Being a British Pensioner in Spain

Published on 15/11/2006 in Relocating to 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.

Useful Contacts

Age Concern Espana

International Pension Centre

Winter Fuel payment Centre

Written by: Susan Pedalino

About the author:

Women In Spain

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panda31 said:
04 March 2021 @ 14:34

Another thing that pisses me off is the winter heating allowance I used to get. stopped because Spain, on average, is warmer than UK. but they don't take into account our apartments are bolt for HEAT and totally uninsulated against the cold with 'marble' floors, large windows and air-con they are bloody cold in winter and often sleep in several layers of clothing and extra blankets. and tat is in Marbella, the warmest place in winter, just up the road in Ronda it is deep snow! Up North 3 meter snow drifts and sub-zero, and still no heating allowance which we have paid for just like UK residents..

panda31 said:
04 March 2021 @ 14:26

It seems there are many pensioners living in Spain that have fallen into a black hole with no relief in sight. I have lived in Spain for 21 years and married to a Spanish citizen. I have never been employed BY anyone but have had 6 -7 years autonimo but that means nothing as i is not long enough to qualify for anything. Work has dried up due to Covid, ill health and age (75) I get the UK state pension for a married man of 740 pound and a war disability pension of 154 pounds,, my wife used to get 145€ 'help' from SS but that stops at 65 but Spanish OAP now kicks in ay 66, so we are in deep trouble and there is NO help available. how we are going to even pay the rent (775) plus electric, phone/TV, car, (it is 33 years old) and food I have no idea until the wife gets her small pension in 11 months time. No smoking, drinking dinners out or even socializing and still can't make ends meet.

Richard said:
11 May 2012 @ 06:41

If you have a private pension, you can transfer out to a QROPS in Malta which has a double taxation agreement with Spain. You can transfer to Euros, get freedom of fund choice and avoid the 55% tax upon death whilst in drawdown. You also pay Spanish rather than UK income tax on your pension.

john walton said:
28 October 2010 @ 14:30

if i have my pension paid into a spanish account, would i get exchange rates or tourist rates?.

charlie cox said:
27 October 2010 @ 17:45

what about NHS prescriptions

Terence Wilson said:
04 June 2010 @ 16:51

"...some will charge you for receiving payments."
La Caixa do not levy a charge for receiving my pension in euros.

Jan Cooney said:
18 November 2009 @ 23:19

We would like to hear from British pensioners living in Spain about their every day experiences, good and bad, help and advice for others living in Spain, or thinking of moving here.
This is for a special supplement getting distributed at the Over 50's Show in the Palacio de Congresos, Estepona, on the 28th and 29th November.
We look forward to hearing from you. via
Jan Cooney

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