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Early retirement for UK national

Question

Hi, I'm sure I can't be the only Brit living in Belgium who has asked for early retirement, so I'm asking for your help, advice to get me through the process.
My predicament: worked almost 24 years here in Belgium, worked 17 years for the NHS in the UK. The national pension offices here in Belgium (ONP) tell me I'm eligible for retirement (early), OK so let's go for it, that was more than a year ago. To be fair I'm still on severance pay from the company who let me go but that ends in Nov 2017. The ONP suggest to retire from 1st Dec 2017, that depends of course on the UK authorities communicating my previous UK work history and superannuation contributions with the ONP. That's where everything goes floppy. The ONP have written to the Department for Works and Pensions at Tyneview Park-Newcastle several times to ask them to fill in 3 forms but as to date the ONP have had zero replies.
Anyone out there had similar experiences? if so what are the solutions?
thanks,

Answer
CC_R Oct 12, 2017 14:33

Hi have you tried contacting them yourself? You should be able to get a print out of what info they have. I have previous NHS pension and once I proved who I was I could get a statement of what they believe I have in that pot. I now just tslll them where I'm living I will try and find the last one see if there is an address. However GOV.uk should have information on the website of who ho,ds this. Try ringing first who ever that is to ask but imagine you have to do this in writing with proof of ID. They should hold all your records. Have your NI number and work details on hand when you ring which health authority now trust you worked for, this information should be held by them but it many take them time to find it as imagine it's all pre computerised systems.

Answer
anon Oct 12, 2017 14:55

I'd agree with CC_R. You should contact them yourself. My experience with them (for an older relative) was that they basically did nothing till you rang them up, then they were quite helpful.

https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre

Answer
Anonymous Oct 12, 2017 16:20 Marked as helpful by the topicstarter

Really helpful gentleman is: Mr Martin James, Correspondence Officer,
Department for Work & Pensions, Newcastle Pension Centre, Futures Group, The Pension Service 9, Mail Handling Site A, Wolverhampton, WV98 1LU, UK. Tel. No. +44 191 218 3600 Fax +44 191 218 7006
Opening Hours Monday's to Friday's 8am to 6pm.

Quote your UK National Insurance Number.

Answer
becasse Oct 12, 2017 21:32

I suspect that the root of the problem may well be that the UK state pension scheme has no provision for early retirement, unlike the situation here in Belgium, so until you reach the age of 66 (is it now?), you would have no UK state pension entitlement if you lived in the UK.

Answer
martyn Oct 13, 2017 09:06

The problem is that in order to retire early in Belgium and get this officially recognized you need 40 years of employment so you need the official statement from the UK otherwise you loos out in Belgium. I will be in the same situation soon. You can get a pension statement online at Gov.uk

Answer
Noremac Oct 13, 2017 09:53

Hi, thanks for the useful replies esp Anonymous for the contact person.
Martyn, that's exactly the problem, I've had 40+ years of employment within the UK/Belgium. What the ONP needs is for the UK authorities to confirm that I worked in the UK for 17 years, paid superann contributions etc, but up until now they (UK) haven't complied with the ONP's demand (lack of communication, sent to wrong address? don't know, but frustrating for me).
CC_R, Anon & others, I have contacted the payroll team of the NHS, the SPPA and yesterday the HMRC international pension centre via a "general enquiry"-I'm waiting their reply.
Another question I have is that if I get (written, signed) proof from the UK authorities, will the ONP accept it if I forward it to them or will they only accept the info directly from the authorities themselves since they are asking for forms E202B,E205B,E207B to be filled in/reviewed?
I've visited the ONP 4 times now, has anyone out there had direct contact with the ONP and gotten more information out of them?

Answer
CC_R Oct 16, 2017 10:45

Good luck hopefully once you get one person looking at it you can correspond with them in my experience they want to be helpful and give correct information

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