Advice for UK pensioners aged over-80

Mel Stride was the most recent Conservative Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Credit: DWP X

The following letter has been sent to citizen’s rights groups and charities in Spain by the British embassy and will be of interest to British pensioners aged over-80.

I am writing to you to ask for your help in spreading an important message to British people living in Spain who are aged over 80 and receiving a UK state pension.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) sent out a letter on 7 January 2024 to check that over-80s of any nationality who are drawing a state pension in Spain are still eligible. They are called ‘life certificates’ and they require the recipient to complete a form and have a witness sign it before returning it in the post.

Full instructions are provided in the letter. This is a routine process, with certificates sent by DWP on a regular cycle to specific groups drawing a UK state pension.

To date, the number of life certificates returned to the DWP from Spain is lower than expected. The DWP have therefore extended the deadline to 31 July 2024 to give over-80s more time to complete the process.

It’s really important that all British state pensioners over the age of 80 complete this process as soon as possible. Failure to do so could lead to the suspension of pension payments by DWP (although these can be reinstated at any point if eligibility is subsequently proven). We would be extremely grateful for your help in spreading this message to your contacts and members and if possible, supporting them to complete and return the life certificate.

If any state pensioners over-80 have not received a letter or has changed their address without notifying DWP, they can request a new one here: centre.

As for state pensioners under-80, there is no action currently required but they will be receiving a letter towards the end of the year. We therefore recommend that all state pensioners check their address registered with DWP is correct if they have recently moved house. They can do so here: .

Finally, for state pensioners over-80 that have already received their letter and returned their life certificate, no further action is required.

Thank you very much in advance for your help. We hope that, by working together, we can ensure that eligible state pensioners who are living in Spain can continue to receive their pension.

Hugh Elliott

British Ambassador to Spain

If you know of anyone who is over-80 and receives a British State Pension then please draw their attention to this important message.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page


    • John

      05 July 2024 • 09:05

      I am not sure why they talk about over 80s, I get the form regularly, well to be honest, the UK send it but I never receive thanks to the Spanish postal system. I have to call the UK once my pension ceases to go into my bank account, then the nice people at the pension office make me go through lots of security questions. I have to be honest and say it is always a pleasure speaking to these nice people. But something has to be done regarding the Spanish post office. They get the mail and throw it in a corner then a few weeks later they send it back to the UK saying address unknown, The problem is all my Spanish bills arrive in my post box but for some reason the UK mail addressed exactly the same never reaches my mail box. I even took out a mail box at the local post office which still does not help. Our lovely British embassy staff should make more noise about the Spanish post office NOT DOING ITS JOB. However have lived in the lovely country for many years I do not expect anything to change. I know my pension money will stop every few month and I know I will spend 45 minutes on the phone speaking to the nice people in Newcastle trying to see where my money has gone. I was told by the staff in the UK they were hoping to start using the Internet sometime later this year. I hope so because there is a better chance of getting direct contact with them. There is no real reason for not using the internrt as many finacial institutions already do so. So please Mr. Ambassodor, try doing something for the little British peole having problems in Spain instead of attending grand function and getting free booze, mind you I am not holding my breath for that to happen.

    • Deborah

      05 July 2024 • 09:14

      wow, do the government not think that by the time a person reaches 80!!! they think that their pensions are a given and that they do not have to re-apply, I think this is absolutely appalling to submit this pressure on the elderly. Some of these pensioners may not have anyone in their lives to help them with this and should their pensions automatically stop they may not know what to do….. disgraceful.

    • John Young

      05 July 2024 • 15:17

      The article talks about those under 80 and those over 80 . What about those that are 80 . If this was a legal document it would be criticised as having a loophole and being inaccurate.

    • Peter Dare

      05 July 2024 • 15:25

      I live in Alicante and received the form earlier this year. I filled it out, returned it, and then received confirmation that it was accepted on my mobile phone. I must say that I have no problems with the Spanish mail except it is a bit late into my Buzon when there are fiestas which is understandable.

    • Neil Friday

      06 July 2024 • 13:21

      Was there something about the State Pension increasing normally at the age of 80? No mention here.

    Comments are closed.