Living or working overseas and the State Pension

Desi KolevaNewsLeave a Comment

If you’re planning to live abroad when you retire, you’ll still be able to claim your State Pension if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions to qualify.

Working abroad

If you live or work in another country, you might be able to contribute towards that country’s State Pension scheme.

If you’ve lived or worked in another country in the past, you might be eligible for that country’s state pension and a UK State Pension.

To check if you can pay into or receive another country’s state pension, contact the pension service for that country.

Claiming another country’s State Pension

Depending on where you’ve lived or worked, you may need to make more than one pension claim.

European Economic Area (EEA) countries, Gibraltar and Switzerland

You only need to claim your state pension in the last country where you lived or worked. Your claim will cover all EEA countries, Gibraltar and Switzerland. You don’t need to claim for each country separately.

Countries outside the EEA (except Switzerland)

You need to claim your pension from each country separately.

Check with the pension service for the country where you’ve lived or worked to find out how to make a claim.

Your UK State Pension if you’ve lived or worked abroad

Your UK State Pension will be based on your UK National Insurance record. You usually need 10 years of UK National Insurance contributions to be eligible for the new State Pension.

You may be able to use time spent abroad to make up the 10 qualifying years. This is most likely if you’ve lived or worked in:


You have seven qualifying years from the UK on your National Insurance record when you reach State Pension age.

You worked in an EEA country for 16 years and paid contributions to that country’s state pension.

You will meet the minimum qualifying years to get the new State Pension because of the time you worked overseas. Your new State Pension amount will only be based on the seven years of National Insurance contributions you made in the UK.

You want to retire overseas

You can claim the new State Pension overseas(external link opens in a new window / tab) in most countries.

If you live in Northern Ireland and you already receive your State Pension, you must tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre before you move away.

Northern Ireland Pension Centre Contact details

Northern Ireland Pension Centre
PO Box 42
BT49 4AN
  • State Pension Claim Line: 0808 100 2658
  • Pension Credit Application Line: 0808 100 6165
  • Enquiries: 0800 587 0892

Your State Pension will increase each year but only if you live in:

Your new State Pension may be affected if you change your circumstances. You can get more information from the International Pension Centre.(external link opens in a new window / tab)

If you return to live in Northern Ireland, you must tell the Northern Ireland Pension Centre.

To find out how retiring abroad could affect your finances, go to the link below:

  • Retiring abroad

Exit from the European Union (EU)

For information on EU Exit, including the impact on pensions if you are an EU citizen in the UK or a UK national in the EU, visit the following pages:

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