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QROPS works for expats in France

Given all the talk and acceptance of QROPS transfers, expats in France could be forgiven for forgetting that there was ever a time when they were short of options.

But it’s worth remembering that before QROPS transfers became available, expats in France and elsewhere in Europe had very few choices available to them when it came to deciding what to do with their UK-based pensions. For many it was a horrible and disempowering situation that, in some cases, resulted in poor decisions and traumatic financial losses.

Fortunately, the introduction of new laws has addressed this fraught area of the law, and the willingness of the government to incorporate QROPS transfer pensions within the remit of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has produced a win-win situation for all interested parties, particularly those who benefit from the tax-efficiency of QROPS. QROPS has changed everything.

But the benefits are not only about tax efficiency. QROPS can be based in jurisdictions which allow far greater flexibility than similar pension plans in the UK. For example, savers can retain real control of their pension assets, including the ability to pass them on to family at the time of death. They also benefit from greater currency control and significant structural flexibility.

For those who remember the darker pre-QROPS days, it should be a thing of wonder that they are now able to have such autonomy when it comes to wealth management, succession and estate planning. There really are very few vehicles that have been so successful in helping hard working people ensure the smooth transition of wealth to loved ones and dependants.

However, it is worth remembering that all products are suitable for all people and, depending on your circumstances, there may be additional or supplementary wealth management strategies that are more suited to your needs. Speaking with an experienced international financial advisor with a track record in retirement planning and QROPS is likely to be critical.

Other News

Proving Residency and Identity for UK Expats Following Brexit

Passport and BrexitAs it stands, EU citizens living in the UK are required to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, which confirms that they are a settled resident of the UK. This has raised concern for many expats, and those living and working in the EU, about how they will be able to prove their identity and claim residency abroad if a no-deal Brexit goes ahead.

In the meantime, a useful resource for expats is the Gov.UK website where you can set up email alerts regarding Brexit updates and find out country-specific information about living and working abroad.

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Income tax rise for British expats

moneyUnder new plans proposed by the Government, and included in Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Statement, British expatriates with offshore pensions will face a higher income tax rate.

The plans say that those with QROPS (qualifying registered overseas pension schemes) will be subject to the same tax treatment as those with UK pensions, meaning that they will pay 100 per cent instead of their current 90 per cent. There will also be further measures taken to make setting up a QROPS more complex in the future.

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