A message from John Lansley of The Spectrum IFA Group

The British Ambassador in Spain has sent out a general note (below) about the need for the over 80s to return a completed life certificate by 31 July as otherwise their UK state pension would be halted (until lots of paperwork had been completed). Apparently there was a mailing to all such people living outside the UK on 7 January but the response has been so poor in Spain that the Ambassador thought it worth reminding people.

I’m not even sure it applies to any extent in France or elsewhere, but it might be worth mentioning just in case.

Dear All,

I am writing to you to ask for your help in spreading an important message to British people living in Spain who are aged over 80 and receiving a UK state pension.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sent out a letter on 7 January 2024 to check that over-80s of any nationality who are drawing a state pension in Spain are still eligible. They are called ‘life certificates’ and they require the recipient to complete a form and have a witness sign it before returning it in the post. Full instructions are provided in the letter. This is a routine process, with certificates sent by DWP on a regular cycle to specific groups drawing a UK state pension.

To date, the number of life certificates returned to the DWP from Spain is lower than expected. The DWP have therefore extended the deadline to 31 July 2024 to give over-80s more time to complete the process.

It’s really important that all British state pensioners over the age of 80 complete this process as soon as possible. Failure to do so could lead to the suspension of pension payments by DWP (although these can be reinstated at any point if eligibility is subsequently proven). We would be extremely grateful for your help in spreading this message to your contacts and members and if possible, supporting them to complete and return the life certificate.

If any state pensioners over-80 have not received a letter or has changed their address without notifying DWP, they can request a new one HERE .

As for state pensioners under-80, there is no action currently required but they will be receiving a letter towards the end of the year. We therefore recommend that all state pensioners check their address registered with DWP is correct if they have recently moved house. They can do so HERE.

Finally, for state pensioners over-80 that have already received their letter and returned their life certificate, no further action is required.

Thank you very much in advance for your help. We hope that, by working together, we can ensure that eligible state pensioners who are living in Spain (and France in our case)  can continue to receive their pension.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Elliott

British Ambassador to Spain and Andorra


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