Hi,bit of a long shot,just wondered if anyone living in the UK that has a French pension of any sort could shed any light on a letter that has been sent to all the people that have such a pension.Asking on behalf of a relative who is 87 and receives a very small pension from France in connection with having worked here briefly many years ago.They have received a letter from an outfit called Ircantec who are asking for all sorts of paperwork,copy of a UK tax declaration form,copy of all other pension income and most bizarre of all,a health certificate from your provider stating that you are covered,the company doesn,t seem to be aware that everyone in the UK is covered by the NHS.Anyone any ideas on all this please,thanks.
Presumably you taken a look at the website, but in case you haven’t
You might try contacting them to check what’s going-on… or ask a neighbour about it…
just clutching at ideas for you.
If you could post a copy of the letter (with private bits blocked-out) it might give us something to home in on… or perhaps not… who knows.
If you’ve a French neighbour who is retired… showing the letter might ring some bells… at least to confirm it’s genuine… (me, I’d hotfoot to my Mairie, but I know many folk don’t have such a useful one as I do)
Thanks Stella,i had checked them out online,they seem to be yet another outfit funded by the French Gov.As usual,the letter is written in an aggressive manner threatening all sorts of things if they don,t get a reply with all their demands etc etc,but the bizarre thing is,they don,t seem to have a clue what they are talking about.Most people in the UK don,t fill in tax declaration forms and as far as i know nobody in the UK has a health certificate,the form is so poorly put together, you would think it was a scam,but i think it is genuine.
Why would would an organisation dealing essentially with French people know that?
We expect people to be grown up and fill in their tax forms and to know where their health care is coming from ie who are their contributions for healthcare going to. So the forms will reflect that.
If the situation is different then you just explain it to them.
What does that mean?
I’m glad you asked that
Without me seeing the letter your relative has received… but from your description of the contents… this sounds to me like a “standard” letter, which will have been sent to all pensioners… and thus needs to cover each and every situation/eventuality.
What you are reading/translating as “aggressive” is (quite possibly) simply the facts, being clearly stated…
As @vero has suggested… your relative should respond to the letter… it will have contact details.
(it really might help us to help you, if we could see this letter which has been received… )
Thanks Stella for your input,yes,it sounds like a standard letter that would be sent to people living in France,not people living in the UK.I think the best solution is to reply to the letter politely explaining that they are asking for documents that don,t exist as most people in the UK are not required to fill out a yearly tax declaration form and everyone living in the UK has healthcare automatically covered by the NHS,
If its any help, I am in the same situation as your relative, though a few years younger, and I have received the same letter. Wondering what to do about it. Maybe a tax statement and a copy of something giving my NH number will keep them happy.
I know Ircantec. Each year I have to send them certification that I am still living. It can now be sent electronically but its always a problem to find someone official who will sign the form and put their stamp on it.
From what you say it sounds that this is a pension that is taxable in the UK (country of residence) and not in France (country of source) like some government pensions are?
If taxable in the UK then presumably it has been declared to HMRC as part of worldwide income. I do not know how UK residents do this apart from by filling in the foreign pages on the tax return, but however your friend is declaring it he should be able to access some kind of document or online record that confirms HMRC is aware of this pension.
Presumably again, the purpose of asking for proof of health cover is to check that the UK genuinely is the person’s country of residence, since if they were living in France for instance and it is a pension that is taxable in the country of residence, declaring it to HMRC would be incorrect.
Perhaps thepositive way to look at it is, nobody enjoys filling in forms and undergoing checks but most of us are in favour of having robust systems in place to combat tax evasion, and you cannot have one without the other.
The problems occur when bodies in one country dont understand the bureaucracy in the other. It happens both ways round. Examples have arisen in connection with the ‘certificat de vivre’ that I mentioned. On one occasion in the days when it had to be done by post something went astray and they stopped paying my pension. While I was getting that sorted out a letter was sent addressed to the Mayor of the village in which I live. In France that would be meaningful, but as there is no such Mayor the postman didnt know what to do with it. Fortunately it was given to the landlord of the local pub and he knew me and so passed it on. On another occasion I tried to get the form signed by the Mayor of the nearest town but the form needed his stamp as well as a signature and being a small town he didnt have a rubber stamp (unthinkable in France). So I went to the next nearest, larger, town but rhat town happens to be on the other side of the English-Welsh border, so the authorities there would not sign the form.
Hi Gezstar,yes,i know they have to get an “attestation de vie” signed and stamped every year,that is the same in both directions and quite understandable.If you have any thoughts on what you are going to send them could you let me know and i will pass it on,thanks.
Are you able to post us a view of this “letter”… so we have something to work on… ???
I can probably find something (electronic) to show I have paid my UK taxes. For the health cover - if I can get a GHIC card in time maybe that will do.
Note added later (as I have exceeded my post limit) :-
I would be wary of using a EHIC card, as opposed to a GHIC one. It could be taken to imply that one could claim under the French health system, in which case contributions might be deducted from the pension.
Yep, as I thought… they need to verify/update. Standard procedure.
If I received this letter… I’d go through my documents/bits and offer the following:
Health cover = copy of EHIC and/or medical card…
Taxation= copy of documents from HM Revenue & Customs regarding my UK taxation and/or my PAYE code.
If your relative receives a UK pension, then attach a copy of that document as well.
These documents will show full name and address (uk)… and for belt and braces, I’d attach a letter explaining that what I’m offering is the best I have at this moment in time.
Plus, if your relative is really worried, they might like to phone Ircantec and speak to someone about this.
And I don’t see anything remotely aggressive or threatening in it
So perhaps you are a bit insensitive to the nuances of French.
Thanks Stella and Gezstar for your helpful posts.It looks like it,s a case of sending anything you can find and hope that it satisfies their needs,although the tone of the letter suggests that they may not be as accepting as we think.As Gezstar says,the problem starts when these admin bodies fail to do simple research and demand documents that in reality don,t exist.
Don’t you have some sort of medical card for use in UK…??? I know it’s years since I lived in UK, but I did have a medical card even then.
And, as far as I am aware the (UK issued)EHIC shows that UK is responsible for the holder’s health care… (it certainly is in my case…) and I was presuming @Euro50 's relative has a UK EHIC…
Frankly, I don’t see anything untoward in their correspondence.
Correspondence from DWP and other providers… is just as direct… stating that pension payments will stop… if the necessary “info/form/whatever” is not received by the deadline… blah blah blah.