Claiming your state pension in France: a step-by-step guide
In principle, it is both possible and perfectly legal to have your pension from the UK paid to you in France if you are or are becoming a full time resident there, and have pension entitlement owed to you from the UK.
Many British people who move to France every year are those who are looking to make the most of their retirement years. If you are in the same situation, it is therefore really important to ensure you are aware of exactly what is needed to be able to draw your pension while living in France. There are numerous types of pension available in the UK, and many differences between each one, depending on whether it is a State, private or Government pension – although all types should be portable to France.
Organising your pension payments when moving to France
Your first step should be to inform the UK Pensions Service in Newcastle about your move, and make sure they have your new address in France – you can do this on their website. You will also be able to find information regarding the payment of a State Pension for those who wish to move
No matter what pension you receive, all types should be portable to France.
You can have your UK State or Government pension paid directly into your French back account if you wish, although it is a good idea to remember that this will involve a currency exchange transaction at some point – beware of poor exchange rates here, so you can make the most of your pension payments. We recommend that our readers speak to a trusted currency specialist, Smart Currency Exchange to work out the best way to plan and avoid losing money on all future payments that involve changing sterling to euros. Alternatively, you may be better off simply having your pension paid into your UK bank account if you are keeping one open. It is always important to remember that in most cases, your State pension will increase in line with inflation, so you will need to keep an eye on this, and the effect that this has on your currency transfers.
Tax on your pension
It is important to consider the tax that will be levied on your UK pension in France, and we strongly advise taking the advice of an Independent Financial Advisor and pension expert, who can guide you through this somewhat complex subject, and make sure you receive exactly what you are entitled to without overpaying any tax.
French tax returns
Once you are resident in France, you will have to declare your UK pension on your French tax return. In this case, you should receive a rebate of tax paid in the UK. Bear in mind that it is normally better to opt for your pension income to be taxed in France, since the rates of Income Tax in France are lower than in the UK. We can help put you in touch with our recommended advisors in this area. The recent fluctuations in the financial markets have lowered the value of many pensions paid to retirees in France. The subject of moving pensions overseas can be a complex one and also subject to market and regulatory change. Again, for up-to-date information, make sure you consult the Department of Work and Pensions, and consult an independent expert.
The subject of moving pensions overseas can be a complex one and also subject to market and regulatory change.
In the case of a private pension, which can be drawn earlier than state pensions, it is best to take advice from your pension provider, who should be willing and able to pay it into your French account if desired, although the same considerations regarding currency exchange still apply. We would also recommend speaking to an expert Independent Financial Advisor about your personal circumstances – we can put you in touch with a recommended advisor today.