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UK Pension Advice

MANAGE YOUR UK PENSIONS BETTER

 

The UK pension landscape has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Laws have been introduced that allow you more freedom and control over your retirement.

Generous transfer values are on offer from final salary schemes and defined contribution schemes can be fully accessed earlier. There are also greater freedoms  to consolidate multiple schemes and self-manage investments.

Furthermore, the way pensions are taxed on death compared to other assets might encourage you to view your pension as something to benefit future generations rather than fund your retirement.

With the increase in freedom and possibilities comes a need to take sound advice. We have years of experience dealing with UK and overseas schemes and can help you find the best solution according to your needs.

SIPP

A self-invested personal pension is a great way to achieve a pension and investment that you can control. SIPPs are increasingly popular amongst people who want to consolidate several schemes and improve the overall management of the portfolio.

International SIPPs exist for people who live abroad but want to keep their pension in the UK and regulated by the FCA.

QROPS

Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes are beneficial for people who want to transfer their pension away from the UK. There are many reasons why this could be the best option for a pension.

The benefits are similar to that of a SIPP but removing it from the UK has the potential to mitigate taxes (subject to where you are resident) and ensure that growth above the lifetime allowance is not subject to additional tax.

DEFINED BENEFIT TRANSFERS

Final salary pensions (otherwise known as defined benefits) were once seen as ‘gold-plated’ and the surest way to guarantee yourself a consistent income in retirement.

In recent years thousands of people have decided to transfer their pensions for a generous transfer value and have more control over their own pension.

There are several reasons why transferring your defined benefit pension could be the right thing to do. Transferring cannot be done without specialist advice that we can provide.

TRACING YOUR UK STATE PENSION

Are you in the dark about your UK state pension? Confused about how the NEW UK state pension works? This article helps you to understand the contributions you’ve made, when you’ll start receiving your state pension and how to receive the full UK state pension.

Have you left, or are you leaving, the UK with £1,000,000 in pensions?

Many professionals – both British and other nationalities – leave the UK to continue their careers abroad with pension savings which could create an extra tax for them in retirement. As companies react to fears around Brexit, many professionals are being relocated...

What happens to my QROPS if I move back to the UK?

If you have left the UK and been advised to transfer your pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) but now intend to return to the UK then you need to consider how this pension will now be treated. While many expats and professionals who...

QROPS CASE STUDY #1 – Mr Green: expat in Italy with a Guernsey QROPS

Background Mr Green approached us early this year concerned about the fact that in the 8 years since transferring four UK pensions to a Guernsey-based QROPS he has achieved zero growth and has concern over repaying a loan that was taken out. In 2011 four schemes...

QROPS CASE STUDY #2 – Mr Rossi, Italian back in Italy after working in UK, Malta QROPS

Background Mr Rossi is an Italian citizen but worked in London for several years before returning home. He was approached by a large international financial advisory based in Milan and strongly persuaded that he would be better off if he transferred his UK pension to...

QROPS CASE STUDY #3 – Mrs White, British expat in Italy, STM Malta QROPS

Mrs White is a professional from the UK. She is in her mind-40s and has been living in Milan for several years. She was approached by a large offshore financial advisory group with offices in Milan. They convinced her that her UK pension would be better if it was...

QROPS MYTH #1 – Your pension is at risk if you leave it in the UK

What risks? Brexit? Tax? Schemes going bust? What risks have you been told about? The only risk is believing someone who is giving you advice that is biased in their favour. If someone is going to profit from helping you to transfer your pension overseas then you...

QROPS MYTH #2 – You need an insurance bond

When it comes to QROPS there are a few ways of administering the investments – although most people are only ever presented with one option. As the QROPS trustees are not set up to provide this service (they merely provide the legal structure and fulfil normal...

QROPS MYTH #3 – Your UK scheme is going to go bust

It’s true that there have been many high profile defined benefit pensions that have gone bust in recent years. The fundamental principle of the way that defined benefit pensions are structured can indeed sound like a risk. A defined benefit pension will promise to...

QROPS MYTH #4 – You’ll be able to access your pension sooner if you transfer it

This is not such a common myth nowadays but in the early days of QROPS there were many advisors going around the world ‘pension busting’ and either helping people to access their pension sooner by either transferring to a jurisdiction that allowed access from a...

QROPS MYTH #5 – QROPS are ‘approved by HMRC’

HMRC do not approve anything! It is not their function. Their purpose, as stated on the website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs is: “We are the UK’s tax, payments and customs authority, and we have a vital purpose: we collect the...

QROPS MYTH #6 – You need to keep a large proportion in cash

Any investment portfolio should always contain a small proportion of cash but by small we mean around 2-3%. If your pension has a cash account of somewhere around 10% then you might want to question whether this money really exists. Consider it this way, pensions are...

QROPS MYTH #7 – Structured notes are suitable investments

A consequence of transferring your pension away from the UK opens you to the risk that your funds will be placed into investments that would not be allowed if it was still under the watch of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. There have been many cases of...

QROPS MYTH #8 – If you leave your pensions in the UK you’ll have to pay income tax

We often hear the argument that Malta is a superior home for your pension as it has double taxation agreements (DTAs) with numerous countries meaning that regardless of where you retire you won’t pay tax at source but only in Malta. It is certainly true that...

QROPS MYTH #9 – Brexit will affect your pension

Let’s look at this realistically. If you’re an expat in Spain, for example, and the UK leaves the EU do you really think that your UK-based pension provider will be unable to make a payment to you now that you are not an EU resident? Is this not already the case...

What happens to my QROPS if I move back to the UK?

If you have left the UK and been advised to transfer your pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) but now intend to return to the UK then you need to consider how this pension will now be treated. While many expats and professionals who have...

TRACING YOUR UK STATE PENSION

Are you in the dark about your UK state pension? Confused about how the NEW UK state pension works? This article helps you to understand the contributions you've made, when you'll start receiving your state pension and how to receive the full UK state pension.

FREE UK Pension Consultation

We’ve helped countless expats and international professionals with their UK pensions. Through a free consultation we can help you to understand several key matters:

  • The general landscape with regards to UK and international  pension legislation.
  • How Brexit could impact your UK pensions.
  • The terms and conditions that apply to your current scheme.
  • The solvency of your final salary scheme provider.
  • The tax implications for you in your  intended country of  retirement.
  • The pros and cons of final salary schemes.
  • The likely transfer value of a final salary scheme.
  • How to manage your pensions as part of a wider financial plan that considers income in retirement and inheritance for your loved ones.
  • What you can and can’t do by transferring your pension to a SIPP or QROPS.

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