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 Much of the information found online was once correct, but has been superseded by more recent legislation, but has been left online.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.

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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

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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

QROPS News Round-up!

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QROPS newsGibraltar, one of the stalwarts of the global Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) industry, has a new trustee offering. Corinthian Pension Trustees has received a license from the jurisdiction’s Financial Services Commission. This means that they will be able to provide trusteeship to pension schemes in Gibraltar.

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The HMRC and QROPS: A Brief History

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QROPS HistoryThe HMRC’s QROPS rules have helped many people get tax efficient access to their UK pension pots since it was introduced in 2006, but it hasn’t exactly been an easy ride.

This is in no small part due to various complications in the way that QROPS has been rolled out across the world’s various tax regimes, legal disputes lodged against the HMRC on behalf of disgruntled pension holders and numerous alterations to the legislation that makes these schemes possible.

Here we take a quick look at the history of QROPS and the key events which have brought us to the current state of affairs. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it does give a sense of how rapidly QROPS legislation and management have changed over the last 8 years. Read More

Final Salary Pension Schemes and QROPS – Should You Transfer?

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QROPS coins
Since George Osborne’s 2014 Budget announcements regarding UK pensions there has been much discussion around the impact on pension transfers and QROPS.

QROPSreview has previously reported that many of the announced changes have actually been in place since 2006. However, much of the pension flexibility that has got many people excited will not apply to those with final salary pension schemes.

Final salary pension schemes are a type of ‘defined benefit’ scheme where you are promised a certain income in retirement. The amount received is based on a range of factors including; length of time served, your final pensionable salary and the scheme’s particular accrual rate.

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QROPS Industry Unfazed By Osborne’s Tinkering

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George OsborneEvery time the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer rises to his feet to give his now biannual statement to the House of Commons the media clamours over itself to hail some major change or other.

Indeed, the politicians also like to make us all believe that they have come up with some bold new policy that will change our lives for ever more.

In reality though, changes to the UK system of financial rules and regulations plot a slow and methodical course. And it does so for a very simple reason: a properly functioning economy must have stability and predictability. Read More

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