Being a British Pensioner in Spain
Can I claim my pension in Spain?
Yes. Whether you spend a few weeks there or live permanently in Spain, the Department for Work and pensions (DWP) will pay your pension.
How do I go about it and when do I claim?
About four months before reaching retirement age, you will receive an information pack and a claim form. If you are in the process of moving abroad and will be claiming a pension soon, it is a good idea to inform the pensions service in advance to avoid any loss of forms etc.
How often will I be paid?
You will be paid every four or 13 weeks in arrears, usually straight into your account in either Britain or Spain. But you can have a sterling cheque posted to you. Be careful when using a Spanish bank as some will charge you for receiving payments. If you plan to go abroad for less than two years, you can arrange to have the whole amount as a lump sum waiting for you when you come home.
What about the Winter Fuel Payments?
Anyone who has spent a winter in Spain will agree that it can get pretty chilly indoors and you do need heating. Therefore, the UK government will grant the two hundred pound (three hundred for those with an eight year old or over living there) benefit per household for those living in Spain.
Please note that you only qualify for the benefit if you were resident in the UK during the week prior to the 26th September, 2004.
What about Bereavement benefits?
There are no restrictions on your getting this in Spain. If you are above retirement age and your spouse dies, it will depend on his or her National Insurance contributions as to whether you qualify for an increase in your pension. You may also be entitled to the Bereavement allowance for up to one year, and the Widowed Parents Allowance.
Age Concern Espana www.acepana.org
International Pension Centre www.dwp.gov.uk
Winter Fuel payment Centre www.thepensionservice.gov.uk/winterfuel
This article was posted on March 22, 2006
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