you need when it comes to moving – both within the UK and internationally. Moreover, we offer guides of moving to France, Spain, and other European countries post Brexit, and even tell you how to move from France to the UK, and offer help when it comes to moving with pets.

You can follow our news blogs and see how we get on with jobs, including country house removals and much more. You might be surprised by some of the tasks we get done.

If you want to retire overseas, we encourage you to go for it. If the question of ‘what happens to my pension if I move abroad’ has been looming over you, hopefully this has offered some clarity on the topic.

UK State Pensions should be carried over without an issue, but you need to inquire about private and personal pension schemes. Talk to your provider and the bank, and learn about all the small print so that you can take your first steps to retiring abroad.