State pension: It’s possible to receive more than one – this is how it can be claimed

State pensions in the UK will provide people with a singular monthly payment. In some instances however, it may be possible to actually receive income from more than one state pension.


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If a person lived or worked abroad during their lifetime they may be able to contribute towards the country in question’s state pension (subject to their own rules of course).

To check if that is the case, the person involved will need to contact the pension service for that country.

Currently, a person will only need to make one claim if they lived and/or worked in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Even if the claimant lived in more than one EEA country, a single claim will cover all the countries in that block as well as Gibraltar and Switzerland.

If a claimant lived outside that EEA, they will need to make a claim for the pension from each country separately.

In some instances, a person may be able to use time spent abroad to contribute to the 10 year minimum.

The government state that this will most likely be the case if a person lived or worked in:

  • The EEA
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Certain countries that have a social security agreement with the UK

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There is a catch to this however as time spent abroad can help people reach the minimum but they’ll only receive income from the UK portion.

As an example of how this works: a claimant could have seven qualifying years of UK national insurance contributions.

The person in question could have worked in an EEA country for 16 years and paid contributions to said country’s state pension.

They will qualify for the UKs new state pension due to their time spent working abroad but the amount awarded will only be based on the seven years of National Insurance contributions made in the UK.


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While some people will have work histories in overseas countries, many others will wish to retire abroad.

Thankfully, a state pension can be claimed in most countries.

On top of this, a state pension will increase each year so long as the claimant lives in:

  • The EEA
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Certain countries that have a social agreement with the UK

It should be noted that state pensions in most circumstances will not be paid automatically.

People will need to manually claim their state pension which can be done in a number of ways.

The quickest way to claim a state pension is by claiming it online but it can also be done over the phone or by completing a claim form.

Claiming a state pension abroad follows a different process.

So long as the claimant qualifies, they will need to either contact the International Pension Centre or send an international claim form to the centre.

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