Getting UK state pension paid in Euros or Pounds

I'm just coming up for my OAP. (not sure what smiley to insert here)

The dwp say they can pay me direct in €uros if I like (at competitive exchange rates based on bulk buying of currency)

Has anyone compared their rates to transferwise/currencyfair?


Thank you Julia. But it seems to me that the exchange medium (it used to be CitiBank and is now, I think something called WorldPay, or something like that) gives me the top rate anyway. I haven't got any other small amounts to lump together to make one bulk purchase. There are several other very small amounts that go into my UK bank account, but they are not exchanged into euros but left in the UK because they are needed there to pay the outgoings on a tiny pad I have there. But thanks for thinking about my situation. I don't transfer £500 on an ad hoc basis. The whole of my UK State Pension goes directly each moth into my French bank account and at the moment is getting on for £900 euros each month.

Clive, you can set up a monthly standing order with a currency broker (I can put you in touch with the one I use if you pm me), so you would get a good exchange rate. Your "small" pension would be lumped with other small amounts to create one "bulk purchase" at a better rate than your bank would offer, and a better rate than if you simply transferred say £500 on an ad hoc basis.

I can tell you that under EU rules of some years standing banks are not allowed to charge commission on pension transfers. Funny that I wonder what Adolf Farage would have to say about it. I have my state pension sent to France and my husband has his paid to our UK account. Works for us.

I set up bi monthly account with my private pension paid into my NatWest account transfered with Smart currency they always told me the rate is what you get whether it be for £10K or £500 my state pension is paid by DWP direct to my French account and always at a better rate plus no delay, Smart can take up to 5 days from account to account

I'm 69 and have had my UK State Retirement Pension paid directly into my French bank account since I was 65. The rate fluctuates every month of course, but as someone else has already written, in recent months that has been to the advantage of British subjects who live in the Eurozone. The rate of exchange has always been a bit higher than most others offered. I need to use all my pension every month, so I could not save it up in the UK and have a large amount transferred occasionally by one of the fixed rate merchants. And to have it paid into my UK bank account and transfer it myself to my French bank account each month would be very foolish because the rate offered by my high street bank (the disgusting Royal Bank of Scotland) is always very poor and its transfer charges disgracefully high.

This was a question we debated when recently filling in my OH's pension application. However our currency broker said that we can set up a regular payment to them, and they will add it to other bulk euro-buys (if that makes sense!) so that we would be getting a better rate each month than simply remembering to book a transfer of £450 (or whatever the monthly amount of the pension is). So it is possible to benefit from a bulk-buy rate using a currency broker if you set up a standing order.

We too do this, it makes sense to bring over your money when you think that you are getting a good rate. We use Torfx.

It is also useful to have a sterling account for purchases made over the internet.
I want as little to do with the DWP as possible.

I get my pension paid by the DWP directly to my bank in France every 28 days i get a very good exchange rate closely tracking the rate of exchange at that moment in time, last paid on 31 March exchange the rate was 1.35 while the bank rate was 1.37 on that day according to a World First currency exchange email .It is not a fixed rate and fluctuates with the rate of exchange Just to add i am no longer on the UK tax system as i transferred to the French and no longer pay any tax at all as the allowances are classed differently this obviously would not work with a UK public service pension as it has to be taxed at source

Quite right - wrote too quickly! Sorry the words 'at source' are superfluous. - I meant to indicate that it is taxed in the UK and should appear on a tax return to HMRC. If transferred to France etc as descrtibed - it need not appear on a UK tax return

Right now the pound has it for sure, and the market place for companies offering international transfers and currency conversions is filling up nicely to keep the prices competitive for the consumer...

I used to feel the need to hold out until I could transfer a fair amount but my last trasfer with currenciesdirect went without a hitch, at a good rate, and they only asked for a 150€ minimum.

If you get it transferred in £'s, it is thereby not subject to taxation at source in the UK. It would anyway have to be declared to the French tax authorities. All income sourced in the UK is subject to the UK taxation rules. But by doing the transference this way it is removed from that requirement.

You need to get forms from the HMRC --

The Form comes in two languages and you need to present it through the local tax office where you live.

A phone call would probably help through the bureaucracy.

I'm getting, on average, a rate which is better than HIFX. I did a large transfer last November with Transferwise which had a better rate than my pension but then, it was for twenty times my monthly pension amount!

If you need it for everyday spending, get it paid in Euros. But if you need Sterling for visits to UK or possible eventual return, it might make sense to have it paid in Pounds into a UK account. But nobody can tell you how exchange rates will move, so whatever you decide, choosing which currency to save in is always going to be a gamble.
Our UK pensions, paid in Euros, seem to follow the exchange rates fairly closely. Recently, the arrival of bank statements has resulted in triumphant yells "Ten Euros more this month!" Don't know how we will manage to spend it all.........!

They get an extremely good exchange rate which makes sense given the sheer amount of money they pay out in euros. For me it's just much simpler to get it paid direct here.

Direct payment in Euros simplifies tax return.

If you agree to direct payment via the French pension services meant, that is the warning from DWP watchers. If, like me, you get a direct debit to your account you get the flexible rates which are highly favourable at present.

We have our pensions paid in euros direct to our french bank account with no charges. They are not paid at a fixed/preset rate as the amount is different every month. We seem to get a very reasonable exchange rate

Go for it from the DWP - no worries and a fair rate.