Pension Freedom and the Expat Community – A Potential Minefield Awaits

Apr 7, 2015 | Retirement Planning

Will you be able to Drawdown your Money Come April 2015?

Pension Freedom has been much discussed of late. The ability to drawdown your pension as and when you want to is sizzling the pot of ideas nicely. In theory you could use the money, the first 25% of which will be at a tax free rate, to fund your children’s university fees. May be pay for that dream holiday, or simply to live a good lifestyle.

The only downside to all of this is whether your pension provider is going to let you do it.

New research by Xafinity discovered only 2% of providers were planning to let their members have full access to their pension under the new regulations. This problem might be exacerbated if you are an expat.

Although in theory your pension provider can remit payments to you regardless of where you are in the world, it is believed that most will insist you have a UK bank account.

Hargreaves Lansdown’s Tom McPhail highlighted this fact:

“In principle, your pensions provider can remit payments to you wherever you are in the world, but in practice most will ask you to have a UK bank account,” he said.

“The other thing to watch for, if you are not resident in the UK for tax purposes, is that HMRC could use an emergency tax code and you will have to go through the rigmarole of getting the money back from HMRC.”

Traditional Problems of Accessing Pensions still Present for Expat

As well as the tax implications of expat pensions, accessing your UK pension pot can be problematic due to exchange rates. The Euro is down against the pound, and has fallen by 5p in the last four months. Other currencies fluctuate, and you will probably have to pay some kind of exchange rate. For this reason Qprops are still a good option.

Pension Freedom Providers

A major aspect which has come to light where Pension Freedom providers are concerned is that many are simply not ready to offer the full range of options that the new regulation promises. This can be a massive headache for you to say the least, especially if you had plans for your money. The drawdown option is the area affected the most.

Financial Advise

Expats and Pension Freedom will no doubt cause plenty of sleepless nights. Your plans might have to change entirely due to a number of factors highlighted here. To this end as a highly experienced financial adviser and an expat myself, I can help you make the most of the situation, and make your money go further through expert wealth management.

Click here and complete the Call Back Service form. I can look at your existing assets and pension arrangements, and then come up with options to provide you with a good and sound retirement plan.

Getting your hands on your pension- Daily Telegraph
Question marks over pension freedom for expats – Daily Telegraph

For more information, please contact Michele Carby at Holborn Asset Management on +971 50 618 6463 and on e-mail at [email protected]


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