Form S1 for early retirees

06.02.14

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Up until now, Form S1 gives people who are leaving the UK and who have made recent National Insurance contributions in the UK a period of healthcare in France or Spain funded by the UK…

Up until now, Form S1 gives people who are leaving the UK and who have made recent National Insurance contributions in the UK a period of healthcare in France or Spain funded by the UK.

Retirees (but not those in receipt of their UK state retirement pensions) who move to France or Spain from the UK may have to take out private health insurance from the moment they arrive – after the UK government announced that it would stop paying their healthcare costs.

This was announced recently after consultation on the matter, which was launched during the summer of 2013. These changes are expected to take effect from April 2014.

Under the current system, possession of Form S1 means that expatriates can access the French or Spanish health system with Britain paying to cover costs for up to two-and-a-half years, dependent on the individual’s National Insurance payments.

Cover will still be available to those moving with a spouse or partner who is in receipt of a UK state retirement pension.

FRANCE
The new measure will mean that anyone who is not a state pensioner and does not immediately enter employment in France (and thereby become registered with the French state health insurance system) or become self-employed will have a gap in health coverage and will need private cover.

Early retirees do not have a right to join the Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU) until they have been resident in France for five years.

Those who consider working in France, however, should beware: if you enter the French social security (National Insurance) system, any of your future pensions from the UK could be exposed to social charges even if you hold Form S1 when in receipt of your UK state retirement pension.

SPAIN
Those moving to Spain will have to take out private healthcare cover immediately, once they move to Spain if they are not covered in any other way.

Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; individuals should seek personalised advice.

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