Retirement pension from the UK


I am just trying to find out if my husband and I will be eligible for a retirement pension from the UK

I worked 13 years in England before coming to France (I am English)

My husband worked 10 years (or maybe 9) have to check this out with him lol (He is french)

So does anyone know what we have to do to find out about the pension situation?

Many thanks for all answers, gratefully received :-)


Many Thanks for all advice, I finally managed to get in touch with the correct people,here below is the e mail that they wrote to me in case any one else needs it for future reference. I sent off the form in December and yesterday I received my pension amount per week, which will begin at the age og 65 years old, so in 2025 :-) I must admit that they were extremely helpful and very very quick, hope my experience helps others who will need to know where to go for the information


Dear Mrs Huet,

Thank you for contacting HMRC Residency.

You can find out more about the European Community Regulations and your social security position on the Department for Work & Pensions website , go to

You will see from the website how contributions you have paid in more than one European Economic Area (EEA) country can help claim benefits in another EEA country. There is no actual transfer of NICs from one country’s scheme to another.

The website gives information about claiming benefits in another EEA country when you have paid contributions in the United Kingdom (UK). If you claim benefit in another EEA country the social security authorities in that country may ask HM revenue & Customs for a statement of your UK National Insurance record.

The website also provides information on how basic State Pension is worked out if you have paid NICs to more than one EEA country. The actual calculation can only be done when you claim State Pension.

Apart from the terms set out by the EC Regulations you may pay voluntary NICs if you wish to keep up your rights to your UK basic State Pension. You can only do this as long as you are not paying voluntary contributions to another country’s social security scheme.

If you want to be advised annually of the amount due for future tax years please fill in and return form CF83 Application to pay National Insurance contributions abroad found at the back of the leaflet NI38 Social Security abroad available from our website

If you want to pay by monthly direct debit from a UK bank account, please also complete the direct debit mandate.

Try the Pensions Tracing Service

The Pensions Service

Tyneview Park

Whitley Road,

Newcastle on Tyne NE98 1BA Phone 084560020537 They will need your N I number

High Nick Allbeury

Just a slight correction, I use Currencies Direct a lot and it is free for £1,000 or more

Getting your UK pension here has nothing to do with accessing the French system thank goodness! I've found Newcastle very helpful (by letter and phone) in getting my wife's pension sent direct to our French bank. I get my army pension put in my English bank and when I've got £5000 saved up I have it transferred out here for free to my French bank with Currencies Direct, who don't charge for sums over £5000. You do have to declare your pension income on the annual "etranger" income tax forms but it usually results in no tax being paid here, unless your wealthy! Happy retirement - we came here 5 years ago on early retirement and have never regretted it, despite ups and downs in the exchange rates.

Thanks Robin, that raised my morale. I have less than €300 forecast from the UK, about €200 from the Germans (if I am lucky) and Lehman Brothers had acquired my private somewhere along the line some years before they went down. My OH is 18 years younger than me and has bits and pieces everywhere, but maybe I'll not be around by the time she comes to that. Sad game considering what we were all given to believe 40 or so tears ago.

Oh well Robin, I have a couple of years to work up to those joys still. You have just encouraged me as much as my French pal if you are right about the €3 in the remotest sense. Looking at dossier, hohum, I have lived in Germany plenty of years too and have them to contend with and started because pension came at 60 there. Dossier (Aktenheft) is exactly what they said they would look at. Three years on my enquiry is still 'open' and it is supposedly straightforward there! Perhaps I should simply live in hope.

Because you only worked 13 years you will only be entitled to a reduced pension, you need to have worked 39 years in the UK to get a full pension. If you go to this site it will explain everything. I think you can download the necessary forms.

For those of us from Ireland, here is the equivalent link:

Suzy, no doubt you are right. I am already convinced that nobody in URSSAF knows about pensions and procedurally it is just as you say. I was repeating what I was told by somebody who has already been down that road, has been told that self-employed people cannot retire because they do not actually have 'a job' and did everything in terms of applications, notifications, letters to show he was intending to retire and he is French and has never been more than some of his yearly summer holidays out of this country. So, in theory, it should be easier than those of us who are not. His chuckle when I suggested that was not encouraging. Perhaps the solution is never to actually retire but that is not my preferred option.

To get a pension from the french system you need to have your social security number, details of your work history including final "bulletin de paie" which your employer should have given you when you left. You also need to address your claim to the caisse which you paid into (mine was in Paris).

It took me 2 years to start getting paid but they are regular once they start. Once you receive your pension you will get , once or twice a year, a demand for an "attestation de vie" to be filled in and stamped by your local Mairie to prove you are still alive. Failure to comply stops the pension.

I found the people helpful but never tried any language other than French.

My UK pension took just as long to get going and I had to fill in a 30 page questionnaire but they don't ask for proof of life.

Because I lived on grants, bursaries and so on for years and spent long periods out of the UK I was exempted from all the normal payments. That was on DHSS (DSS now) advice which turns out to be the opposite to what I should have done. I have had the apocryphal letter telling me that if I gave them £XX I could have my 'full pension' but I worked out that if I only lived a decade after receiving the scrapings my forecast informs me I shall be entitled to, then I would be better off keeping that amount and investing it and drawing the interest. So be prepared to be shocked by what they tell you that you are entitled to and then work out why so many people flee back to the UK where they can get various 'top ups'.

The URSSAF bit is tricky, if you have been 'self employed' then you have to go through the motions of convincing them that you no longer work and so on via RSI. Then if you have never worked here nobody will ever give you the same answer, so my guess is that nobody actually knows. If you have worked here, when you retire it should just happen. Begin, as suggested, by approaching Newcastle and then get something on paper from them, take it to URSSAF and watch their bewilderment turn to incredulity and then wait to see what anybody gives you. My turn is soon to come, so I'd be very interested in seeing the whole spectrum of what does and does not happen.


I took early retirement in France at 61 - I had to produce documentation from the UK of how many "semestres" I had work in the UK ( Pension Forecast). This was added to the time I had worked in France. I think the total should be 167 - I then received a small French pension. Advantages are that you can continue working and take a small income without paying the high social charges.

I also cashed in on my French Private pensions that were paid when I was salaried.

Contact: Pensions & Overseas Benefits Directorate, Tyneview Park, Whitley Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE98 1BA

+44 (01912) 187585

who will answer all your questions. You will need to supply your National Insurance number

Thanks Trudy. I think I should start looking.

Much to my surprise, I have both UK and French state pensions as does my wife who's French and didn't work a single day in the UK. I always thought the EU rule was that your pension is paid in the country where you made the most contributions but apparently, because I worked 10 years in France before the UK joined the Common Market, and paid UK contributions as well as French during this time, both the French and English insisted on giving us a pension. Who are we to argue. I wonder if the Kenyans would give me a pension for the years I worked there and paid into their retirement plan :-)) We found both the UK and French to be very helpful. I would never have known my wife was entitled to a UK pension if Newcastle hadn't volunteered the information. But you will need to be patient.

Many thanks for the replies and help; it looks like Newcastle is the way to go txs again AM

Hi Trudy. Do you have the link to the page concerning the pensions ot the department you wrote to. Did you do it via e-mail?

Hello !

If you contact the International Pensions Centre in Newcastle, they will be able to help you.

have your N.I no: ready and all the facts

The 'phone number is 0044 (0) 191 2187777 , they helped me sorting out our pensions.

Also, of course, the two countries do actually communicate, so when I retired, after working 10 years here in France, once the French "pension mutuelle " had established my "trimestres" I increased my " mutuelle" here as well. I have found them nothing but helpful. So it's worth pursuing !