UK Pension Transfer Advice for Expatriates in Canada

Make sure you get the most from your pension assets in the UK !!

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

            And even if you are not sure, then we can help you. We have helped a great number of expatriates worldwide to secure the best arrangement for their UK pensions by offering pension transfer and financial advice:

High current Transfer Values

In 2018 the pensions regulator commented on transfer values being “Too Generous”.  Given the current climate of low-interest rates, and the increasing burdens of final-salary schemes on employers, current pension transfer values for expatriates tend to be very generous. If you possess a Defined Benefit (final salary) pension then you should consider carefully before giving up the so-called ‘guaranteed benefits for life’.  However, should holding on to the scheme not be in your best interests for such reasons as below, and transferring out your UK pension is among your considerations - then you may want to act swiftly and seek financial advice 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

100% of assets passed on to your loved ones

Many UK pension schemes and final salary schemes only offer a portion of your remaining benefits to loved ones.Typically, only 50% - 70% of remaining benefits may be passable to your spouse, whilst 0% are payable to non-dependent children. This loss of assets essentially means that you are not receiving the true value of your entire pension fund - money that you have worked hard for, and is rightfully yours! As an expatriate, A SIPP or QROPS pension transfer will enable you to draw out your pension as you wish whilst living in Canada, though crucially any assets which are not used during your lifetime may be passed-on in full to your loved ones!

Avoidance of Currency fluctuations

Is having your pension fund denominated in pound sterling the best arrangement for your current circumstances? most UK schemes can only be valued in GBP. If currently residing in Canada, you may feel uneasy about the fact that your entire pension is valued in pound sterling – especially given BREXIT. Current expenditure, and future uncertainty, may further devalue the pound, and indeed your hard-earned pension fund. Why not talk to us today about a SIPP or QROPS pension transfer and how this could help you to achieve currency diversification in order to secure your pension fund?

Get the taxes right! Don’t pay too much

For many UK pensioners or expatriates living outside of the UK, they often struggle to understand their tax position. Indeed, unnecessary taxes erode pension income. Prior to drawing any pension from the UK, we can offer financial advice on pension transfers to expatriates which will enable you to fully understand your tax position in Canada since there may be certain tax-reliefs that apply to you. When considering their options, and whether or not to transfer to the likes of a SIPP or QROPS, we help expatriates to understand their tax position, and how there may be ways to achieve tax-efficiency in drawing pension benefits whilst residing in Canada.

Flexibility and 100% access

UK pension transfer options include Sipp’s and QROPS. Sipp’s and QROPS. By transferring UK pension assets into a SIPP or certain QROPS one has access to 100% of these assets whenever so desired (subject to a minimum age of 55). This freedom of access essentially enables greater lump sums, higher levels of income (within the value of your scheme), or indeed access to the entire fund. Whether you wish to leave a pension in place, and draw lumps sums and income as you wish, or take the entire fund in one go, the flexibility exists enabling you to take control of your money. In the UK, many Defined Contribution schemes are simply unable to entertain 'flexible drawdown' as brought about by George Osborne in 2015 (meaning that pension assets are tied up for gradual withdrawals over time), whilst Defined Benefit (final salary) schemes don’t allow for this at all (perhaps exceptions occurring in the case of terminal illness).  Should you seek flexibility – then why not talk to us, and we can offer independent financial advice to help you examine your options, and to weigh up the pros and cons of a potential pension transfer?

Scheme deficits – You may be losing money

Increasingly, it is becoming more and more commonplace for UK Defined Benefit (Final salary) pension schemes to fall in to deficit.

Such is the problem, that many schemes do not ever fully recover, whilst others result in failure of a pension fund to exist at all!

A deficit basically means, a fall in the value the group pension fund. In turn, this results in the reduction of your share in the remaining pension money available. 

SIPP's and QROPS eliminate the risk of any future group pension scheme deficit.

Do you know if your current UK pension is in deficit?

More than one UK pension?

It’s commonplace for people to hold more than one UK pension scheme. If you are an expatriate residing in Canada, this could prove rather difficult logistically – and even expensive. In terms of the overall benefits that you may seek form your various pensions, such as flexibility, security, tax-efficiency and peace of mind, consolidation of your current multiple pensions into a SIPP or QROPS may prove very advantageous. A pension transfer to consolidate multiple pension plans in to a QROPS or SIPP just may be the most effective way for expatriates to achieve their financial objectives via their pension, whilst also gaining simplicity and further ease of management.

Is transferring a UK pension safe / risk-free?

Popular options for pension transfers include SIPP's and QROPS.                                        SIPP's (Self-invested pension plans) are regulated, within the UK. A SIPP may be typically be preferred to an existing UK scheme given its access and flexibility, and furthermore there may be tax advantages for those residing overseas in countries such as Canada. For example, 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 Canada, or your chosen country of residence. QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) are available via several offshore location including the Isle of Man, Malta, and Gibraltar, and so forth. All of which must have gained UK 'recognition and approval'. At Speciality Advice, we can offer informed financial advice to expatriates designed to help you when considering whether a pension transfer to either a QROPS or SIPP is better for you. Your adviser will help you arrive at an informed decision about how best to proceed.
Our UK pension transfer page includes the following:
  1. At what age may I transfer my pension/s?
  2. A case study & the step-by-step process of a transfer
  3. What is a SIPP?
  4. What is a QROPS?
  5. After a pension transfer, how and where would my pension money be invested?
                        And other useful FAQ (Frequently asked Questions).


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                Tel: +44 (0) 1865 580883 (Oxford, UK).        [email protected]


Speciality 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.

Useful links:

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