Pensions were originally designed to eliminate the risk that the pensioner outlives his or her resources. A pension plan was not intended to subsidise a world cruise at retirement or to even pay off your mortgage. A pension plan was originally intended to provide the means to maintain a reasonable living standard upon retirement for the pension holder. So, to avoid falling back on the state or family members in your final years. Other than access to a maximum of 25%, the remaining pension pot was locked in to provide a regular income stream in retirement, until the death of the pension holder.
This all changed in April 2015, when the UK Chancellor at the time, George Osborne introduced new Pension Freedom rules. This allowed pensioners access to some or all of their pension pots from the age of 55. Touted at the time by the Government as giving back full control to pension holders, it could be argued that the policy was a tax grab for the UK Treasury. Since 2015, the UK Treasury has pocketed over £5 Billion in additional tax revenue from pension holders utilizing the new flexible access rules.
As an expat you will not be immune to these pension changes, you may hold a variety of different pension schemes, ranging from UK Private & Occupational pension schemes to offshore pension schemes like QROPS, QNUPS or International SIPPS? Or you may be looking to start investing in a pension plan? With the introduction of the UK Pensions Freedom Act in 2015, you the Expat consumer have far more options than ever before when it comes to holding or investing in a pension.
Flexibility within a pension scheme has culminated in the greater need for good sound financial advice surrounding pension planning and tax advice. Whether you are looking to start investing in a pension scheme or wish to access full or part of your pension pot, there are, lots to consider. At Astute we can advise on a full range of Expat pension matters, from QROPS & QNUPS to International SIPPS. We work with leading International Pension Trustees to ensure maximum pension benefits, tax efficiency and price competitiveness, for our clients.
Contact us today to find out more about your pension options and obtain a free pension consultation from our experts.