Retirement question- Pension from UK and France

Hi everyone

Just wondering if anyone is already in our upcoming situation.
Hubby and I coming up to retirement age
We are in touch with the pensions office in the uk and have received our forecasts etc… I have 14 years in uk . Hubby who is French has 12 years.
My question is … how is the pension paid… through the French tax office or directly to our French bank account?
Looking forward to some good advice here :blush::blush::blush::blush::blush:
Hugs to all xxxxx

1 Like

We have both our State Pensions paid directly to our French bank account in Euros. The rate of exchange is usually very close to, if not on the inter bank rate which us lowly mortals are subjected to.
When completing the forms for the Pension Service, you can elect a number of things; how often to be paid and whether to a UK bank or a foreign one. You will need to provide your French Bank details and IIRC, I attached a RIB to the application.
On a side note, our two “service” pensions - NHS and Teachers are paid in sterling because the rate they offer is usually dire. The best solution we have found for this so far - courtesy of this site - is to open a Revolut bank account. It gives you a UK account with a Euro wallet into which you can transfer sterling to Euro with a simple selection on your phone when the rate is favourable.

1 Like


Have you an entitlement to a French Pension as well ???

And we have our pensions paid into our UK bank accounts, and then transfer money over when we really need/want to. Because we have some income in France we are in the lucky position of not relying on our pensions and the crappy exchange rates, so we can leave it in the UK and pounce if interest rates bounce. And we use a Forex trader as then usually transferring big enough sums to make it worthwhile. Although I think we last transferred money over 18months ago…

So really depends on your personal circumstances as to which approach is better for you.

@JaneJones That said Jane, interest you gain on your UK account will be presumably subject to French tax (even if not UK tax) but if you use one of the French savings account vehicles to park your money, they can be tax free (LDD, LEP, Livret A etc). The rate is not spectacular these days of course but it does help to keep things on an even keel.

1 Like

Yes, that does have an impact - especially with poor interest rates in UK. But still works for us, if we get it right on the exchange rate we can make more money that we would with interest rates. We give enough money to charity each year to mean we pay no french tax, so just (just!) social charges.

As always, it’s horses for courses - and we are all in different positions and so will have differing ideas.

Whatever folk do with the money, it must be borne in mind that whatever is gained, from whatever source - must be declared in France, under worldwide income. Some folk still have difficulty with that idea… :roll_eyes:

I understand @JaneJones view re exchange rates - although there have been many years when the £ v € worked in our favour.

I am used to budgeting and, once the monthly bills are covered, general shopping is done on what is left over.

Hi Stella
Yes we are both entitled to French pensions too. Does this make a difference,?
I just want to know how the uk pay the pension, do they pay us direct or do they pay the French govt and then they pay us?
We don’t have an account in the uk lol been away too long lol
Thanks for everyone s replies

Hi Ann… I seem to recall reading about a person being entitled to UK Pension & French Pension … having France “take charge” (obviously after liaison with UK) and thus paying the whole lot through France… :crazy_face:

Now, I have quite possibly muddled one situation with another, but it’s definitely here , somewhere on the forum.

I’m hoping my “explanation” will jog someone’s memory…

@anon27586881 does this ring any bells with you ???

It seems to be very much the case here that there are the rules, and then there’s what happens in practice. Maybe it depends on how you go about applying.

Having said all that, just this morning there is a headline in the local press about changes in the “points de retraite” system and who are the winners and who are the losers. Plus, in the course of my recent camping car peregrinations I stopped with farmer friends in Brittany, except that they are no longer farming - apparently they have been hit hard by recent changes in retirement pensions for agriculteurs, and for reasons which I did not entirely follow (and they admit they had difficulty in putting together themselves) but partly to do with the pension change and partly to do with land ownership issues they concluded/were advised that the best way to minimise the impact was to stop farming asap. So they took on a couple of stagiaires, spent a year training them up, and have now handed the farm over to them. My friends are currently living in a “fourgon” and in the process of finding a new home, that’s how rushed it all was. They are still sorting out the paperwork and are finding it all stressful, to be honest they still seem in a bit of state of shock at having had to turn their lives upside down just so as to be able to afford to grow old.
So one way and another I think the pension outlook in France might be on shifting sands.

I’m sure I saw that thread too @Stella and at the time it raised a question in my mind about how that might work given the volatility of the exchange rate.
Can you expect to get a “level” contribution from the UK to the French Euro for the life of the pension or does it fluctuate with the rate (as the rest of us have to suffer) and if so, at what point is the contribution from the UK set?

I just found it… and lost it again…:rofl:

France takes on board the trimestres worked in UK… when working out French Pension (or something like that)… I’ll go trawling again… :wink:

@Brian_Furzer will probably know the answer… but this link makes interesting reading.


If UK do pay your pension directly to you… there is no problem whatsoever with them paying to a French Bank Account. - so that is one worry to cross off your list…:wink:

1 Like

For m’y hubby who is coming up to 62; they have taken into account the trimesters spent in Germany,Switzerland and England
He will be receiving a pension from Germany also…
My French sister in law receives her German pension directly into her account. Every year she has to send them an attestation from the mayor to say she is still living …

Sounds very well organised…

Most (possibly all) Pension Providers like to be sure they are paying someone who is still living… :thinking:

Certainly, we have to fill in forms regularly and the Postmistress or the Mairie are very obliging.

1 Like

We are (or were) Americans. Our process for receiving pensions upon retirement were as follows: first, we called the American embassy in Paris. They were extremely helpful, and set everything up for us. A month later, the money goes directly to our bank account, already transferred into euros. Easy-peasy. Each year at tax time, I need to write in the real euro amount for each month, as our paper proof of income is in dollars, thus not what we actually received euro-wise , which has always been less. Since the bank has always received our pension in euros, we have proof.

I also receive a form each year from the US to verify that we are still living and at the same address, haha.

That’s very interesting if the brexit goes through before my hubby claims his pension in uk…3 years to go lol lol :joy:

I came to France in 1969 at the age of 22.
8 years ago when I applied for my French pension they asked about my UK career and helped me manage it.
The two pensions are credited to my bank account separately. The UK arrives in £ and converted at the daily rate. An amusing aside is that my French wife, who has never lived in the UK, also receives a monthly UK payement (about 50% of mine) simply because she is my wife !
Vis à vis France one is expected to declare the UK pension here.

1 Like

This tells you about amalgamating your pension if you have worked in more than one EU country. Note .eu for authenticity.

My wife was entitled from the U.K. and Luxembourg. Three years ago when she was within five years of the Luxembourg official retirement age she was able to ask the Lux pension office to request info from the U.K.
The UK were a little slow (2 reminders) but ultimately the matter was sorted out.