LIVING IN GREECE WITH UK PENSIONS?
UK Pension Transfer Advice for Expatriates in Greece
The consideration of a transfer to a SIPP or QROPS may be worthwhile for those who seek the following:
Flexibility and Access to 100% of your pension assets
By transferring UK pension assets into a SIPP or QROPS one has access to 100% of these assets whenever is so desired (please note, ordinarily there is a minimum age of 55).
Many Defined Contribution UK schemes are unable to entertain 'flexible drawdown' as brought about by George Osborne in 2015 (meaning that pension assets are tied up for gradual specified withdrawals over time) whilst Defined Benefit (final salary) schemes don’t allow for this at all (perhaps except in the case of terminal illness).
Avoidance of scheme deficits
Increasingly, more and more UK Defined Benefit (Final salary) pension schemes are facing deficits. Regardless or size, or stature, many companies have been struggling to maintain the full value of their pension funds, while a number of schemes have disappeared altogether.
For some, the option to safeguard against future widening deficits of their pension scheme may be achieved via the transfer of their pension assets to either a QROPS or SIPP.
Avoidance of Currency fluctuations
Typically, UK pensions will be valued in GBP, however money within a SIPP or QROPS may be held in several currencies. This can be of particular advantage if one plans to utilise their pension monies outside of the UK, and is a very relevant consideration for those residing in Europe as well as many other parts of the world.
Understandably, should you be a resident of Greece, the desire to protect your pension monies via diversification across multiple key currencies can help bring about peace of mind over uncertainty as to future currency movements, or the depreciation of the pound sterling.
Don’t let un-necessary taxes erode your pension income. You adviser will help you ascertain as to which scheme and jurisdiction will offer the most tax-efficiency.
100% of assets passed on to your loved ones
Passing on wealth to our loved ones is a principle objective in financial planning for many of us.
Many employer-based schemes (and final salary schemes etc.) only offer a portion of remaining benefits to loved ones – as a rule of thumb 50%-70% to your surviving spouse, and 0% to non-dependent children. This essentially means that you, and your loved ones, are not gaining access to the full value of what is rightfully your money, and their inheritance.
Transferring, and holding, our pension assets within a QROPS or SIPP is one simple way to ensure that out loved ones receive 100% of our remaining pension assets upon our death.
Low-interest rates = Great Time to transfer
We are currently in a climate of very generous transfer values!
Should you possess a Defined Benefit (final salary) pension, then you should consider very carefully before giving up the so-called ‘guaranteed benefits for life’.
However, should holding on to the scheme not be in your best interests, and a transfer-out is in your considerations, then you may want to act fairly swiftly as many industry experts believe that such large offers in Defined Benefit transfer values will not last, indeed some schemes have already stopped members’ transfers altogether.
Defined benefit schemes https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45337385
Clarity and consolidation of multiple schemes
Living in Greece and holding a single UK pension could be frustrating at times, and un-clear.
Though holding multiple pension schemes could become a logistical nightmare!
Many of our clients have accumulated their pension assets via different schemes as they have changed jobs or worked for different employers throughout their career. This is in fact quite common place.
Consolidation of one’s overall pensions into one scheme can provide far greater clarity and peace of mind – and if it’s the peacefulness and stress-free nature of a life in Greece that appeals to you, then join many of those who have taken positive steps in consolidating their pensions by transferring in to one cost-effective and advantageous scheme.
Where would the transfer be to? (and is it safe to do so?)
First and foremost, one is only permitted to transfer their UK pension to an alternative pension scheme which satisfies UK Government recognition and approval.
The likes of SIPP's and QROPS are both effective and popular solutions for the vast majority of people over leaving their UK pension assets where they are in - corporate or personal-based schemes.
SIPP's are held within the UK under UK regulation, though crucially offer a guarantee of 100% access and flexibility over withdrawal options.
A SIPP may be typically be preferred to an existing scheme given its access and flexibility, and furthermore there can be tax advantages for those residing overseas. If considering a transfer of a UK pension into a SIPP, it is worth looking into any Double Taxation Agreements (DTA's) which might exist between the UK and your chosen country of residence.
QROPS are available via several offshore locations such as the Isle of Man, Malta,
and Gibraltar and so forth. And again DTA’s are an important consideration.
As a resident of Greece, we will help you determine which jurisdiction is the most appropriate and advantageous for you in terms of your UK pension transfer.
Your adviser at Specialty Advice Ltd will help you to compare the best options which are available to you so that you arrive at an informed decision.
Get in touch today with our qualified and friendly advisers
Specialty Advice Ltd, is committed to helping protect the public from pension scams.
The transfer of your pension should always be considered carefully. Ensure that you receive all relevant information prior to a transfer, so that you may arrive at an informed decision.
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