Are you retired or approaching retirement age and currently living in Spain?
Or, are you planning to retire to Spain in the near future to enjoy the year-round sunshine?
If so, you will want to make sure that you are receiving all of the UK benefits that you are entitled to.
After all, you've paid into the government coffers for the vast majority of your working life and it's only fair that you receive any support you can, when you need it most.
However, it's important to note that not all UK benefits are exportable when you move abroad permanently and in some cases, your individual circumstances may determine your entitlement to specific benefits.
UK Basic State Pension
Moving to Spain or any other country does not affect your entitlement to the UK state pension.
If you have only ever worked in the UK, you will receive your pension directly from the UK which can be paid every four or 13 weeks into your Spanish bank account.
You will need to contact the IPC (International Pension Centre) as soon as possible at the following address:-
International Pension Centre
The Pension Service 11
Mail Handling Site A
Telephone: +44 (0)191 218 7777
Textphone: +44 (0)191 218 7280
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm
You will also need to complete the International Pensions Direct Payment Form which can be downloaded here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/...
If you have worked for any amount of time in Spain before retirement, your pension will be paid by the Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social (INSS) here in Spain. The INSS office is responsible for processing your claim and bringing together records of your contributions from any other countries you may have worked in, including the UK.
We recently published an extensive article on receiving your state pension in Spain which you can see here https://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/expat-tips/349-getting-your-pension-in-spain-guide-for-uk-expat-pensioners.html
Over 80's Pension
The over-80 state pension is a pension that is paid to those aged 80 or over.
To be eligible you must receive a basic state pension of less than £85.00 per week or do not receive a pension at all.
The over-80 pension provides you with a top-up of your state pension or income to make sure your income is no less than £85.00 per week.
This particular benefit is available to those who choose to live abroad permanently.
Note: You cannot get the Over 80's pension top-up if you reached state pension age on or after the 6th of April 2016.
To claim, you will need to contact the following department.
The Pension Service Helpline
Telephone: 0345 606 0265
Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm
Bereavement Benefits and Lump Sum
If your husband, wife, or civil partner dies, you may be able to receive a one-off, tax-free lump sum of between £2,500 and £3,500.
You may also be eligible for Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) for up to 18 months if your partner dies.
The amount that you receive varies and is dependent on the number of years and the level at which your partner paid their National Insurance contributions.
As a guide, you may receive one of the following.
There are several eligibility requirements including whether your partner paid national insurance contributions, whether they were killed by their job and whether you were under the state pension age when they died.
You will need to contact the International Pension Centre at the following address to find out if you are eligible:-
Department for Work and Pensions
Bereavement and widows' benefits
International Pension Centre
Telephone: +44 (0)191 21 87608
Further information on the Bereavement Support Payment can be found here.
The following benefits are generally only available if you are living abroad for no more than 13 weeks or 26 weeks if you are abroad for medical treatment.
As the eligibility requirements for the above can be complicated, it is recommended that you speak to the Exportability Team for clarification on your entitlement before going abroad.
Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
If you are made disabled or have contracted a disease due to an accident at work, you may be entitled to the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit or IIDB.
The amount you receive is between £37.72 and £188.60 per week.
To be eligible for the IIDB payment, you must be assessed by a medical advisor and be deemed to be a least 14% disabled.
The IIDB benefits are exportable to Spain, which means you will receive them even if living in Spain permanently.
You will need to complete one of two forms depending on whether you are disabled due to an accident at work or contracted a disease.
Accident - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/755522/bi100a_print.pdf
Disease - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/757745/diseases-industrial-injuries-disablement-benefit-claim-form.pdf
You can also contact the relevant department if you have any questions.
Barrow Benefit Centre
Post Handling Site B
Telephone: 0345 603 1358
Textphone: 0345 608 8551
Pension Credit is an income-related benefit and is available for those whose income is less than £182.60 (single) or £278.70 (couple).
Pension Credit is paid in two parts, Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.
Unfortunately, Pension Credit is not available to those living abroad permanently. If you are staying in Spain temporarily and undertaking medical treatment that is paid for by the UK NHS you may be eligible for the payment while away.
Private Healthcare in Spain
Although most pensioners qualify for state healthcare in Spain under reciprocal agreements, the vast majority of expats choose to take out extra private medical insurance with companies such as ourselves, Health Plan Spain.
There are many advantages to doing so which include:-
Get a quick health insurance quote here https://www.healthplanspain.com/sanitas/sanitas-health-plans.html
Image Source: Telegraph
September 22, 2023