There are so many reasons why Spain is one of the most popular countries with British retirees (starting with the climate and of course the Mediterranean lifestyle!); estimates suggest that around one million of these live in Spain for at least part of the year.
If you are moving to Spain and planning to draw a pension, then, it is fairly easy and there are a number of options that you can choose from:
- One choice is to have your pension paid directly into Spain, and you can do this before you go or after you have arrived. To do this, you must simply contact the Pension Service on the DirectGov website – and you will also be required to specify how long you will be spending in Spain; if you will be in Spain for more than half the year, then you will be required to pay tax there, rather than in the UK. This is because the pension will be seen as part of your income, and the amount of tax that you pay will depend on a number of other factors. Please note: we recommend checking whether your pension can be paid into a Spanish account.
- You can also continue to have your pension paid into your UK bank account, which you can then transfer into your Spanish account. Of course, in this instance, you will be particularly affected by exchange rates, which could mean you receive different payments every month. We recommend speaking to a currency exchange specialist like Smart Currency Exchange, as they will be able to help you with fixing your exchange rate for all transfers in a certain time period – meaning you can plan your budget with price certainty.
Whichever option you choose, it’s important to assess all the details of your scheme carefully before you move.
If you have been paying into the state pension in the UK, you will receive a pension claim form from the Pension Service around four months before you retire. It is very important to make sure they have your address in Spain before you move, or you may not receive important documents and information. If you are already abroad, contact the International Pension Centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to update your personal details.
We always recommend discussing your options with a financial advisor – especially if you have been self-employed.
Thousands of British people receive pensions in Spain every day, and with a little planning, there should be no issue with you obtaining yours. The best way to do this is through a little research – make sure you check out UK government websites! Don’t forget to give your new Spanish address to your pension company before you move, and get in touch with a currency exchange company to help with transferring it into euros - then all you need to do is enjoy your retirement!