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Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Old Jan 11th 2024, 5:01 am
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Default Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

​​​​​​I’m a 74 year old UK citizen living in Thailand and like a fool when I left the UK to move to Thailand I informed the UK pension office of my move.

For the last 20 years I have been receiving my UK old age pension payment into my Thai bank , this UK pension payment was frozen when I moved to Thailand 20 years ago ( the monthly pension payment has never increased for 20 years. )

Now due to stressful financial problems I have , I am trying to find a way to some how increase the UK monthly pension payment amount I currently receive, to try and help out with my financial situation.

I have no living relatives or friends back in the UK or property and finding cheap rental accommodation that I can afford there , so that I can then inform the UK pension department that I am now back living in the UK, is just impossible . So I was thinking about temporally moving to the Philippines and then informing the UK pensions depart that I am now living in the Philippines , where I could then apply to have my UK pensions adjusted up to the amount the same as I would receive if I was living in the UK .

I know what I’m trying to achieve may be frowned upon by some , but its desperation that is making me look at this possible Philippines route.

If any one can offer me constructive advice, suggestions or recommendations , that would be very much appreciated.



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Old Jan 11th 2024, 11:05 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

I am assuming that the Philippines is one of the countries that the UK allows a cost of living increase each year for the State Pension.
Could you move to the Philippines and live there for a year.
Your pension would then be upgraded by those 20 years.
After a year, you could decide on moving back to Thailand, or you might prefer staying in the Philippines.

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Old Jan 11th 2024, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Personally I'd phone the pensions service and ask them if moving to Philippines would result in your pension being increased. Everything I've read says it is only increased if you move back to the UK, so not sure how it works with going to another country, I think it may still be frozen at the rate you first claimed it. So do double check that before you start making any plans.

Good luck to you.
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Old Jan 11th 2024, 1:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by formfill1
I am assuming that the Philippines is one of the countries that the UK allows a cost of living increase each year for the State Pension.
Could you move to the Philippines and live there for a year.
Your pension would then be upgraded by those 20 years.
After a year, you could decide on moving back to Thailand, or you might prefer staying in the Philippines.
Hi and thanks for your comment. The idea that I have was for me to temporally move to the Philippines leaving my Thai wife and daughter behind ( they have strong ties to family members ) and once I'm in the Philippines , look for an apartment to rent , which will be needed to to show the UK pension department my address in the Philippines. Then apply to have my UK government old age pension increased to the same amount that I would receive if I returned back to live in the UK. Once my UK pension had been increased , then return back to Thailand and my family . The Philippines is one of the countries were a UK citizen will be paid the full pension amount . I'm trying to research as much as I can about my idea, I have been told that there may be agents in the Philippines that can assist with the paperwork / accommodation address / life certificates Etc.



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Old Jan 11th 2024, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Personally I'd phone the pensions service and ask them if moving to Philippines would result in your pension being increased. Everything I've read says it is only increased if you move back to the UK, so not sure how it works with going to another country, I think it may still be frozen at the rate you first claimed it. So do double check that before you start making any plans.

Good luck to you.
Many thanks, from what I've been told by other British ex pats here in Thailand , some have been down the same Philippines route as I'm looking at , but for obvious reasons those British expats tend to keep quite about what they have done to increase their UK state pension related to the Philippines , hence me asking here . At this stage I don't really yet want to speak to any one at the UK pension services , just in case doing that may in some way effect a possible future out come. Once Ive manager to gain more sound information about my idea and it looks possible , then I will for sure telephone the UK pension services department , just to find out whats involved.

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Old Jan 11th 2024, 1:54 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by Lance Boil
Then apply to have my UK government old age pension increased to the same amount that I would receive if I returned back to live in the UK. Once my UK pension had been increased , then return back to Thailand and my family.
Even if you can get the increase (as above, I'm not sure you can unless you actually return to the UK), then what you're proposing isn't feasible. You'd need to actually move there to be eligible, visiting and claiming before then moving back to Thailand would be fraud.
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Old Jan 11th 2024, 2:04 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Even if you can get the increase (as above, I'm not sure you can unless you actually return to the UK), then what you're proposing isn't feasible. You'd need to actually move there to be eligible, visiting and claiming before then moving back to Thailand would be fraud.
Thanks for your comment , I know I may be clutching at straws and my idea would be considered as fraud , but currently I have no other ideas, increasing my UK government pension would be a life saver . I'm wondering if there are any British expats here on this forum who have heard of any one being successful doing what I'm thinking about .

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Old Jan 11th 2024, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Even if you can get the increase (as above, I'm not sure you can unless you actually return to the UK), then what you're proposing isn't feasible. You'd need to actually move there to be eligible, visiting and claiming before then moving back to Thailand would be fraud.
I've read of some Expats in Aus trying to increase their UK pension in a similar way - move back to the UK so it gets increased, and then returning to Australia. However it seems that the increase is only in place for the time whilst they are in the UK. On returning to Australia it reverts to the original level.
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Old Jan 11th 2024, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

I really have a lot of sympathy with the OP. All I will say to him is be very, very careful. Be very diligent and patient.
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Old Jan 12th 2024, 12:11 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by Pollyana
I've read of some Expats in Aus trying to increase their UK pension in a similar way - move back to the UK so it gets increased, and then returning to Australia. However it seems that the increase is only in place for the time whilst they are in the UK. On returning to Australia it reverts to the original level.
That wasn't our experience Pol. We moved to the UK in 2015 and as we were planning on staying there for the rest of our lives, we bought a house etc etc. My husband's pension was uprated at that time. We returned to Oz in 2018 and informed the DWP, but his pension has stayed at the uprated amount (no annual increases of course).

I don't know if the OP's plan would work or not. I would think that he'd have to inform the International Pensions department when he moves back to Thailand, as otherwise his Proof of Life certificates will be sent to his Philippines address and his ID will need to be countersigned by someone in that country. If that's not done in a timely manner, his pension will be stopped completely.
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Old Jan 12th 2024, 12:50 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

spouse of Scouse has hit the nail on the head by pointing out the Proof of Life Certificate procedures.
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Old Jan 12th 2024, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

I would expect, but I am not certain, that HMRC would require proof of tax residency in the Philippines, before you would be able to upgrade your pension.
That is why I pointed out that you would probably have to stay for a year.
One way of proving tax residency is the DT Individual form, and there are probably other ways also.
Prior to that, you would have to register with the Philippine tax authorities - perhaps more experienced posters can give you details of how to do this.

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Old Jan 13th 2024, 12:17 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

HMRC have never requested proof of tax residency. Each individual case is different. I pay UK tax as a Philippine permanent resident because of the double taxation treaty it is by far the cheapest option.
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Old Jan 13th 2024, 11:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by Pollyana
..... However it seems that the increase is only in place for the time whilst they are in the UK. On returning to Australia it reverts to the original level.
That is my understanding.

If you could just move back to the UK, or to another country with annual COL increases, then move back to your "usual home" and keep the increased pension, then everyone would be doing it.
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Old Jan 14th 2024, 1:09 am
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Default Re: Moving to the Philippines for UK pension reason – Is this possible .

Originally Posted by Bealinehx
HMRC have never requested proof of tax residency. Each individual case is different. I pay UK tax as a Philippine permanent resident because of the double taxation treaty it is by far the cheapest option.
I have been here in Cebu for 10 years now. In order to get my two private pensions paid free of UK tax, under the DT agreement, HMRC did ask for proof of registration with the tax authorities. I therefore got a TIN number from the IRS here. Mind you, this was 9 years ago so the rules may have changed..
I think the OP is going to have to prove at least residency here in the Philippines for International Pensions to even consider his request to increase his pension.. He would have to ask international pensions as it says on the DWP website that pension upgrade would be implemented on return to UK and advising DWP. No mention of moving from one country to another.Nothing to lose by asking!

I wish the OP good luck but think he may have a struggle on his hands.A talk with a pensions lawyer is advised methinks.
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