News & Insights

Expats expected to seek HMRC QROPS transfers amid Brexit uncertainty

That said, there is certainly no harm in thinking about QROPS now, particularly in light of the spiralling pound and the need to consider the impact on foreign currency exchange rates – British expats should take whatever steps are necessary to preserve both their spending power and their existing retirement financial plans. And for those who have been thinking about becoming expats, with the future of freedom of movement in doubt, now is the time to do it – whether you are thinking of moving to Spain, France, Portugal or elsewhere in the EU.

One thing is for certain; with the economic uncertainty created by Brexit there is likely to be a both a massive surge in expat numbers and a dramatically increased demand for HMRC QROPS. This is because QROPS provides an opportunity for expats to transfer their pensions to a reliable and secure scheme outside of the UK but in English. QROPS investors also benefit from flexible investment opportunities, flexible taxation options and the, current, ability to withdraw a lump sum of up to 30%.

Other News

Savings important to expats on frozen pensions

Although having solid expat regular savings is important no matter what the financial climate, it is good to see that recent efforts by campaigners to end the freeze on state pensions currently endured by more than half a million retired expats abroad may be gaining momentum.

As it stands around 550,000 retired Brits abroad have to rely on their expat regular savings to top up a state pension which was frozen at £67.50 a week; nearly a full £40 less than the sum received by other pensioners.

The unfairness of their situation is compounded by the fact that the Government has struck individual deals with certain nations ensuring the full, unfrozen pension, but has left the expat residents of another 150 countries stuck with the year 2000-level pension.

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Defined benefit schemes – a ‘ticking time bomb’?

Following the news that no new buyer was interested in BHS and its £571 million pension deficit, a number of our clients with a working history in BHS got in touch with us to find out their position and options with regards to their future pensions. Unfortunately, it was too late as the window had closed. The BHS scheme got into the Pension Protection Fund, a statutory fund in the U.K., intended to protect pensioners if their pension fund becomes insolvent. What this means is that they are now locked in without any possibility of looking at alternatives and transferring out. For deferred members, this means a potential reduction in pension income as the PPF only compensates 90% of the income up to a certain cap.

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