Do I REALLY want my UK state pension administered by France

Coming up for my state pension, just got the claim form IPC BR1

The accompanying email says: If you have worked in the country you are now living in, your claim for your UK State Pension should be made through the pension institution in that country

Well I have worked here a little bit, but making my claim through the RSI/RAM doesn't sound great (This is a restrained way of saying aaaaaargh). It's not as if I've earned anything significant here, so I'm inclined to ignore that bit and go straight to Newcastle pension centre.

What advice would others give?


My (French) dad worked for a decade or so in England and tried to get the pension fund here to take care of it for him. He went back and forth for ages, feeding them documents, photocopies, signatures and dates, only to be told that he wouldn't be getting anything.

He then wrote to the pension fund in England, received an answer the following week, send back the form with a signature and started getting what they owed him at the beginning of the following month.

He started receiving money from the UK long before the French deigned to start giving him anything, oh, and they crossed out 3 years of contribution because he worked in Algeria (it was actually part of France at the time).

Now, you choose, of course...

One bit of advice I can give you Steve is: Don't go to Newcastle as it's not there any more !

"Wander" to Wolverhampton and ask for form E205 UK to be transmitted to the competent authorities in your region,

as I did !![](upload://uRzNcKPY9ooGgxoBTHfa99vcN9E.jpg)

Yes that is correct Tony but the uk will only deal with CPAM, What happen's when you are a member of another society i.e the MSA.

I agree with Brian. If you work in France and pay social security then when you retire you should claim your French and UK pension from your local SS office in France. This is the normal rule for citizens across the EU.


No, so thanks for the info, fortunatly have personal pension as well as state offering, the annoying thing is will be well over the number of years or trimesters qualifying for full pension at 62 with what have paid here and UK…having worked since 18 with very little time off post kids, as am the breadwinner…

Not entirely the case. I am in the French system. Until pension age and still with the pension I work and contribute into the French system. I have had no contact whatsoever with the UK system, which is the same for many other people. The difference is whether one works here or not, thus those who come retired are covered by the UK, the rest of us are not.

If you are receiving a Pension from the UK, your health care is covered by your National Insurance contributions, you will get a letter already translated for you, from the pensions department, you complete the forms, one in English one in French send the French copy to the health care department for your area, and when they reply, you return the acceptance letter from the French to the UK with the copy of your form in English.

The British pay the French yearly for your health care. Once the French have accepted your application, you will get a Carte Vital, it is quite a simple procedure. My husband & I both have our French Carte Vital, it works for us just the same as if we were French. At least that is how it worked for us, here in the Bouche du Rhone, I know that each department has its on funny little ways, that I discovered when it took me 18 months to get my French driving licence.

With recent experience in similar circumstances go direct to Newcastle three months in advance to your retirement date. Fill in the forms with as much information as you can. I think that you should be okay.

Liz, Are you aware that if you claim pension at 62 in France, you will have to wait until 65 for the UK part?

I'm in a similar position having worked in 3 EU countries. It's not clear if you MUST apply where you last paid social security or whether it is optional.

Hi Maureen, I made that stupid mistake too of closing my UK bank account. Regretted it ever since. However, they were hassling me a bit to close it as they didn't seem to like the fact I had a French address.

My only "expertise" is my own experience, from which I think you'll find it's the other way round. I started getting my UK pension when it fell due at 60. At that time the French said I could cash in my French entitlements at the same time - a lump sum if I remember rightly. The sécu pensions advisor advised me against it, to wait till I was 65 and that's what I did. I've never regretted it.

I had a bad time with the DWP for 2 years when they tried to get me to agree I had no entitlement from the years I'd worked with the Foreign Office (that I'd not paid NI). Eventually I made a formal complaint and got an apology from on high plus some credits to compensate the upset they'd caused me. But I was only able to make my point because I'd kept the relevant documents from those years.

Getting the French pensions was a bit dreamlike for me as I didn't really understand the system, but I just did as I was told by advisors who were there on my side all the way.

That said, given the original question, I don't know whether I'd like RSI/RAM to take responsibility for negotiating my UK pension - another "layer". Maybe, provided you've kept all your paperwork, it won't matter.

Hello Steve,

my husband & I have been retired for 12 years, we have our pension paid in Euros monthly direct to our French bank. Because the British government buy a lot of Euro at a good commercial rate, no bank charges, so it works well.

We have opted to pay French Tax on our pension rather than UK tax, and that works well for us also. It is very straight forward, if you have any issues, you have a direct line to the Pensions people from outside the UK, and they do not keep you holding on.

The only problem we have from time to time is with the tax office. They have told us that their system does not always recognise that we are on a no tax code, and they start to take out tax. Just a phone call, and they issue a new tax code NT, and contact the pensions funds and tell them to refund us, if you have any private pensions and tax has been deducted.

Private pensions, some do charge you bank transfer fees, and they can be expensive, so it may be a good idea to leave the private pension in your UK bank if they charge, and transfer it as you need it, it will be cheaper.

One point I make, if you have a UK bank account, do not close it, because you can't open a IK bank account unless you have a UK residence. I have friends that made that mistake, and it is costly for them.

I will, one day, be posing the same question as you Steve (a long while off, but..) so will be very interested to see if anyone on here has actually done this (i.e. via france), and how it all worked out.

I wonder what would happen if you did let the French system take over paying it but then decided to move back permantly to the UK ?

It strikes me that the DWP is simply trying to cut back on work, the admin of pensions anyway. With the present coalition saying they need to cut back £12 billion on the 'benefits' budget I imagine that will mean reductions in staff numbers, many of them no longer being civil servants. If we are happy to see people made redundant, then that is one of the things we would to a small degree be contributing to. I have my basic state pension debited to my bank here direct from the UK and see no reason why it should be diverted through to another layer of administration where it is likely they will set a fixed payment and we would lose the benefit of fluctuations in exchange rates, at least especially like at present where it works in our favour.

I would tell them where to go. The clue is, it is not heaven!

Am working here, have done so for 8 years and have a few more to go before retirement but plan to claim through France, as I can retire here a couple of years earlier at 62 here rather than 65 in the UK…will get extra “points” for 3 kids but thats because it will work in my favour…