Living in Spain, Pensions, benefits, healthcare and consular services - frequently asked questions
This information was provided by representatives of the Department for Work and Pensions, taken out of the packet presented to attendees, when the two representatives conducted meetings in Mallorca on March 23rd. 2010. Members should always contact the International Pension Centre, 0044 191 218 7777 to verify this information.
Pensions & Benefit Entitlements - Frequently asked questions.
Why should I tell the Dept. for Works and Pensions (DWP) that I am moving to Spain.?
You need to inform DWP of any changes to your personal circumstances (e.g. address, marriage, death) within 28 days. This will help to: prevent claim delays. If you have ever worked in Spain they should be contacted first for any pension or benefit claim. You will need to contact them in order to register an S1 (formerly E121), E106 or to get a Spanish European Health Insurance Card.
Where do I apply for my pension?
- living in Spain and having worked in Spain at some point - INSS.
- living in Spain but never having worked here - apply through the UK.
- living in UK and have worked in UK and Spain - apply through UK.
- living in Spain, have worked in UK and Spain - apply through Spain.
- living in Spain and have worked in Spain and more than one other EU country - apply through Spain.
Always include time spent working in other countries on the application form. Where you apply will not affect the amount of pension you receive. The Spanish pension claim form can be found in any INSS office and online.
Can I apply for other Spanish benefits if I have worked here?
If you have worked and contributed to the social security system in Spain you may be entitled to claim a Spanish benefit. If you last worked in Spain, you must apply through INSS. In the case of unemployment benefit or sickness benefit, you may be able to include time spent in working in other EU countries; be sure to include that on your application. To apply for Spanish Unemployment Benefit go to your local INEM office, (www.inem.es).
Do I have to claim my UK State Pension the moment I reach State Pension age?
NO. You may defer payment or stop payment after you have already claimed it. This allows you to build up extra income or a taxable lump-sum payment.
My pension has been stopped and I don´t know why?
Contact the International Pension Centre (IPC) 0044 191 218 7777, to find out. They may not have your current information or you did not respond. If you need to complete a ¨Life Certificate¨ it will need to be witnessed at your closest Consulate, Court or Notary. You can return a ¨Fe de Vida¨certificate from your local Registro Civil without completing the witness declaration page.
I am living in Spain but pay tax on my pension in the UK. Should I be paying my taxes in Spain?
You can contact Her Majesty´s Revenue and Customs on 00 44 151 210 2222 or www.hmrc.gov.uk if you want to discuss tax, residence and domicile enquiries. If you need a certifcate certifying you have paid your tax in th UK so you do not have to pay in Spain, you should ask for form FD9 from HMRC.
Can I get a Pension Credit if I live in Spain?
NO. Pension Credit is a means-tested benefit separate to the UK State Pension and is not exportable.
Can I make voluntary contributions in the UK/Spain.
Generally, if you have paid contributions in the UK you´ll be able to make voluntary contributions. These rules have changed recently so you should contact HMRC for more details. You can qualify to pay voluntary contributions in Spain if you have worked here at some point and have a 3-year contribution record from any EU Member State during the last 12 years. Apply at the Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social (TGSS) to make contributions through the ¨convenio especial.¨
Why have some people been able to export the Winter Fuel Allowance to Spain?
Winter Fuel Allowance is only payable after you have moved to Spain if you´ve been eligible for it at least once whilst living in the UK. It is NOT linked to the UK State Pension.
The rules have changed: You can’t get the payment if you live in Spain because the average winter temperature is higher than the warmest region of the UK.
Is there any help available to me in Spain if I am bereaved?
In the event of a death of a spouse or a civil partner, you may be entitled to some form of bereavement benefit, although entitlement does depend on certain crieteria. If you were in receipt of a UK State Pension when your spouse or civil partner died, you may be entitled to an increase in your State Pension payments. Contact the IPC for more information.
Can I get Disability Living Allowance in Spain?
You can get Disability Living Allowance (care component), Attendance Allowance and Carer´s Allowance in Spain as long as you meet the following conditions:
- you pay national insurance contributions in the UK beacause of your work or you are a dependant family member of someone who does, or
- you are in receipt of a UK State Pension, Bereavement Benefit or UK sickness benefit, or
- you are eliglible to receive a UK sickness benefit or are a dependant of someone who is; and
- on the date of your claim, you had spent 26 out of the previous 52 weeks in the UK.
If you are terminally ill and not expected to live for more than six months you can apply for these benefits under special rules. Please contact the Pension, Disability and Care´s Service for more information. For more general information, go to www.direct.gov.uk
If I lost my Disability Liviing Allowance when I moved to Spain, can I now get it reinstated following the EU Court of Justice ruling in Otcober 2007?
Author´s note: This is a highly complicated issue that cannot be answered comprehensively here and members should go to: http://pensions.direct.gov.uk/en/state-pension-age-calculator/home.asp or contact the International Pension Centre: 0044 191 218 7777.
If I´m not entitled to Disability Living Allowance, is there any other help available to me?
Under new measures being introduced by the Spanish Government, if you have been permanently resident in Spain for 5 years, you may be entitled to services such as home help, access to day centers or ecomonic help as a carer. Contact the social worker at your local town hall for more details of the services that are currently available in your area. Social Services will be able to advise on any other means-tested benfits that you might be entitled to.
What other means-tested benefits may be available from Spanish social services?
There are mainly two for people on low incomes:
- non-contributory retirement pension (pension de jubilacion no contributiva).
- non-contrubtory disability pension (pension de invalidez no contributiva).
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT THE ABOVE REPRESENTS ONLY RESPONSES TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS. MEMBERS SHOULD CONTACT THE INTERNATIONAL PENSION CENTRE 00 44 191 218 7777 FOR INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE THAT MORE FULLY ADDRESSES THEIR OWN SITUATION.