Madrid’s British Embassy has recently confirmed the fact that British expats living in Spain, as well as their expat neighbours based within the EU, could lose their pension or benefit income, should they fail to confirm their banking details with the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions).
February 2014 will bring with it the necessity for British expat pensioners and benefit recipients to ensure that the DWP have accurate IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Bank Identification Code) account details, to protect and maintain such critical sources of income.
Failure to meet this requirement could result in expat pensions or benefit payments stopping, but even if you’re given the benefit of the doubt, EU banks may still refuse to process any payments without those two key details, so the responsibility most definitely lies with individual expats.
British expats whose account details are unknown to the DWP will be contacted by post and given a fair opportunity to supply the necessary details, directly from your bank or on bank correspondence; expats should always avoid sharing passwords of any kind.
Although a large percentage of expats bank within the UK, those who receive payments into EU accounts may need to supply additional information. So as to avoid any unnecessary heartache, all British expats should complete and return the form they receive in the post in a timely manner.
Anyone who’s perhaps moved home and neglected to update their details, simply needs to pick up a phone to prevent what for many, could prove to be a financial crisis. British expats can contact the International Pension Centre to update their DWP details on 0044 191 218 7777.
It’s important for any expat who fails to meet the DWP deadline to remain calm and focused, because there’s an abundance of information and advice readily available. Expats could choose to contact the DWP directly or to consult an IFA (independent financial adviser).
By Anthony Standring