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Can you claim your UK state pension and receive NHS treatment if you move to Turkey?

Posted on May 26 2017 by Gill C

I personally believe you can visit anywhere in the world have a great holiday and then happily return home until your next adventure. However, sometimes a place hits you and you feel so comfortable there you really don’t want to leave. It can happen suddenly and you know you want to live there, that happened to me in Turkey. Obviously, I didn’t just pack up and leave the UK immediately it took a few years and many visits back and too to Turkey, but I knew in my heart I wanted to be in Turkey, will it be forever? I think so yes!

Having worked all my life there were a few concerns about my state pension, was I entitled to it once living full time in Turkey? If the answer was yes, could it be paid into a Turkish bank account or did it have to be a UK account? It also made me think about our wonderful National Health Service and it is wonderful, overstretched but nonetheless great and would I miss it? So the question was if I became ill and wanted to be treated in the UK was that possible?

Firstly let’s deal with my UK state pension, I rang the UK government department for working jobs and pensions and told them I would be moving to Turkey on a full-time basis. I was asked my new postal address, email and contact number for Turkey, and was informed that whenever I move address to let them know. The answer was YES I am entitled to my state pension AND it could be paid into a UK bank account or a Turkish bank account, happy days! All I need to do a few months before I hit my retirement age is to contact the International Pension Centre in the UK.

The next question regarding the National Health Service, the answer is NO I am not entitled to this health care which is paid by the UK government if I reside full time in Turkey. As I have a residency permit which allows me to live in Turkey I must pay for private health care and the health care system here is good and consultations and treatment are second to none. If you’re over 65 years old you do not need private health care in Turkey why? I’m not entirely sure, maybe as people get older they prefer to go back to their roots.

There are many ex-pats that live in Turkey who sell their UK properties but they keep a base in the UK, many buy a static home on a caravan park which gives them a UK address. In this case, they can receive NHS treatment as they tend to divide their time between both countries. In 2016 Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management overturned their policy of the previous 180-day rule of how long you stayed out of Turkey for to avoid cancellation of your residency permit now its limitless, good news for avid travellers.

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