At present the following countries are considered to be part of the EEA:
- Czech Republic
- The UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.)
- Gibraltar is treated as another EEA country by the UK. Other EEA countries treat Gibraltar as part of the UK.
- Switzerland is not an EEA country but is included in the majority of EEA rules governing social security.
If you are a UK passport holder and you plan to live and work in an EEA country for less than 12 months then you should continue to contribute to the UK National Insurance scheme. Beyond this, or if you intend to move abroad permanently, you may need to participate in the social security system or insurance system of the country within which you are living. By doing so you will remain covered under your home system. Not all countries in the EEA will treat you in exactly the same way so it is important that you fully research your entitlements in advance. See our destination guides for further information.
If you are moving overseas on a temporary basis (less than a year in most EEA countries) you will continue to pay your National Insurance contributions and will continue to be eligible for your full UK state pension on retirement. If you are moving to an EEA country on a more permanent basis you may want you may want to continue to pay a voluntary contribution in the UK to protect your pension rights. See Voluntary National Insurance Contributions
If you retire to an EEA country you will be entitled to your UK state pension and will also receive annual increases to the state pension rate if they are applied in the UK.
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Our Expat’s Manual is updated regularly so comments about the article may have already been addressed.