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More British pensioners living abroad will be forced to prove they are alive in order to keep receiving the state pension, the government has announced.

In Autumn Statement documents, the government said it would ramp up its efforts to ensure expat pensioners hold ‘life certificates’ proving they are alive and entitled to payments.

‘The government will increase its activity on life certificates to ensure that state pension payments to pensioners living abroad are being made correctly, to shorten the period in which payment may continue erroneously after the person is deceased,’ it said.

A Treasury official told The Telegraph: ‘We currently pay a bit of money to people who are dead, and we don’t know they are dead, and their families keep the money.’

Only 14% of overseas pensioners currently hold the certificates, which need to be countersigned. The new drive will only apply in countries which do not automatically share information with the UK, such as France.

ExpatsPensions Comments

A query we receive quite often is “What will happen to my UK State pension when I move abroad?”. While living overseas it is still possible to receive your State Pension, but it is essential that you keep the UK government/HMRC up to date with your new address. Typically a letter will be sent out automatically 6 months before pensionable age requesting information on where you would like the pension to be paid.

Expats Pension does not help with UK state pensions, however we can help if you have a personal or company pension and you are living or looking to move overseas. Pleas take a minute to view our site www.expatspensions.com