Inheritable pension?

Does anyone know if having a same sex civil partnership or same sex marriage in France (for two Brits resident in France) entitles one partner or spouse to a proportion of the other's UK State Retirement Pension in the event of his death? If it does, would the remaining partner or spouse have to reach UK State Retirement Pension age before he received anything?

Thank you for any knowledge or advice.


Hi Shirley

Well that is good news and saved you some dosh as well.

If you are interested there is a web site called Oanda that gives daily exchange rates, in fact they go back years, so you can derive your own annualised exchange rate easily enough which is what I do.

I combine it with TransferWise so that within common sense practicalities I can choose the "best" day to transfer money from the UK to France.

Anyway thanks for letting me know.

I found 1.2406 somewhere.

If there is a large sum on a certain day you are entitled instead to use the rate on that day if it's in your favour.

Shirley, it's easy to check if you are 1 or 2 parts as Peter S was saying- just look on pae2 of the tax declaration top left it will tell you how many 'parts' arebeing taken into account. As Peter also said the difference between 1 &nd 2 can be important. Before my wife passed we were obviously counted as 2 parts which meant I paid little tax but since her passing i'm since only 1 part and now pay exorbitant taxes in comparison.

Hi Shirley, post lunch, post Sunday Politics and after Caroline finished what she was doing on the Internet.

I am going to answer your other questions and issues indirectly based on my experience.

1) Many years ago, I had a discussion with my accountant in the UK about some income and he said Peter if you do not declare it, you will probably get away with it and in truth if you didn't you can easily afford the fine but don't do it as the IR (as it was in those days) will make your life a misery for many years into the future.

2) When I first came to France I went to see the Impots to discuss how I declared my income. I had a few pounds of interest from Abbey National and the man looked at me, more or less called me a bloody fool and crossed it out. Last year I met with a minister in the last Government at the Treasury and recounted this anecdote and he laughed and said the HMRC would do that here (in the UK)

I do know that there is an increasing flow of information about everyone who has income in the UK being transferred by the HMRC to the Impots.

That means that in all probability the Impots know your income to the penny but I also guess that "Shirley" does not rank highly in their search for tax evaders.

But in not declaring your income fully and/or correctly you are breaking the law and thus open to a future claim and fines by the Impots.

I am not qualified to tell you what to do as that is your decision.

Going back to your domestic situation, obviously I do not know the whole story and as I say I am not an expert but it seems to me that if the Impots do NOT know you are living alone and thus have only "1 part" rather than "2 parts" that is very material to your tax liability.

Perhaps I misunderstand but you must get advice on this matter from a tax expert, preferably one with knowledge of the UK system as well. There are quite a few who read these blogs so perhaps they may be willing to help you.

Hi Shirley Just back from a walk and just before lunch and you need several comments but:

You can definitely re-submit your tax return I think for about 3 years back, so changing the declaration is doable.

As for the exchange rate per se, you can rely on the Connexion rate as one being acceptable to the Impots. They would not have published such a rate otherwise.

The Jan 1st 2014 rate was 1.1984 and the Dec 31st 2014 rate was 1.2780 giving an average of 1.2382

Being a currency nerd I track the exchange rates daily, have done so since 1995 (see what I mean) and the average that I computed using the daily rates was 1.2407418 if you wish to be precise, or 1.2407 which I used in my tax return.

Look I am not a tax expert and can only tell you what I do so you must not rely on what I say but you might wish to call your contact and have a forceful chat with her.

Shirley It may be too late but the correct exchange rate is approx. 1.24 and your Ass Sociale is quite wrong and is costing you some tax you do not need to pay. You can correct that if you so wish by submitting a correction.

Personally and recognising all the emotional and financial problems with being separated, you need somehow to get your pension issues sorted out between you and your OH, not least to remain within the law from a tax and benefits perspective on both sides of the channel.

Hi Shirley, you look a bit dark under the eyes, are you sleeping ok ?

Thank you so much all of you who have replied to my query. I am about to email Newcastle as I have laryngitis and am not much good on the 'phone just now. Sue: if I need the full report, I will pm you. Survive France is wonderful, even though I become confused as to how to post messages and reply to those of others. Yes, it's ironic that what may work for same sex couples may not work for same sex partners! Thank you all again. Clive

Hi Clive

My advice is talk to the DSS International Dept in Newcastle. I have always found them very helpful and by far and away the best source of accurate information.

My wife who is not of pensionable age will get two years "windows" pension and then her normal widows pension when she reaches retirement age. Whether that applies to same sex couples, I do not know but then hopefully the people in Newcastle will.

So far as I am aware, where you got married is irrelevant as you are entitled to the full range of benefits as UK citizens whilst living in the EU.

By the way, if you and/or your partner have not made the full number of years contributions to your state pension, then you can make Class 2 or Class 3 AVC's (Additional Voluntary Contributions). They are a very, very good investment as the return via your index linked state pension is great.

But talk to Newcastle.

We are a heterosexual couple pacsé and the UK pensions people told me that doesnt help my partner, but it would have if we were a same sex couple. Which doesn't help you much I know, it says there's some hope, but I thought you'd enjoy the bit of positive discrimination for a change.

The contact addresses are

Future Pension Centre    Overseas Team  
The Pension Service Tyneview Park Newcastle upon Tyne NE98 1BA
Our phone number +44 191 218 3600

You might find this useful:

Have a PDF of full current report if interested but can't post here. PM me if you want a copy.