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UK Pension Transfers for expats living in France

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So you’ve made the move to France and who can blame you? Great wine, great food, picturesque landscapes and a relaxed lifestyle.

But, what happens to your finances when you move overseas? How can you access your pension, open a current account, exchange large amounts of money, grow savings and, importantly, buy a property?

I’m sure these questions have crossed your mind at some point during your decision to move but don’t worry, Harrison Brook are here to help.

Accessing your pension overseas.

Of course, after working for years and years your pension is well earnt. Taking it with you on your move abroad is absolutely vital. But that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. UK pension transfers should not get in the way of your dream ‘expat retirement’, and that’s why we’re here!

When it comes to transferring and consolidating your pension there are various options.

QROPS (Qualifying Overseas Pension Schemes) or SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pensions) allows for the transfer and consolidation of UK pensions to a single personal pension structure. This includes UK frozen pensions. Both options hold different benefits for the pension owner and the suitability varies largely based on your personal situation.

Briefly put a QROPS allows you to transfer your UK pension without any unauthorised charges or lifetime allowance.

Similarly, a SIPP facilitates the transfer of your pension but also involved a broad range of investment options.

Whilst a QROPS and SIPP have their differences, there are common benefits of a pension transfer for expats:

  • Consolidate several pensions into one pot/place (Including personal & employee based schemes)
  • No annuity purchase necessary
  • Full flexi-access drawdown (full pension access) available on all SIPP and certain QROP schemes
  • A QROPS or a SIPP can provide for your family, it is possible to use up to 100% of the fund to provide a spouse’s pension
  • Beneficiaries can be left 100% of pension pot 
  • Wider range of investments to choose from – for capital growth or investing for generating income
  • Tax-free lump sum (25%)
  • Death Tax requirement has been removed (55% or 45% tax) for under 75-year-olds and for over 75 (SIPP)
  • Receive pension income free from UK income tax (QROPS)
  • Low cost charging structures (Harrison Brook work on a fee basis of advice rather than a commission model – only accept transparent charging structures)

If you need to transfer your pension or want to know more about the best course of action for you, speak to an adviser today. We will also find your lost pension. 

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