State pension: Where you live may mean you end up getting LESS – but why?

The state pension is not a topic which is always easy to understand. First of all, there are two types of state pension – and the type you get depends on when you were born, as well as your sex. Whether you claim the new state pension or the basic state pension, there are certain factors which will determine how much you can get. The full amount for both types of the state pension recently rose, in line with the triple lock guarantee.

The state pension amount rises each year in the UK, but some people living overseas may not see the increase

This was introduced by the coalition government in 2011, in order to ensure that the state pension amount rises each year.

The maximum basic state pension amount is currently £129.20 per week.

Ahead of the rise for the 2019/2020 tax year, this stood at £125.95.

Meanwhile, the current full new state pension is £168.60.

In the previous tax year, the maximum you could get was £164.35.

Some people will choose to live abroad for a whole host of reasons.

However, despite being based overseas, they may still be able to claim the UK state pension.

The government website states that this is possible if you’ve paid enough UK National Insurance contributions to qualify.

If you live overseas for only part of the year, you should choose which country you want to be paid in – as it’s not possible to split these payments.

It may be worth being aware that your state pension will only rise each year if you live in certain countries.

This includes the European Economic Area, Gibraltar, and Switzerland.

Countries the have a social security agreement with the UK will also benefit from the yearly state pension rises.

However, you cannot get increases in Canada or New Zealand.

Full list of countries in which UK expats will usually benefit from annual rise in state pension amount

  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • the Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Serbia
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • USA

If you live outside of the UK and these aforementioned countries, you will not get yearly increases on the state pension.

However, if you return to the UK, the amount you are paid will go up to the current rate.

The International Pension Centre may be able to offer advice if you’re a retiree considering moving overseas, and are worried that your state pension may be affected.

It’s worth heading to the state pension section on, in order to find out how much you can get via the state pension.

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