UK Pensions and QROPS Advice

For many expatriates, their pension income is the key to living the retirement lifestyle of their choice.

With the UK pension freedoms, you now have more options than ever for accessing your pension benefits. What you can do depends on what kind of pension you have – and it could be one of the most important financial decisions you make.

Blevins Franks offers specialist, personalised pensions advice to help you find the most suitable course of action for your individual circumstances and objectives.

Defined Contribution Pensions

If you have a defined contribution (‘money purchase’) pension, what you can take out depends on how much has been paid in over the lifetime of the fund. When you’re able to start accessing your pension, you could choose to:

  • Withdraw the whole amount as a lump sum and reinvest in a more tax-efficient arrangement
  • Take a regular income or withdrawals when it suits you with a flexible drawdown pension
  • Receive a secure regular retirement income through buying an annuity
  • Transfer into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) that may provide more benefits than your current scheme if you’re an expatriate

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS)

A QROPS can be a suitable way for expatriates to bring their pension with them when they relocate. However, it’s not necessarily the right approach for everyone and there are many variations on offer. You should also be wary of scams using QROPS as a way to defraud people out of their pension savings.

It’s vital to speak to a regulated adviser like Blevins Franks before you make any decisions. We’ll outline your full range of options, not only QROPS, to establish the best pension solution for your particular circumstances.

If you decide that a QROPS is right for you, we’ll help you find a suitable product and navigate the complex tax and jurisdiction issues across the UK and your country of residence.

Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes (QNUPS)

A QNUPS is similar to a QROPS in that it’s a type of pension plan and pays out benefits in a similar way. What’s different is that you can increase the value of your retirement fund by transferring or contributing non-UK pension assets.

In the right circumstances, a QNUPS can offer a highly flexible and tax-efficient wealth planning structure. However, much depends on your country of residence and personal situation, so professional advice is crucial.

Our Pensions Advice

Pension planning for expatriates can be a minefield and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Before making any decisions about your pension, you should assess all the options available to establish what’s best for you and your particular circumstances.

Blevins Franks’ expertise is available through our locally-based Partners and our specialist pension advisory service. We offer a range of solutions to suit UK nationals in Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and the UK.

First, we carefully analyse the pros and cons of each option available to you, including the tax implications. We then advise on how best to structure your pension arrangements to meet your particular needs.

Contact us for a pensions review
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Our Other Services

Alongside pension planning, we provide a range of services to offer a genuinely holistic approach to financial planning:

Tax planning – minimising the tax you pay on income, gains, pensions, wealth and inheritances

Investments – preserving your wealth through investment strategies tailored for you and your personal circumstances

Estate planning – organising your affairs so that your legacy can be passed to your chosen heirs as tax-efficiently as possible, in both the UK and your resident country

Trusts – advising on and administering trustee and corporate structures, where they suit your financial objectives

Contact us to arrange a review
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