July 2014 - QROPS Review

Huge update to HMRC QROPS List Sees Deletion of 118 Schemes

Posted by | Offshore, Pensions | No Comments

HMRC QROPS listThe HMRC list of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) was updated on 15th July with a record number of QROPS having been deleted.

HMRC’s list represents all overseas pension schemes that have told the UK authorities that they meet the conditions necessary to be a QROPS.

QROPSreview.com has previously reported on HMRC’s list and explained how it should be treated with some caution and should never be used as a guide as to which QROPS would be a good destination for a pension transfer.

The most recent changes have seen a total of 118 schemes removed from the list. Read More

Osborne releases clarification of new pension regime

Posted by | Pensions | No Comments

Chancellor discusses qropsQROPSreview.com has previously reported on the new pension rules proposed by George Osborne in his March 2014 Budget Statement. Much of the media was left scrambling to detail this so called hammerblow to the status quo. Many column inches were filled celebrating the end of the annuity.

As we explained, the reality was a little more mundane than the tabloids might have had you believe.

Now, four sobering months and an industry consultation later, the Chancellor has released updated guidance on what the new rules will mean in practise. He also took the opportunity to outline some of the new pieces of legislation which he feels will be needed.

It is probably a good idea to begin with the changes to the annuity rules. The current 10 year limit to annuity guarantees (whereby certain annuities will continue to pay out to a spouse in the event of death within the specified term) will be lifted, though likely not abolished. Read More

QROPS – Should I trust HMRC’s list?

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QROPS confusionPensions transfers for people who are thinking about leaving or have already left the UK are often advised – they can carry huge benefits in terms of tax advantages, relaxed rules, leaving your pension to your heirs and more. However, because the QROPS are all outside of the UK, it can be a murky and confusing world.

One of the first steps that most people take is to go online and do some preliminary research on the internet. This can be a mistake. Much of the information found online was once correct, but has been superseded by more recent legislation, but has been left online. This, combined with more recent articles can only serve to confuse.

One prominent IFA company we spoke to says that a lot of his clients approach the QROPS list on the HMRC website and attempt to contact random QROPS on the list. This can have some amusing consequences. Read More

New Expat Mortgages Available – But is Property the Right Investment For You?

Posted by | Banking, Finance, Offshore, Savings | No Comments

expat mortgageOver the last 30 years, the London property market has garnered near mythical status among investors. In spite of the worst economic slowdown for at least 70 years, house prices in the South East have proven surprisingly resilient.

However, expats wanting to invest in property in the UK’s capital have often found it hard to secure the buy-to-let mortgages that they need. While it certainly used to be somewhat easier, a lot of lenders exited the market during the downturn in the face of a broad based credit squeeze.

Now there is a new entrant promising to fulfill the latent demand from expats looking for an investment return from the UK property market. Read More

Sainsbury’s Pension Woes May Hit Commercial Performance

Posted by | Pensions, Savings | No Comments

Sainsbury's pension schemeMost people have a defined contribution (also known as money purchase) pension scheme where the saver will contribute to a pot of money that will be used to provide an income in retirement. However, there are other schemes which can be referred to as defined benefit or final salary schemes.

This form of scheme is almost always an occupational pension scheme, funded through employer and employee contributions. However the pension saver does not have their own, allocated account.

Rather, there is a formula which states what their pension is likely to be on retirement, normally linked to a percentage of the last salary they’ll earn, combined with how long they’ve worked for their company. Traditionally, these schemes were seen as very safe.

But new research suggests that one such final salary scheme, that of FTSE 100 retailer J Sainsbury, may be dangerously underfunded to the point where it may harm the supermarket’s long term performance in Britain’s grocery price war.

Read More

Expat Brits in the Eurozone See Big Rise in Value of State Pension

Posted by | Finance, Offshore, Pensions | No Comments

pensionNew research from insurance giant Prudential reveals that British expat pensioners living in the Eurozone have seen a large rise in the buying power of their UK state pension. This is due to an improved pound to euro exchange rate.

The research shows that UK pensioners living in the Eurozone enjoy an income from the state pension equivalent to €7,344.44, an increase of €661.24 since the same time last year.

Twenty-six percent of the increase was put down to a rise in the basic state pension from £110.15 a week to £113.10 a week announced by George Osborne in his April 2014 Budget. Read More

QROPS transfer how to

How to QROPS

Posted by | Offshore, Pensions | No Comments

As has often been reported in QROPS Review, interest in transferring UK pensions overseas has never been stronger.

However, despite QROPS becoming a more and more common solution for UK pension holders who are no longer in the UK, there still remains a certain degree of confusion around the process involved.

At QROPS Review, we’ve put together a handy infographic that we hope will explain what is involved in moving a UK pension overseas. Read More

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