Can Expats Claim UK State Pension?

Understanding the complexities of pension schemes, especially when residing overseas, can be a tough task. A common query among Australian expats is: Can expats claim UK state pension?

The reassuring answer is yes, but there are a few conditions to consider. This article will elaborate this crucial aspect for Australian expats all over the world.

Understanding the Basics of UK State Pension

Before we delve into the specifics for Australian expats claiming the UK state pension, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of the UK state pension system. It is a cornerstone of many individuals’ retirement plans. It’s a consistent payment from the UK government that you can claim once you reach the state pension age.

The full new state pension is £203.85 per week, but the actual amount you receive is contingent on your National Insurance record. Generally, you need at least 10 qualifying years on your National Insurance record to get any State Pension.

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Aussie Expats and UK State Pension: The Overview

An important point to note is that as a UK citizen, or an Aussie who has worked in the UK, living abroad doesn’t prevent you from receiving the UK state pension.

You are entitled to claim it. However, the amount you receive and whether it annually increases (referred to as ‘uprating’) can hinge on where you reside.

Claiming the Pension: The Procedure

Claiming your pension as an Australian expat is reasonably straightforward. The fastest and simplest method is to apply online.

Alternatively, you can also download the international claim form (IPC BR1) from the GOV.UK website, complete it and return it by post.

Your Location is Important

The UK government freezes the state pension in some countries, meaning it will not increase each year with inflation. If you live in the European Economic Area (EEA), Gibraltar, Switzerland, or countries that have a social security agreement with the UK (excluding Canada or New Zealand), your pension will be uprated annually as if you were residing in the UK.

However, if you live outside these regions, including Australia, your pension will not be uprated unless you return to live in the UK.

Brexit and Its Implications

The UK’s exit from the European Union spawned numerous queries about the rights of British expats. Luckily, Brexit doesn’t considerably impact your UK state pension rights.

If you live in an EEA country, Gibraltar, or Switzerland, you will receive yearly increases to your UK State Pension, just like you would if you were living in the UK.

Working Abroad: Do You Continue Contributing?

If you work overseas, you can sometimes make voluntary National Insurance contributions to boost your UK state pension.

This is a complex domain, and the decision to make contributions can depend on your individual situation, the country you’re based in, and whether it has a social security agreement with the UK.


Australian expats are eligible to claim the UK state pension. However, various elements might influence the sum you receive and whether it rises annually.

Understanding your pension rights is an integral step towards planning a secure retirement. With thoughtful planning and comprehension, Aussie expats can certainly reap the benefits of the UK state pension, even if they’ve chosen to spend their retirement in the sun-baked landscapes of Australia or elsewhere.

Pension planning plays a vital role in ensuring a secure and comfortable future. Thus, grasping all its facets, particularly for expats, is crucial. Stay updated and maximise your UK state pension, regardless of your geographical location.

Interested in Investing in Australian Property from the UK?

Odin Mortgage is the leading mortgage brokerage for expats and overseas residents looking for home loans in Australia. We can help you find the right mortgage for your Australian property investment, even if you’re based in the UK.

We have a team of experienced mortgage brokers who understand the unique needs of expats. We’ll work with you to assess your financial situation and find a mortgage that meets your needs and budget. We’ll also help you through the entire application process, from start to finish.

We know that investing in Australian property can be a complex process, especially for expats. But we’re here to make it as easy as possible for you. 

If you’re interested in investing in Australian property from the UK, contact us today.

Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.

Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can get a UK pension if you are a non-UK citizen. However, you will need to meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements include:

  • You must have lived and worked in the UK for at least 10 years.
  • You must have paid National Insurance contributions during your time in the UK.

If you meet these requirements, you will be eligible for a UK state pension. The amount of your pension will depend on how many years you have worked and paid National Insurance contributions.

You need to have lived and worked in the UK for at least 10 years to be eligible for a UK state pension. However, if you have not worked in the UK for 10 years, you may still be eligible for a pension if you have worked in other countries that have social security agreements with the UK.

Yes, you can claim a UK state pension if you live abroad. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

First, you will need to have reached your State Pension age. Second, you will need to have a UK bank account to receive your pension. Third, you may need to pay tax on your pension if you are not a UK resident.

If you are considering claiming a UK state pension while living abroad, you should contact the International Pension Centre for more information.

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