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Gibraltar - Retiring and Pensions

Gibraltar is an attractive place for the retiring expat. It offers a very British way of life but in a warmer climate. The quality of life there is good, particularly for those who enjoy outdoor pursuits, such as water sports, although the slightly higher cost of living may well put some people off.

It is particularly appealing to British expats, as there are direct flights to and from the UK and flights take only 2 hrs 30 minutes. All of the main British high street banks have branches in the territory, which makes it easier to arrange for banking needs. The same currency as the UK means that there is one less change to get to grips with.

British people have always been able to receive their UK pension while they were in Gibraltar, although there have been recent problems and the transfer of monies was suspended in a dispute over income tax. However, British people can still receive their pensions if they have them paid into a UK bank account. The issue of income tax should be thoroughly checked out before you move and it would be advisable to contact both the pensions service in the UK and the Gibraltar tax office to determine exactly what your obligations would be.

Residents of other countries – particularly those in the EU – should also be able to claim their pensions while they are living in Gibraltar. It is a good idea to check with your own country's pension department to ensure that this will be the case, and to clarify the procedures for claiming the monies and having them transferred.

An EU national (from a country other than the UK) will need to prove that they have a comprehensive medical insurance policy as well as the means to support themselves while they are in Gibraltar, so proof of pension payments or other income will be required. They should also be able to arrange for accommodation in the territory in advance. UK residents will find it much easier to obtain a residency permit than those of other countries. They may also be entitled to free medical care while they are in Gibraltar but should check with the Gibraltarian authorities in advance to clarify the details.

There are a number of property developments which are specifically aimed at the retired person. These are available to buy and rent and vary in size and facilities. Details can be obtained from local estate agents.

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