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New State Pension Living and Working Abroad

Some countries allow you to contribute to, and then receive, their State Pension. Find out how living and working abroad affects the new UK State Pension.

LIVING & WORKING OVERSEAS: Eligibility to receive another country’s pension means you may still get a UK State Pension.

The standard rules on National Insurance contributions still apply to the amount you receive from the UK State Pension.

You will need to contact the individual country’s government department. The one that deals with its pensions will confirm if you can contribute to, and get, their State Pension.

Note: The UK Government cannot help you with this particular matter. Many countries do not call it National Insurance (NI). They call it Social Insurance (SI) instead.

How to Claim another Country’s State Pension

You may only need to make one claim to receive your pension. It all depends on the specific countries that you have pension entitlement to. But in some cases, you will need to make more than one claim. It will depend on where you lived or worked.

EEA Countries, Gibraltar, and Switzerland

If your state pension(s) are within the European Economic Area (EEA) you claim your state pension from the last country you worked or lived in. A claim covers all EU countries, the United Kingdom, Gibraltar, and Switzerland. It is not necessary to make a separate claim in each country.

Countries Outside the EEA (except Switzerland)

In this case, you must make your claim from each country for your pension(s). Thus, for each country you have lived or worked in, contact their pension service department to find out how to make a claim.

UK State Pension if You Lived or Worked Abroad

As a rule, the minimum requirement to claim your UK State Pension is having ten (10) qualifying years on your UK National Insurance record. But, these ten qualifying years do not have to be consecutive (in a row).

Often, you can use time spent abroad to increase the qualifying years in your NIC record. As a general rule this applies to the following areas of the world:

An Example: You worked and paid National Insurance contributions for 8 qualifying years in the UK. These 8 years show on your NI record when you reach State Pension age.

You then work in the EEA area for 15 years and paid contributions to their state pension scheme.

Working for less than ten UK qualifying years at retirement age means the contributions made to pensions abroad do count. The new State Pension you get is only based on the 8 years of your NI contributions made in the United Kingdom. Thus, the rest of your pension will be from the relevant EEA country.

Retiring Abroad and the State Pension

What happens if you want to retire overseas? In most countries you will be able to claim the new State Pension while overseas. But, you will only receive the yearly State Pension increase if you live in:

  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Countries with a social security agreement with the United Kingdom

A change in your circumstances can affect your new State Pension. You should contact the International Pension Centre if you need further information.


The New State Pension: A section explaining the new State Pension rules and regulations.
How State Pension is Calculated: Your NI record determines the formula for the new State Pension.
National Insurance Record: How NI record and contributions determine eligibility at State Pension age.
Contracted Out: Check what happens if you were in a workplace, personal, or stakeholder pension.
Inheriting or Increasing: The rules for State Pension payments after the death of a spouse (or partner).

How Living and Working Abroad affects the New State Pension