Now there is possible relief in sight. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is poised to clamp down on greedy managers by insisting they cannot charge more than one per cent of the value of the pot, but the change will not come into force until next March at the earliest.
So, anyone cashing in or transferring out of their pension today could still have their pocket picked. The move will make it easier for people to drop their pension if they are getting a poor deal or make full use of their new pension freedoms to cash in their pot without penalty.
Before you take any action on your pension you should seek advice from a financial adviser to see how you may be affected. This could help you avoid the pitfalls of being overcharged for moving your money to a better position. You will also receive advice on the most tax-efficient position you can achieve. A simple review will also allow you to compare the benefits you are likely to receive from your current plan and the other options that are available to you.
A luxury property in the Canary Islands is up for sale. No, this doesn’t sound like news, but there’s an important and unusual detail: the five-bedroom villa in the lofty hills of La Caleta, Tenerife, is being sold for 525 Bitcoins (approximately €3.2 million).
But why would someone exchange a near 2,700 square metre plot, comprised of house, swimming pool, gardens, Atlantic views and palm-lined outdoor eating area, for a “virtual currency”?
We have long been told that Bitcoin is a bubble that’s going to burst, so surely exchanging such a valuable asset for an unstable and unregulated “pseudo currency” is financial madness of the most extreme kind. There are certainly detractors of the currency, such as Warren Buffet, who would argue this point. Perhaps the vendor’s expat financial advisers in the Canary Islands should reach straight for the phone to dissuade him from such a move?
Receiving independent, regulated financial advice on an expat retirement transfer is essential for any person who is considering the possibility of converting their existing pension scheme into a QROPS or SIPPS.
However, analysis by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reveal worrying trends.
In 2018, the FCA published research findings showing that during the 12-month survey period 91% of UK adults did not obtain regulated financial advice.*