‘Update bank details or lose pensions’: UK

The UK Government is warning British expats they may soon need to update their bank details with the country's Department of Work & Pensions if they don't want to risk losing their pensions or benefits.

'Update bank details or lose pensions': UK
File photo: Michael Cohen

Expats receiving UK pensions and benefits may soon be contacted by the Department of Work & Pensions (DPW) to confirm their international bank details, the British Embassy Madrid said on Monday .

From 31st January 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions will need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identification Code (BIC) to make payments to expatriates’ accounts in Spain and other Eurozone countries.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) already holds IBAN and BIC details for most of its customers.  

However expatriates whose details are not yet held by the DWP will soon receive a letter asking for them.

Bank customers will not be asked to provide any further details of their accounts, such as passwords. It is only the IBAN and BIC details that are needed.

If you receive a letter, you should complete the attached form and return it to the DWP as soon as possible, says the British Embassy in Madrid. 

Failure to do so may mean your payments will be stopped because after 31st January 2014, banks in Eurozone countries will not accept any DWP direct payments without these details. 

You can get the IBAN and BIC details from your bank account statement or directly from your bank.

Expatriates only need to provide additional bank details if they receive payments into a Eurozone account outside the United Kingdom and have received a letter from the DWP.

Those whose pension or benefit is paid into a UK account are unaffected by this change in EU regulations.

Officials from the Department for Work and Pensions are also reminding customers who have changed address, and who have yet to inform the DWP, to contact the International Pension Centre  in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 0044 191 218 7777 in order to make sure their details are up to date.

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