British expatriates who receive UK pensions and benefits may soon be contacted by the Department of Work & Pensions to confirm their international bank details.
From 31st January 2014, the Department for Work & Pensions will need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identification Code (BIC) in order to make payments to accounts in Portugal and other Eurozone countries.
This change is due to new European Union regulations that aim to make payments between EU countries faster and more secure.
The Department for Work & Pensions already holds IBAN and BIC details for most customers. But expatriates for whom they don’t yet have these details will soon receive a letter asking for them.
If you receive a letter, you should complete the attached form and return it to the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) as soon as possible, say DWP officials. You can get your IBAN and BIC details from your bank account statement or directly from your bank.
Bank customers will not be asked to provide any further details of their accounts, such as passwords. It is only the IBAN and BIC details that are required.
Failure to respond to the letter may mean your payments will be stopped, because after 31st January banks in Eurozone countries will not accept any DWP direct payments without these details.
Expatriates only need to provide additional bank details if they receive payments into a Eurozone account outside the United Kingdom, and have received a letter from the DWP. Those whose pension or benefit is paid into a UK account are unaffected by this change in EU regulations.
Pensions and benefits recipients who have changed address and not yet informed the DWP Officials from the DWP are also being reminded to contact the International Pension Centre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 0044 191 218 7777 to make sure their details are up to date.
For more information about the change to European bank account numbers, you can visit the European Commission website HERE.