Department for Work and Pensions


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Last Updated May 2010


This section explains the rules on benefits and contributions which apply to people going to live or work in other countries outside the UK. It also explains the rules for those coming to live or work in the UK from other countries.

If the country is within the European Economic Area (EEA), the position is governed by European Union law. There are detailed rules which depend on the particular social security benefit in question, or for your individual circumstances in relation to insurance and contributions. You can also find some general information on the operation of European Union law in social security and some links to European Union sites giving information on moving within the Union below. 

If you are from, or going to Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland, different rules may apply. You should contact the International Pension Centre on 0191 218 7777 or 44 191 218 7777 if you are calling from outside the UK.

There are also some other countries outside the EEA with which the UK has a two-way social security agreement. There are different rules which depend on the particular social security benefit in question, and on the country to which you are going. See the list of social security agreement countries on this page.

This section also explains the basic rules on medical services.

This section also contains some general advice on what you should do before you move to another country and leave the UK.

European Union

The European Union (EU) provides information and services to help people live and work more freely across member states.

There are several EU websites that provide information on pensions, employment and social security for mobile workers: