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Start cutting the red tape...

Who should you tell in the UK?

If you are under state pension age you may want to contact the DWP to discuss making voluntary National Insurance payments from France, which could help top up your entitlement to a UK pension if you have not contributed for the required minimum period (at present, 35 years). Paying these may also help you claim certain UK benefits requiring recent NI contributions. Until April 5, 2017 some people who have not reached the state retirement age can pay a lump sum to increase their weekly pension (only applies to men born before April 1951 and women born before 1953) . Visit

- If you are a pensioner, contact the UK’s International Pension Centre 0044 191 218 7777 or see

- Any offices dealing with benefits you receive, some of which may be ‘exportable’ (more details later). It is an offence not to tell the benefits office if your circumstances have changed.

- HM Revenue & Customs – to work out if you have remaining UK tax to pay or are due a refund, and to complete a self-assessment form for any declarable UK income you may have.

- If you have a student loan you should inform the Student Loans Company that you are moving abroad. You will need to complete an Overseas Income Assessment Form and attach proof of earnings or means of support.

- If you want to vote in UK elections register as an overseas voter with your last UK constituency at You may vote until 15 years after the date you left (the current government has promised to abolish this limit). Children can register as overseas voters once they turn 18, as long as their parents or guardians are still eligible to vote.

- Your local council to organise a final council tax bill

First contact: Key authorities to get in touch with in France

- Your local tax office. It is your responsibility to contact them (ignorance being no defence) ahead of making your income tax declaration and to pay local taxes such as the taxe d’habitation or (if you are eligible) wealth tax.

- You may need to register with your local state health authority – Cpam – to obtain a social security number and state health reimbursements card (though obtaining one can be problematic for some new arrivals – see the section on health). This process is different if you are self-employed.

- You may want to register with other bodies, such as family allowance body Caf, if it becomes relevant. If you are unemployed and looking for work it would be worthwhile becoming a registered jobseeker with the Pôle Emploi (job centre), which is possible even without having built up any right to jobseeker’s benefits.

- As an EU citizen, you could also register on your mairie’s liste électorale complémentaire to vote in local and European elections. (Only those with French nationality can vote in national or presidential elections.) This must be done before December 31 to be registered to vote the following year. You can also do it online at

- At some point you will need to contact your local utilities and communications providers.

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