LIVING IN CHINA?

UK Pension Transfer Advice for Expatriates in China

Make sure that you get the most from your UK pensions!

                                                 Having worked in the UK, or for a British company, you may have acquired UK pension assets.

       Are you currently living in China with no real knowledge or understanding of how to get the best from your UK pensions?

            Join the millions of people worldwide who have transferred their UK pension in to SIPP’s and QROPS for the following reasons:

Very Generous Transfer Values

“Too Generous” says the Pensions Regulator. We are currently in a climate of very generous transfer values. For Defined Benefit (final salary) schemes, the burden of offering ‘so-called’ benefits for life, combined with several years of historically low-interest rates, has generally resulted in higher than normal transfer values (CETV’s) for those wishing to transfer out.

Whilst one should always carefully consider giving up the so-called ‘guarantee of an income for life’, and that Defined Benefit schemes have traditionally been considered very valuable, high transfer values combined with the other associated benefits of transferring out presents interesting options for what to do with one’s pension assets!

It is, however, important to bear in mind that legislation changes rather quickly, and we have already seen changes as to general benefits in UK pension transfers over the last ten years, many industry experts also believe that such high transfer values as we have been experiencing of late won’t last.
Some schemes have already removed the option to transfer.

If one is considering the position of their UK pension/s, then the time to act is now!

Get in touch today. We can help you explore your options.

Defined benefit schemes https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45337385

Avoidance of Currency fluctuations

If residing in China, you may wish to consider the value of the Pound Sterling. The majority of UK pension schemes can only be valued in GBP whilst assets within a SIPP or QROPS can be held in numerous currencies.

This can be advantageous if retiring abroad, or simply looking to utilise your pension monies in the likes of China perhaps.

Via a SIPP or QROPS, you have the advantages of being able to diversify your pension fund across a number of currencies. In the case of China specifically, we see many clients opting to hold USD these days given the weak and relatively unstable GBP.

Pass on 100% of your wealth

Passing on wealth to loved ones is a key financial objective for many of us. However, many UK schemes only allow for reduced levels such as 50% to 70% to be passed on to a surviving spouse, whilst 0% are available to non-dependent children.

A transfer of your UK pension assets to a SIPP, or QROPS, entitles you to pass on 100% of remaining pension fund value to your loved ones.

Talk to us today!

Taxes on your pension/s

We can help you achieve tax-efficiency.The Trustees of your UK pension have a duty to ensure that taxes are taken at source, however they are unable to help you explore opportunities for tax relief and one countries taxing rights’ over that of another.

Often, UK pension holders living abroad suffer un-necessary taxes which erode their pension income.

Through the assistance and expertise of a qualified adviser at Speciality Advice Ltd, you can rest assured that your pension assets are domiciled in the most advantageous jurisdictions according to your circumstances and individual requirements.

You adviser will help you ascertain as to which type of scheme, and which jurisdiction, would be best for your pension transfer offering the highest levels of cost-effectiveness, flexibility / access / control, tax -efficiency and overall peace of mind.

Get in touch, talk to an adviser, today

Unlock access to 100% of your pension

The majority of UK pensions only offer specified, and limited, levels of lump sum and income. A key factor for many in the decision to transfer is the true flexibility and access brought about by transfers to SIPP’s or QROPS.

Upon transferring UK pension assets into a SIPP or QROPS one has access to 100% of these assets whenever so desired (please note, ordinarily there is a minimum age of 55).

The pension freedoms which were introduced by George Osborne in 2015 spoke of flexible drawdown and full access. Yet, in reality, many UK Defined Contribution schemes simply cannot put this in to practise, and pensioners remain subject to capped lump sums and gradual withdrawals over time in the form of income.

Defined Benefit (final salary) schemes do not allow for flexible drawdown at all (except perhaps in extreme circumstances such as illness).

No more scheme deficits

The words ‘pension deficit’ have become all too commonplace, and remain a very grave concern for UK pension holders. Deficits seems to have become a feature of many UK Defined Benefit (Final salary) pension schemes. Including some big names such as Carillion, BT, BAE and IAG …… and in the cases of Carillion the pension scheme has disappeared altogether!

One effective way in which to secure and protect the value of your pension assets is to transfer out of your current scheme in to the likes of a SIPP or QROPS. This eliminates any risks associated with future deficits, corporate insolvencies, and the winding up of schemes and so forth.

One overall pension vs multiple smaller schemes

Many people’s UK pension assets comprise of multiple schemes. The consolidation of these in to one cost-effective, tax-efficient, flexible and accessible scheme offers an attractive proposition, and brings peace of mind to those of us living abroad.

Trying to make sense of multiple UK pensions whilst living in China, and attempting to consider where they are best placed etc. could represent a logistical nightmare!

We can help you make sense of things, and explore your options...

Get in touch today

What are the risks of transferring your pension?

You are initially protected by the fact that a UK pension may only be transferred to an alternative pension scheme which satisfies UK Government recognition and approval.

SIPP’s and QROPS are popular choices for those transferring their UK pensions, whether from personal (Defined Contribution), or employee/final salary (Defined Benefit) schemes.

A SIPP (self-invested pension plan) is regulated in the UK, and offers key attractions including 100% access to funds, better known as ‘flexible drawdown’.

Your adviser will help you examine any DTA’s (Double Taxation Agreements) in place between China, or your place of residence, and the UK.

QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) are given their status via having UK Government Recognition.

Popular jurisdictions include offshore locations such as the Isle of Man, Malta, and Gibraltar and so forth.

Once again, DTA’s are an important consideration in the choice of jurisdiction when transferring.

Therefore, any potential associated risks come from the failure to choose the most advantageous alternative scheme, and the choice of funds/investments within the new plan.

Upon transfer, if choosing to take any lump sums and income but essentially leave the new pension in place (as opposed to taking everything at once), you have the choice of selecting your own investments, or alternatively we can help you put together a diversified portfolio utilising world-leading fund managers and investment houses, with a strategy based upon your individual requirements including levels of flexibility and a consideration of your attitude to risk

Please visit our Asset Management page for more information on investing and more info on SIPP’s and QROPS.
See our UK pension transfer page for the following:
  1. The process of a uk pension transfer
  2. A case study & step-by-step process of a transfer
  3. What is a SIPP?
  4. What is a QROPS?
  5. After transfer, how and where would my fund be invetsed?

   And other useful FAQ (Frequently asked Questions).

    Get in touch today !


Useful links:

https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/pension-scams 

Specialty Advice Ltd, is committed to helping protect the public from pension scams.

Always consider the transfer of your pension very carefully, and make sure that you understand all implications of transferring, including the associated costs, along with any potential risks.

Ensure that you are making an informed decision.

Proud members of the PFS:

 "acting with the highest ethical standards and integrity" and "acting in the best interests of each and every client"

http://www.thepfs.org/code