When the UK was part of the EU, pensioners receiving a UK state pension were also entitled to an S1 form, like other EU pensioners. Now that the UK has left the EU, British citizens no longer have the right to free movement and retirees wishing to retire in France must follow the process of applying for a long-stay visa and residence permit.
Our guide Retiring in France: Visas and the Path to Permanent Residency will walk you through the relevant steps and help you determine whether retirement in France is an option for you based on your personal circumstances. If you are able to retire in France, another important consideration is whether or not your healthcare will be funded by the UK – in other words, will you still be able to get an S1 form?
British pensioners living in France before Brexit: S1 coverage
The rights of all British citizens and pensioners living in France (or another EU country) before December 31st, 2020, are protected under the UK’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. This means that if you resided in France before Brexit and already held an S1 form, the UK will continue to pay for your healthcare for the duration of your residence in France.
If you lived in France before December 31st2020, but you do not yet have an S1 form, your rights will also be maintained under the Withdrawal Agreement (assuming you meet the criteria for a UK S1 form before Brexit).
Can you still get an S1 form if you retire after Brexit?
If you retire in France after December 31st, 2020, your rights are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. However, you may still be eligible to apply for an S1 form if you are in receipt of a UK state pension.
As it stands, the UK still issues S1 forms to pensioners over retirement age who wish to retire in France, and this has not changed since Brexit. Some changes have been made since Brexit to recipients of certain benefits (i.e. Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Caregiver Allowance (CA) and assistance (AA)) who were previously eligible for an S1. These benefits no longer entitle you to an S1 if you move to France.