What is a 'government' or 'public' pension?

All pension money from the UK is declarable in France, but is not necessarily taxed

One question which readers often ask at tax declaration time is what the difference is between a UK ‘government’ pension and other pension types.

The first thing to remember is that all UK pension income is declarable in France, even if it has already been taxed, which may be the case for ‘government’ ones, but not ordinary state old age pensions or private or company ones.

A ‘government’ pension is one paid by the Paymaster General or by some third parties linked to the government, because you used to work for the state in the UK – and it is taxed at source in the UK.

It is not the same as the state old age pension, which is paid to you due to having made National Insurance contributions during your working life.

Unlike other kinds of UK pension, ‘government’ pensions should not be taxed by France, but instead attract a tax credit for the hypothetical French tax that would have been due if the income had been taxable. In French they may be referred to as une pension de la fonction publique britannique.

This year the form for declaring foreign-source income has some changes including a requirement to cross boxes to say whether your pension income is public or privé.

A tax service advisor confirmed that public refers only to the ‘government’ or ‘tax credit’ types, whereas a private pension or a state old-age pension would be deemed privé.

The Connexion’s annual guide to the French Tax Forms, aimed particularly at Britons living in France, is €12.50(+p&p) and is available in selected newsagents and also as printed and download versions at: Helpguides

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