UK To Increase Checks That Expats Are Still Alive

By Editorial 11 December, 2013

The British Government is to "increase its activity" in checking that British pension payments to retirees abroad are not being sent to expats who have died.

According to a document published as part of Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement, expats who live in certain jurisdictions will have to sign "life certificates" more frequently from 2014-15 in order to continue receiving their payments. The requirement will apply only to expats in countries that do not have automatic information-sharing agreements with the UK, meaning that retirees in France will be affected while those in Spain will not be.

The Government believes that the move will cut the amount of money lost to error and fraud by GBP45m over two years.

The certificates are sent by the Department for Work and Pensions, and need to be signed by a witness. The list of recognized professionals who are eligible to act as witnesses is the same as that for countersigning a passport photo, although witnesses do not need to live in the UK or hold a specific country's passport.

Tags: United Kingdom | France | Spain | Expats | Pensions | Pensions |


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