Exchange rate - better to get paid in Uk or here?

When my pension started I was a little suspicious when the pensions authority wanted to pay my pension directly to my French bank account. I chose not to take this ‘default’ option but to get it paid into the UK.
My line of thought was that I would have the ability to make the transfer into Euros at a time when the exchange rate was good (like last week for example) and not simply at the end of each month when they would make the regular transfer.
Of course it is not that simple - they are transferring large amounts of money so hopefully can secure a better exchange rate. But do they pass that on - or do they profit on the deal and this is why they default to that option initially.
I know what exchange rate I get with each transfer - but I have asked a number of freinds of mine who get paid here about the exchange rate they get but surprisingly nobody seems to know.
Surely someone here has done this exercise before and can let me know their thoughts?

I would prefer to exchange it myself as and when it is advantageous.

I would also use Revolut for doing the transfer from a Revolut Sterling account to a Revolut Euro account.

1 Like

We have 4 pensions between us, a Govt pension each and the state pension.
The state pension is paid directly to our French Bank account and as of yesterday (1st Feb), my one went in and I got a rate of 1.1422
When I last checked our two Govt pensions, the rate we would be paid was far lower (both agencies palm out the payment of our pensions to a third party) so we continue to have them paid in sterling and transfer to euro when we need it/the rate is more favourable.
This seems to work out perfectly fine for us but I’m sure others have a different perspective on this.

thanks for that Mat.
I think you achieved a good rate there - although of course it is dependent on the amout transfered and the day, but I transfered 2,100GBP on 21/01 and only got 1.104 so I don’t think I am any clearer on thesubject !

As a comparison, the ECB rate for that day was 1.1325 and on the day my State Pension was paid, the ECB rate was 1.1388 so I actually achieved a better rate than was was reported at the close.


Yes use Transferwise for bringing your pounds to France in euros. Excellent and simple to use.

1 Like

I’ve been told by several people that they get their UK State Pension paid in euros directly to their French bank. Someone else told me the UK government does the conversion and that’s why the rate is so good.
But the DWP itself told me it is only paid in sterling, and it’s the French bank that converts it to euros.
What have others been told? I was going to add “and what is the truth?” but presumably the DWP have their facts right - on this at any rate.

I don’t see that as being correct. The UK Govt holds Euro in significant quantity and it is paid directly to my French account in Euro on the day it is due. I’m certain that would not be the case if it was paid in sterling to mt French account then converted by them to euro.


That’s my impression too, Graham. I check my local French bank account after midnight GMT/BST on the day it’s due (at regular 28-day intervals so not on the same day of the month), and my ‘OAP’ is always there promptly, and in Euros.

I know my local bank well enough to be confident that the transfer is in Euros because the exchange-rate is always superior to the French-bank-reported rate at the same time.

So far it has always been problem-free since it started in 2016.

Perhaps then the only explanation for this is that the UK accounts for it in sterling leaving you the responsibility for converting it to Euro for tax purposes. The paperwork from DWP shows your entitlement in sterling but cannot presume what eventually arrives in your account.
Other than that, I can’t say but this link also mentions it is paid in Euros.

Friends of mine in their +70s have pension paid into their french bank account. One of them says it comes via USA??? Often late, which can cause costs French end, with generally poor exchange rates.
Personally given a choice and if you still have an old UK account, I would transfer as and when needed. Sadly not everyone can do that. I’m sure exchange companies have a facility to do regular transfers at a more favourable rate?

Just get GBP pension paid into Revolut account and transfer into € at will - always great rates.

1 Like

How great Simon?
For example, DWP paid one OAP today and the rate I calculated at 1.1198

1 Like

Just looked at my Revolut app - 1.1172. On a State Pension received by someone not too far away from me - that’s a difference of around 1,60€. For the flexibility and speed Revolut offers - not arsed :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like