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Social Security payments abroad (FOI)

Social Security payments abroad (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 11 August 2016.



What is the amount of payments made by Social Security to beneficiaries abroad, and how much is paid to what countries?


Taking each of the country payments, what are the totals for each category of payments?

Clarification of request:

Could the requester please confirm:


What time period are they interested in? The last three years.


What do they mean by category of payment? Name of benefit.

Request following clarification:


What is the amount of payments made by Social Security to beneficiaries abroad, and how much is paid to what countries for the last three years?


Taking each of the country payments, what are the totals for each benefit of payments?


Some background to the benefit system is provided to give context to the reasons for the benefits and the amount paid out overseas.

Only benefits within the Social Security contributory system may be paid outside of Jersey and these are dependent on the contribution record of the individual as well as other eligibility criteria. The Social Security contributory system is in place for the protection of workers and provides a degree of financial security for them at times when they are not able to work. For example at times of ill health, following the birth of a child and in older age.

The Jersey Old Age Pension and Incapacity Pension, paid when the person no longer expects to work, and Survivor’s Benefits paid for a specific period, may be paid anywhere in the world.

The continuing payment of other contributory benefits outside of Jersey, such as Incapacity Allowances and Maternity Allowance, is dependent upon different rules within Jersey’s laws and Reciprocal Agreements with the relevant country.

Reciprocal Agreements allow certain types of benefit to continue to be paid in other countries, and allow for those countries to pay equivalent benefits to their citizens who have moved to Jersey, under conditions specified.

The majority of benefits are paid within Jersey. Tax-funded benefits provided in Jersey, such as Income Support, all include a residence condition, are generally means-tested, and can only be received in Jersey.

Country of residence is not held historically within the Social Security systems, therefore payments are recorded against the last known country of residence as at the end of the relevant year.

It may be that, for example, a Maternity Allowance claim was paid in full while the individual was resident in Jersey, but they had since moved and so at the end of the year are recorded as living in another country.

This analysis is limited to the following longer term benefits:

  • Old Age Pension,
  • Survivor’s Allowance,
  • Survivor’s Pension
  • Long Term Incapacity Allowance
  • Invalidity Benefit (legacy benefit)
  • Disablement Benefit (legacy benefit)
  • Incapacity Pension
  • Maternity Allowance

Total payments will not match published accounts as they do not include any accounting adjustments.

Countries which had less than five claimants or benefit payments totalling less than £20,000 for each year have been grouped to avoid the possibility of identifying or inferring payments that relate to specific individuals.



​Total paid 2013 (£)

​Total paid 2014 (£)​Total paid 2015 (£)
​United Kingdom ​£15,538,804​£16,777,739​£17,016,190
​Irish Republic​£704,160​£734,548​£778,146
​United States of America​£425,848​£468,072​£486,913
​New Zealand​£411,541​£458,832​£446,343
​South Africa​£261,321​£249,725​£244,605
​Isle of Man​£62,887​£75,233 ​£75,353
​Northern Island​£59,157 ​£67,950​£65,362
​Austria​£52,875 ​£58,021​£51,338
​Greece​£44,935​£42,515 ​£54,373
​Netherlands​£31,423 ​£38,559 ​£47,419
​42 Countries with less than 5 claimants or £20k payments per year​£295,888​£290,673​£326,350
Total value of the listed longer-term benefits which is paid to beneficiaries abroad*​£32,336,160£34,448,592​​£35,064,081
​Percentage of total spend of listed longer-term benefits which is paid to beneficiaries abroad​18%​18%​18%

*Please note: the total figures in each column have been rounded.


Breaking the analysis down to country or benefit level results in very few claims per category.  Combined with the total payment information, this means that payments to individuals could potentially be identified. Therefore the information provided has been limited to countries with higher values attributed.

For this reason, we have also grouped the benefits:

  • Old Age Pension is the Jersey Old Age Pension only
  • Survivor’s Benefit is both Survivors Allowance and Survivor’s Pension
  • Incapacity and other benefits include; Long Term Incapacity Allowance, Invalidity Benefit (legacy benefit), Disablement Benefit (legacy benefit), Incapacity Pension and Maternity Allowance.


Benefit CategoryCountryTotal paid 2013 (£)Total paid 2014 (£)Total paid 2015 (£)
Old Age PensionUnited Kingdom£13,837,858£15,109,183£15,354,335
Other countries£4,276,590£4,480,104£4,572,992



Percentage of total spend of this benefit which is paid to beneficiaries abroad18%18%18%
Survivor's BenefitPortugal£512,464£520,505£530,477
United Kingdom£376,925£396,805£368,832
Other countries£200,962£198,110£167,661
Percentage of total spend of this benefit which is paid to beneficiaries abroad28%28%28%
Incapacity and other benefitsUnited Kingdom£1,324,021£1,271,751£1,293,023
Irish Republic£73,378£58,656£55,960
Other countries£100,923£84,560£102,910
Percentage of total spend of this benefit which is paid to beneficiaries abroad11%10%10%


Exemptions Applied
Article 25 Personal Information

(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if:

(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2005; and

(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.

Article 25 has been applied to avoid individuals from potentially being identified.

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