We're Brits from the UK, where my husband paid some social security contributions. We moved to Ireland 20 years ago, and last year he turned 65 (retiring age in UK), having got a letter from the UK pensions office, with a form for claiming UK state pension from a European Economic Area country.
There's no time limit on the letter or form, and because of health problems etc, he's only recently been able to put his mind to it (well, giving details of every UK employer he's ever worked for does raise a collective groan in this house!).
The letter says that if he's also had employment in this country (which he has), he has to apply over here (and not use the enclosed form in either country, as it could delay his claim).
He went to his local employment office, but was told he had to apply through the UK office.
He rang the UK one, and they confirmed he had to apply through the Irish one.
He went back to his Irish one, and they said he had to do it though the Sligo office (a considerable drive from here).
He rang the Sligo office, and they said he had to apply via Welfare.ie.
He's not yet using the internet, so over to me (we did wonder what people without the internet were supposed to do, but we just want to get the thing done!).
I trawled welfare.ie, which says that claiming state pension from another EEA country can only be done by using form EUP 65, which can be downloaded from there. It also says, however, that Form EUP 65 is only for people who haven't yet reached age 65.
To 'ask us a question' on the website, the only phone number in the right category is the Sligo office, so I used the 'contact us' form on the website, explaining the problem and asking where to find the right form (having put my husband's RSI no., email address etc in the required boxes).
3 days later, no reply. I sent a follow-up query yesterday, but it seems that either the question's too difficult or they haven't read the query.
I did notice today that the website info re form EUP 65 says that claiming a pension from another EEA country is done through the Sligo office, but it's the wrong form anyway.
Where do we go from here? Round the same circle again?
i dont know but try citizens information:
As this is about a state pension, not a private one, we'll move it to the State Benefits forum.
As he is 65, this is the form he needs to complete I think:
You can return this by post to the Sligo address on the last page on the form.
Sorry Buffybot, I just made a beeline for the word 'Pensions'!.
Thanks wmpdd3, there's a Citizens Info just 30 mins. away, so perhaps we'll go there on Monday (I'm going away next Friday for 2-3 weeks, so it would be good to at least get the ball rolling by then!
Thanks for the link cee-jay; for some reason that form was invisible to my website searches.
I'm not sure if SPT/SPC1 is the right form in this case though. It says (about the form in general);
"Please apply 3 months before reaching age 65 for State Pension (Transition) or age 66 for State Pension (Contributory)."
"If you do not claim within 6 months of becoming eligible you could lose some payment".
"If you worked in a country covered by EC Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement, you should apply 6 months before reaching pension age to allow the other country or countries time to decide on your application."
(I don't know in which country the 'pension age' in the latter sentence is).
There are spaces on the form for UK employment details. But all it says about claiming from the UK is that they'll notify the other country that we may be entitled to a pension from them (we know that, as this all started with the UK people writing to him about it).
He's on pre-retirement allowance, like I was till last year, when I was automatically sent the forms for state pension. So I expect he'll be sent them in good time. And we really can't face doing all those UK employment details more often than we have to!
I think it's first stop Citizens' Information (with all the info we have, in case we can do whatever the first form is on the spot).
Probably followed by a day out to Sligo. We're not really keen to put original birth certificates in the post (again!). That kind of thing usually comes back bristling with staples, too.
Forgot to mention the form says 'Sample' in big letters, so presumably the usable form can't be downloaded. (But we were told it has to be......)
Thats only the first 2 pages ,just to show it has to be filled in using the boxes and Block capitals.third page on is the form.
Right - it's definitely first stop Citizens' Information. This paper-battle (as the Germans call it) was already doing my head in, and we now have a new starter question for them, which will either complicate the application even more or make it unneccessary; 'Is it worth it?'.
My husband pointed out today that any UK contributory pension he might get would be very small, if indeed he qualifies at all, on his amount or timing of PAYE employment. The majority of his time over there was self-employed (those contributions not buying the benefits that PAYE ones do).
He thinks he'll be no better off claiming any contributory pension (if he qualifies at all) , as it would simply be deducted from the state non-contributory one. (I think it would go into his means, so only be partially deducted, but the C.A'll be able to tell us).
I confess I didn't read all the stickies here to start with, and have only just read the welfare guidelines referred to there.
They say that (with certain conditions) contributions from both countries can be combined if that would reach the qualifying number of them (He's also made a small number of PAYE contributions in Ireland). But it also says that the date of claim in Ireland is also taken as the date of claim in the other country, which doesn't feel logical to me (it would make it a year late for a UK claim, and 6 years late for a French one). So I'm even more confused now.
Anyway, it's all too many questions for one thread! Thanks everyone for the help.
Its a shame you have had such a frustrating time trying to get your entitlement. please download this form
print it out complete it and return it to sligo. please be assured that this is the correct form. the "sample" page is only there to show you how they want it filled up. both your husbands and your own details should be included. do not stress too much about remembering every emlpoyer and address. just do your best. sligo will liase with the DHSS regarding your husbands national insurance history. the sooner you fill it the sooner you will hear from them.
Wow - thanks mrsbyne! (I'd guess you' have expert knowledge? Your name rings a bell from a past thread of mine).
We'll do as you suggest, and thank you for the reassurance about employment history. (I can't remember, for instance, the name/address of every employer re my holiday jobs in the 1960s, and some must be long gone!).
We had assumed that there'd be an official record of our contributions (and in both countries), but I was almost beginning to wonder!
Can I just ask you whether he needs to fill in his employment details for both countries at this stage?
And whether it needs my employment details as well? It's not an increase he's applying for, and I don't have enough contribution record to qualify for any contribution-based benefits.
If you simply download, print out, and try to complete each question in each section of the form, including all the questions about you (you, the spouse/partner do not need to have any insurance contributions at all for him to get an increase for you, you will however, be means tested, meaning you will have to show all your income and savings. ), and then return the form to Sligo, with the requested documentary supporting evidence, then that is all that is required for now. if sligo need further information from you they will write to you to request it. if you cannot download the form, you should go to your nearest citizens information centre and ask them for a form. ask the citizens information centre staff to go through the form with you page by page, if you like. alternatively, take the form to your local SW office and ask if someone there could go through the form with you. it would seem to me that you have convinced yourself that this is quite a tangled weave, when in actual fact it really is a very straightforward process, applying for a state contributory pension. I hope you get sorted out soon.
Do not go to the office in Sligo. The State Pension office is not a public office, so it would be a wasted trip.
If you do not wish to send an original birth certificate, go to your local SW office instead, and ask them to photocopy the birth certificate, and stamp the photocopy with original seen.
No problems here with downloading forms, or how to answer the questions in this one. (I wish all official forms were as clear and unambiguous as this and the other Welfare forms!).
The Citizens Advice idea came up because I didn't know which form was right for our circumstances, and some instructions on the website seemed contradictory. (But then you stepped in).
I did know we can't just drop in out of the blue at Sligo, ceejay - I just meant that he/we might get an appointment to go there with our ID (as I did when they had to see original birth cert. etc for my state pension, and I didn't fancy putting it in the post).
But thanks to your tip about local copying, at least we won't have to go to Sligo just for that. It takes up the best part of a day from here, so that's a real time-saver. Thanks!
As your country of residence, Ireland is obliged to lodge your claim for state pension to the UK on your behalf.
This is dealt with in sligo