Are you planning on retiring in France or Luxembourg but have a pension in the UK?
Look no further than this article as we guide you through your options. Pensions are a pinnacle part of your retirement plan but can be a complex topic for British expatriates with rules frequently changing, so always consult with your financial adviser when deciding which plan best suits your needs.
First off, you can leave your pension as is in your existing UK pension scheme if you want. However, with the Brexit decision, you should check with your UK financial adviser and make sure they can still support you. If you want to move your funds to an international pension plan, then your best options may be opening a QROPS or SIPP account.
QROPS (Qualified Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme) allows foreign nationals who have worked in Britain to transfer their UK pensions overseas.
- Expatriates can avoid various restrictions imposed by the UK when taking retirement benefits
- HMRC allows individuals to access 100% their pension fund after the age of 55. However, it may not be advisable to do so as it can result in higher taxes on withdrawals. It is potentially better to draw the funds periodically in a more tax-efficient manner
- There’s no compulsory annuity purchase
- Reduction in currency risk because QROPS allows you to invest and take benefits in a currency of your choice
- QROPS gives you more freedom to select a portfolio suited to your needs because it offers a more extensive range of investment options
SIPP (International Self-Invested Personal Pension) enables someone access to greater investment choices because it is a personal pension plan based on making your own decisions. However, the pension structure is based in the UK so it’s subject to any legislative changes made by the UK government.
Benefits include, but are not limited to:
- An international SIPP can provide a regular or variable income
- No obligation to purchase an annuity
- They provide greater flexibility regarding investments, tax benefits, and currency choices
- Ideal way to consolidate various personal pensions, which reduces administrative complications
- If you plan on moving back to the UK this option may be most suitable for you