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ABI and FCA Highlight Pensions Advice Shortfall

More recently, the ABI revealed their research** showing only one-third of retirement savers who are utilising new pension freedoms in order to access their pension savings are taking independent financial advice before doing so. This should be a cause for significant concern as, alongside real estate property, a pension is often the most valuable asset owned by the over 55s.

In an official ABI press release, the organisation’s Director of Long-Terms Savings Policy, Yvonne Braun, commented, “Pension freedoms gave consumers many more options and flexibility in their retirement, but with greater choice comes greater risks. To see levels of advice hitting new lows is disturbing and risks leaving thousands of elderly consumers facing poverty later on in their retirement.” ***

Braun went on to say that new problems require new solutions, and the ABI sees the empowerment of consumers to make the right decisions as a priority. Hence, the ABI has published two documents focused on raising awareness: awareness of pre-retirement risk warnings at certain ages and communication techniques for employers and pension providers

Saving on financial advice likely to prove a false economy

The ABI found that around 62,000 savers withdrew cash (via drawdown) from their pensions for the first time during a six-month period in 2018; however, given that 34%** did this without taking any financial advice many of these consumers could unwittingly be jeopardising their retirement plans.

It is thought that a large proportion of pension savers forego advice because of a perception that it might prove prohibitively costly. This is likely to prove a false economy. The ABI reports that the average pension pot size reached a record high last year of £120,000**; if savers are to ensure they have sufficient cash flow in retirement, they are likely to be best-served by ensuring they have the guidance of a regulated and independent financial adviser in relation to the management of their pension fund.

Blacktower Financial Management, for Expat Retirement Transfers

Blacktower Financial Management works for its expat clients from offices right across Europe, including in Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands.

Our advisers can help with the full spectrum of cross-border wealth management concerns, including pensions. If you would like to consider the possibility of an expat retirement transfer and to evaluate whether a QROPS or SIPP is suitable for your circumstances, contact us today for more information.

 

* FCA FAMR interim consumer research report https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/research/famr-interim-consumer-research-report-2018.pdf Accessed 14-06-19

**Analysis based on ABI six-monthly retirement income data collected from members.

*** https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2019/05/tens-of-thousands-entering-retirement-without-ever-taking-advice-each-year-abi-warns/ Accessed 14/06/19

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.

Other News

Modelo 720 (Overseas Asset Declaration) It’s that time of year again

Spanish FlagIf you are resident in Spain (if you live here more than 183 days in a calendar year, the Spanish tax authorities and in turn the UK HMRC will class you as Spanish resident) and held assets outside Spain as at 29 December 2017 worth over Euro 50,000, and you haven’t already declared them on a Modelo 720, you need to so by the end of March.

You may ask why should you bother, well unless you want a huge fine and possibly tax audit (they can legally go back to 2012) it is in your best interests to do it.

Some of you may still be under the impression that the reporting of assets is not a legal requirement; if this is the case then sadly I have to tell you, you are mistaken. On 15 February 2017, the European Commission accepted that Spain has the right to require residents to declare overseas assets. While the Commission disagrees with the severity of punishments for late or inaccurate submissions, the requirement to submit the Modelo 720 form is not under challenge. The EU and the UK say it is a legal requirement.

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Expats can appeal EU Referendum Act decision

Ballot BoxGood news for British expats who are hoping to prove that the EU Referendum Act 2015 unfairly discriminates against them and their decision to exercise their right to freedom of movement in the EU; they have won the right to launch an urgent appeal against the decision to not grant them a vote in the European Union referendum.

The move comes after Lord Justice Lloyd Jones, sitting with Mr Justice Blake at the High Court in London, earlier ruled that section 2 of the Act did not restrict their rights.

The appeal, which is being led by two British expats, is motivated by a desire to prevent Brexit; an event which would unduly affect the lives of the two million British expats who, should Britain leave the EU, face the possibility of having their lives severely disrupted, together with their plans for their expat regular savings. In fact, according to lawyers representing the expats, they face becoming “resident aliens”.

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