UK state pension - direct to France or to currency company>

I will - at long last - finally receive my UK state pension later this year. I know that the UK government uses a US bank to do all its international transfers (with holdups in payments on US public holidays). Does anyone know how the exchange rate used by that US bank compares to one that would be used by an FX company like Wise? Thanks!

My UK State pension is paid “direct” into my French bank account but I have kept it like that because the exchange rate seems to be very reasonable. I have a couple of other small pensions and have decided to keep them being paid into a UK bank account and transfer them myself. To be honest, it’s a pain doing that, even with the wonderful Wise, but the word on the street is that most pension providers use factors (? think I have the wrong word here) so I didn’t trust them. It’s difficult to be exact on a comparison though because all 3 pensions arrive on different dates! Other people may well have more exact information than me though :smiley:

I find that comment interesting. I have mine paid straight into my French account and it arrives every four weeks regular as clockwork on a Monday. I have NEVER had a holdup in the 14 years we’ve lived here. Always a good rate of exchange.

1 Like

I think it depends on what day/date your pension falls due. In another post re pensions one person said his pension was often due on a US public holiday at certain times of the year, so was delayed.

I’ll agree with Sue - I’ve never had a hold-up either. I have just checked my French bank account and this month the state pension arrived the day before one of my other two. I have just calculated the rates applied since I know that the headline rate was pretty much the same on both those two days, and they came out at almost identical rates (one using Wise and the other whatever the UK government uses). If that’s anything to go on, I’d let the DWP transfer yours!

1 Like

They get a good exchange rate because they are changing large sums of money.

The DWP web site says
Delays to payments around US bank holidays
If you live abroad and your payment is due in the same week as a US bank holiday, it could arrive one day late. This is because a US company processes these payments.


I think the difference in exchange rate is potentially small if you will be exchanging around the same time and for the same sort of amount. We have income here that covers day to day expenses, so we leave our pensions in the UK and transfer when it seems propitious. (Exchanged a big chunk yesterday 1.20+ :grinning:)

So depends on your situation to me.

I’ve just been looking and found an interesting article, talking about DWP payments being delayed due to UK bank holidays :roll_eyes: :rofl:
It talks about Christmas and New Year…

Personally, we have our DWP come direct to France… we got Xmas payments a few days earlier than the due date this year … and I must confess I’ve no idea about Xchange rates. The money comes in and the bills get paid. Not a lot left but that’s fair enough.

EDIT: lest I sounded flippant, we did check the Xrates in the beginning, but it was always a good rate, so we stopped worrying.

Agreed, happens some years depending when Christmas falls.

Morning All

Agree with Angela ( again ! ) mine is paid directly into my French account, and always seem to get a competitive rate


1 Like

We started off having UK pensions paid directly to our French bank but cancelled that and moved to payments into our UK one. This because we were subject to the rates applicable on the day whereas with transferring at our time of choosing we were able to wait for a decent rate. We use Worldwide Currencies and I deal by phone with the same man who gets me the best deal and no paperwork required.

When I turned 65 the DWP suggested that they pay my pension directly into my French a/c because they handle large sums of money so would get a better rate than I could, as Elsie says. As already said above, the pension sometimes comes in early, especially before Xmas.

Thank you! Makes sense. I imagine the difference, if any between the exchange rate used by the DWP’s bank and a currency broker would be minimal. I’ll go for the easy route :slight_smile:

Just a very rough calculation with very unverified/incorrect/rounded figures to give some idea of sum for possible DWP bank currency exchange.
There are about 200,000 UK pensioners in the EU zone. If a 50,000 have their pensions paid into an EU bank account, then for 250 working days/year and an average £500 pension the amount to be exchanged each day would be a transaction of about £100,000.

Think there might be something wrong with the maths there???

Based on the figures given, the math is spot on.

Oops. Yes it should be £5000 not £500 so £1,000,000

Correct :smiley:

Mark - hope you’re not calculating my pension :joy:

To recap this thread… if one has sufficient money in France to cover whatever all the time … then receiving the UK pension in £££ in UK and moving over when the XRate is magnificent might be fun and could gain some euros. (possibly a lot, depending)

The UK Govt Xchanges vast sums of money and might well be on a par with (or better than) the rates offered by various transfer businesses.

The UK State Pension arrives in France regularly and needs no planning/watching other than the initial claim.

Have I missed anything ??


Spot on Stella :smiley: