How to Get Your State Pension While Living in Thailand

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In the past few months, retirement visa laws in Thailand have changed, and it has been a major focal point for retired expats in Thailand. The law changes are forcing retirees to ensure they have payments of $65,000 per month or $800,000 THB per annum into their Thai bank accounts to obtain a retirement visa.

Before the retirement visa requirements changed, all you had to do was prove that you had the required funds in any bank account, but embassies are now revoking their stance on notarizing funds in bank accounts that are not based in Thailand.

The short and fall of the matter is you now have to physically have those funds in your Thai bank account. So, what is the best way to get your state pension while living in Thailand?

Getting Pension Paid Directly into a Thai Bank Account

Did you know that most Western nations can pay your state pensions directly into your account in Thailand? This is especially true if you are from the UK, or Australia. Using UK pensions as an example, it is possible to pay your UK pension directly into your Thai bank if you have already paid enough National Insurance contributions.

The only thing you have to remember if getting your UK pension paid into Thailand is you will have to do that all year round and cannot just randomly pick months to pay into Thailand and other months of the year into your UK account. You can choose having it directly sent to your Thai bank, but you will have to do that for all the year, which is okay if you are trying to show you have more than 65,000 THB per month for your Thai retirement visa requirements.

You can choose to have that paid into your Thai bank every 4 weeks or 13 weeks and you will need an international bank account number (IBAN) and a bank identification code (BIC) if you are transferring it to a foreign based account such as a Thai one.

Standard Bank Transfers to Thailand

If you don’t want to get your pension paid directly into your bank account in your home country for whatever reason, you can transfer directly to you Thai bank account from your UK bank, but you will incur bank transfer costs depending on your home country bank and your Thai bank.

Banks can charge up to 5% to transfer your money to your Thai bank account and could take within 3 to 14 days to clear depending on bank holidays and such. This is the chosen method for some people wanting to get their pensions into a Thai bank account every month.

Other Options for Transferring Pensions to Thai bank Account

As the financial world is opening up more than ever before across borders for transactions, you might want to find another way to transfer your pension to Thailand. If you have online baking for your bank account in your home nation, you could use that to transfer money to your Thai account using Transferwise. The borderless accounts on Transferwise are very good for moving money across borders and with charges much less than banks, it might be the way of the future. If you have online banking, you can transfer the money without moving from your laptop, and it only takes 1 or 2 days to land in your Thai bank account. You just have to set up Transferwise directly to your Thai bank, which is a simple process.

Buying Bitcoins

If you want to take it to another level, some buy bitcoins with their pensions and exchange that directly on websites such as Local Bitcoins directly to their Thai bank accounts. We wouldn’t recommend this option at the moment because of the charges involved by initially changing your pension into bitcoins and back again and then the charges incurred transferring it to your bank. However, as the world changes, not doubt bitcoin exchange commissions might also become less and rival bank transfer rates in the future.

Recommended Way to Get Your State Pension While Living in Thailand

As you can see, the most highly recommended method of getting your pension into Thailand is to send it directly by contacting your local government office that deals with pensions. Most Western nations will allow you to send the pension directly to your Thai bank account, although you will probably have to commit to that for one year, depending on which nation you are from.

Please remember that different countries have different state pension laws, so it’s important you do your own research on the varying nuances across the Western world.

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