Moving to Spain from UK: Pension, tax, banking and healthcare

13 Dec 2016
For most people living in the UK, there are many positive reasons to move to Spain. The favourable climate, the unbelievable cuisine, the cheaper cost of living and the ease of access and first-world infrastructure. And those are just a few of the highlights.

The idea of moving to a villa somewhere along the Spanish coast – where one could possibly be enjoying over 300 days of sunshine – would even tempt the most hard-to-please patriots. Some concerns that do creep up for many retirees when considering moving to Spain from UK, is what happens to their pension if they are not in the UK along with many other financial concerns regarding tax, banking and healthcare. We shed some light on these issues with the following questions and answers:


How can I access my pension?
People may worry that accessing their pension after moving to Spain from the UK will be an absolute nightmare, but it’s quite the contrary. Most people typically get their pension paid into their UK bank accounts, and merely transfer it to their Spanish bank account. Alternatively, you can change your details and get it transferred directly into a Spanish account or even through a currency expert.
Will I have to pay tax in Spain?
If you are moving to Spain from the UK, this question will probably be at the fore of your mind. In terms of your pension, the law is that if you live in Spain and have a UK pension, it will be taxed in Spain. You will need to let the UK pensions department know that you are paying tax in Spain, and the tax will not be deducted in the UK. To make sure this is a smooth process you will need to declare your pension to the Spanish tax office.
Another kind of tax you will have to pay (if you are under the age of 65) is capital gains tax or CGT. You will not need to pay this if you are over the age of retirement or have lived in Spain for a minimum of three years.
How do I go about banking in Spain?
When you are thinking about to move to Spain from UK, it’s normal that this would be a big concern for you. The thing that you need to keep in mind when it comes to banking is that the nearest branch to you may not be the best. You might have to determine where they have English-speaking staff and ATMs, and decide to make that your bank of choice. Do your research when it comes to the right bank for you and ensure they have English internet banking, English speaking staff, and competitive rates. You also may want to find one that is very present in Spain, so that you are ensured you will alway have an ATM nearby.
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What should I do with regards to healthcare in Spain?
If you are over the age of 65 when you decide moving to Spain from UK is a good idea, then you will be covered for health care by a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Spain. This will cover your basic healthcare costs. This will stand until ‘Brexit’ is finalised, but rumours are that little will change in this regard – we will only see as it all unfolds in the next few years. If you are under the age of 65, or feel that you would like more than just your basic needs covered, you may want to look into health insurance.
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If you would like to receive state medical care in Spain, then you will need to go to the International Pension Center in Newcastle and fill out an S1 form. Once you have done so, and registered in Spain, you are also entitled to free treatment in the UK if you were to return.

If you have already made up your mind Spain is for you, contact us to take a look at some of our exceptional property in Calpe for sale.
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