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FAQ – Should I Worry About Lifetime Allowance?

For an illustration of just how powerful compound interest can be, consider how much a pension can grow with just 5% net growth a year:

  • £200,000 fund from age 30 = £1,100,000 at age 65
  • £300,000 from age 40 = £1,015,000 at age 65
  • £500,000 from age 50 = £1,039,000 at age 65

Increasing numbers of retirement savers are being caught out by LTA. The Lifetime Allowance used to be £1.8m; for most people In 2019/20 it is £1,055,000 and 2016-17 saw a 2,100% increase in the government’s LTA tax take, when compared to 2006-07, with any savings above the LTA threshold subject to 55% at the point of cashing out.*

However, it is worth remembering that paying the LTA tax is not always a bad thing. In some cases, retirement savers may only attract the tax because they have succeeded in saving more for their retirement than they had originally planned. The fact is, if you find yourself surprised by the LTA, you have done well: if you had put the money into a savings account or stuffed it under a mattress, you would not have a sum that exceeds the threshold. But luckily, if you keep track of your pension funds, there are ways to plan for the LTA.

Planning for the Lifetime Allowance

Just as the best way to build for a wealthy retirement is to plan and save early, the best way to minimise the impact of the LTA on your pension fund is to take action at the earliest possible opportunity.

Keep a close eye on your possible exposure to the LTA and if you find you are edging close to the limit, you can consider ending your contributions, reducing them or channelling your money into alternative and more tax-efficient investments. For some, early retirement may a be a reasonable way to avoid LTA charges. It is advisable to sit down with your expat financial adviser to consider crystallisation events and the possibility of overseas pension transfers – for example into a QROPS or SIPP.

Expat Pension Planning with Blacktower FM

Blacktower Financial Management’s expat financial advisers can help with all aspects of cross-border wealth management, including pension planning for the LTA, overseas transfers and inheritance planning.

Contact us today for more information about how we may be able to help you make the most of your retirement accounts and cross-border financial situation.

Disclaimer: Blacktower Financial Management is not a tax adviser and independent tax advice should be sought. The above does not constitute advice and Blacktower makes no recommendation as to the suitability of any products or transactions mentioned..

* https://www.investorschronicle.co.uk/managing-your-money/2018/04/26/avoid-falling-foul-of-the-pensions-lifetime-allowance/

This communication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, investment recommendations or investment research. You should seek advice from a professional adviser before embarking on any financial planning activity. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information contained in this communication is correct, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions.

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FCA Publishes Retirement Transfer Data

There are few, if any, financial decisions as important as deciding what to do with your pension. Nowadays there are so many choices, but the factors that influence the path you choose are complex and should only ever be undertaken in full knowledge of the various options available as well as their many implications.

For example, significant numbers of UK citizens abroad are likely to benefit from an expat retirement transfer, but converting a defined benefit (DB) scheme into a QROPS or SIPP should never be undertaken without reliable and impartial advice that takes full account of the retirement saver’s circumstances.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find an expat financial adviser who understands all the regulatory and cross-border wealth planning issues at stake.

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