Wednesday, 5 December 2012

UK Autumn Statement 2012


From a Spanish perspective

There are many expats, especially pensioners and expat workers, in Spain who have a close vested interest in the UK Economy. There will be much more analysis over the coming days but I thought an outline summary would help.

If you would like a professional analysis from UK economists please email me and I’ll give you the link.


  • Many pensioners in the UK & Spain with Income Drawdown or QROPS have their income determined by ‘GAD’ rates. These are increased from 100% to 120% from April 2013 which is the reverse of his previous policy. To review your individual circumstances please email me. The gentleman is for turning!


Firstly, the ‘Lifetime Allowance’ which is the maximum that anyone can hold in a Pension Plan, is being reduced from £1.5 million to £1.25 million. This doesn’t affect huge numbers but when interest rates are so low its like reducing peoples pensions.

Secondly, the annual amount which any UK taxpayer can put in their pension scheme is reduced from £50,000 to £40,000.

If this might affect you or you want information, please email me



There are many other facets to the Autumn Statement and much of it is economic analysis but I wanted to publish the key details quickly. If any other factors come to light, later, I will produce an update. It could be worth putting this in your favourites and checking.

If you have any specific queries, please email me.




David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

Thursday, 29 November 2012

IMPORTANT : Spanish Non-Residents Tax Alert


I have received information from two trusted sources that the Spanish tax authorities promised clampdown will start to affect property owners IMMEDIATELY

For background there are two of my previous posts which are worthy of consideration

  • Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

  • Five Taxes which affect Spanish Non-Residents

Putting together the information I have the timeline appears to be as follows;

  • In late 2011 and early 2012 the tax office identified approx 250,000 houses from which no taxes were being received. Using local records, including the Town Halls and Land Registry, the owners have been identified

  • Recently bills have been prepared and will be sent out en masse for maximum effect before the end of 2012. These bills are for tax due in 2011, in accordance with the normal payment arrangements. However, they also have authority to collect a further 4 years if this was not paid.

Non-Payers can therefore expect bills dated back to 2007 with non-payment penalties added.

  • For those who continue to wilfully non-pay, action will be taken to take the funds from bank accounts or where there are insufficient funds, to FREEZE BANK ACCOUNTS

They know your bank accounts because the banks complete an annual return on all accounts held by Non-Residents. In fact the Bank probably charges you for the privilege!


What can you do about it?

Pay your non-resident taxes is the obvious one

Also check with your Fiscal Representative that your tax has been paid. If you don’t have a representative, I can put you in touch with one for your area if you email me and let me know where your property is.

A final warning

One reader told me that he was quite relaxed and didn’t intend to pay the tax until something happened to change his mind. He received a bill from the Spanish tax office to his UK address.



If you can add to this topic, I’d be delighted to hear from you


David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain


Friday, 2 November 2012

QROPS – Developments & the Future


QROPS Week - Day 5

The last article of QROPS Week deals with the future. QROPS will remain but will they change again? We already know that there are proposals for the Finance Act 2013 but details are sketchy and open to lobbying and change

April 6th 2012

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) started in 2006 and by April 2012 needed an overall and updating. In many peoples minds the ability to take 100% cashout was an abuse of the principle of ‘an income for life’ which underpins pensions, generally.

To make it absolutely clear and to contradict adverts I have seen there is no longer an opportunity to use QROPS to withdraw 100% as cash.

Another major change was an abuse, as the UK Government and tax authorities (HMRC) saw it, of jurisdictions constructing local tax regimes to attract QROPS. Now, they have to treat local resident members the same as non-residents.

The effect of these changes, along with other detailed requirements, have changed QROPS.



I would like to look at the affect on some jurisdictions and speculate on how this could change in the future.

Guernsey

Without question, from the commencement of QROPS until April 6th 2012, Guernsey was the market leader in QROPS. Guernsey acted quickly in 2006, to establish the right environment for QROPS, and its industry grew very quickly. HMRC however was always concerned that the local tax regime had been constructed to attract QROPS and when the 2012 changes were made, Guernsey had over 300 schemes removed from it’s approved list.

Whilst it is known that Guernsey is working hard with HMRC to get QROPS re-instated, it is by no means sure that they will be successful.


Gibraltar

Long before April 2012, Gibraltar had voluntarily withdrawn from QROPS over concerns about the taxation of pension income. These concerns have been overcome through direct negotiations between local officials and HMRC.

There is currently a limited choice of providers but there are schemes up and running. The position of Gibraltar is interesting to expats in Spain. There is a two-fold debate that I’ve heard;

Gibraltar is convenient, we like the territory and as long as the scheme is approved we are happy with it
or
There is no way I’m taking my pension income from Gibraltar and reporting it on my Spanish tax return.

Email me if you have a view or want to know more about Gibraltar QROPS.


Cyprus

Soon after April 2012, Cyprus had all of its QROPS removed by HMRC from the approved list.

Unlike Guernsey, it is more likely that terms will be agreed to enable Cyprus QROPS to be re-established. Membership of the EU is likely to prove crucial.


Switzerland

The 2012 changes have worked to Switzerland’s advantage. There is a tax deduction on proceeds for both residents and non-residents. As one of the world’s leading financial centres, Switzerland did not need to ‘construct’ a QROPS industry. In keeping with its general philosopht, they want high value, high quality cases and NOT the volume which proved the attraction to other jurisdictions.

More details are available from the QROPS Week series, please refer to Switzerland Also don’t hesitate to contact me for more information but I will need to pre-check some personal details, as the Swiss are very selective!


New Zealand

Before April 2012, New Zealand was best known as a jurisdiction which allowed 100% cashouts. HMRC received much lobbying from other jurisdictions to unapprove all of the New Zealand schemes.

But New Zealand changed its own rules to comply with HMRC, and has now a QROPS philosophy which is generally well accepted. Some of those who campaigned AGAINST New Zealand, have seen their own schemes unapproved. Irony!



The Future

QROPS has a future! At this time twelve months ago, I wasn’t so certain. April 6th 2012 changes have brought quality to the market and although there will be changes ahead, I think the future is more secure.

But I caution against procrastination as changes cause uncertainty. Better to act now than to risk that the scheme you want disappears. Email me for personal information.

If changes are announced in the UK Autumn Statement, on December 5th, I will publish them here.



David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain





Thursday, 1 November 2012

QROPS 2012 – Comparing jurisdictions


QROPS Week Day 4

New Generation QROPS 2012 have changed the face of UK Pension transfers to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes but the inclusion of professional advice and the exclusion of ‘cashout’ schemes have improved this valuable arrangement for expats

As a result of the changes, there are now three major options, which are covered in QROPS Week, with a further fourth option which is relatively new, also covered here;

Malta has four distinct advantages when dealing with British and Irish clients, especially those who become residents in Spain.

  • Malta is an English speaking country
  • A low cost economy
  • A member of the European Union
  • Retirement income can be taken at age 50

After many months of negotiations, Malta as an established Financial Services Centre was given approval by HMRC to offer QROPS in November 2009. Individual trustees then need to get approval from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). It was not until February 2010 that the first QROPS were approved. Without question, Malta benefited most from the rules changes which became operative from 6th April 2012

I can recommend an adviser if you email me.


Switzerland is a renowned centre for financial services, with security at the heart of it’s offering. There is one aspect of Swiss QROPS which could be seen, depends on your opinion, as either an advantage or disadvantage. The QROPS must be invested 70% in Swiss funds and held in Swiss Francs.

Funds are invested by a Discretionary Manager based in London, regulated by the FSA.

Membership of QROPS in Switzerland is highly restrictive, but for those who qualify and prefer the Swiss franc to euro or sterling, this maybe an excellent choice

·       Minimum fund of SwFr 100,000 (work on £66,000)
·       Retirement from age 55 to aged 70
·       Must be UK non-resident for five or more complete UK tax years
·       Withdrawals taken as lump sum

Though not a member of the EU, Switzerland has many close, financial, connections with UK, Ireland and Spain. Most importantly Double Taxation Agreements are in place.

Due to the EXCLUSIVE nature of the Swiss QROPS offering, I can deal directly with clients, who will be referred to the authorised adviser. Please email me for further information


Gibraltar has approved QROPS but is still relatively new. At present, this option is developing and I expect to give more details soon.

I’m happy to provide information on an individual basis if you email me


New Zealand remains a viable and strong option for QROPS. Please note that since 6th April 2012 full encashment is not possible.

The principal benefits which New Zealand enjoys are;

  • Tax Free Lump Sum is 30% of the Fund Value
  • Flexible income arrangements, as long as the 70% available for income rule is maintained
  • Tax Free investment portfolio which is ‘flexible’

As always, individual circumstances will dictate, but flexibility is certainly a realistic jurisdiction to consider. Email me to have access to professional advice

Non-UK Nationals

I am aware that people of many nationalities have, from working in the UK, preserved benefits. Good news – you do not have to take benefits when the scheme says so. You may also be entitled to a UK pension transfer to QROPS. Just email for more details.

Advice

Many advisers will compare all jurisdictions before making a recommendation. The determining of your priorities should be the overriding reason for recommending a particular QROPS. Some advisers only deal with one provider in one jurisdiction. If you’ve received a recommendation and would like a second opinion please email me.

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are for professional advisers and their clients and hopefully the unqualified, unregulated imitators will disappear.

I guarantee that you will be given only REGULATED advice if you contact me (with brief details) by sending me an email




David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Switzerland QROPS – An Introduction


QROPS Week Day 3

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) have to be approved by the UK Tax Authorities (HMRC) in order to receive transfers from UK Pension Schemes or Plans

Switzerland, as a jurisdiction is very credible being World renowned as a Financial Centre. Not being part of the Eurozone, many expats in Europe welcome the investment in Swiss Francs which gives an element of security.

The Promoters of the scheme outlined below are only seeking low volume, high quality cases.


Key Factors

·       Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS) is allowed (often called tax-free lump sum in the UK)

·       ‘Income’ in the form of capital withdrawal can be taken AFTER 5 years of UK non-residency

·       All withdrawals are subject to a Swiss tax charge of between 2.4% and 4.8%

·       Benefits can be taken at age 55 and must be taken by age 70. Individual concerns about the age range can be discussed

·       The minimum fund transfer is 100,000 Swiss Francs. As a working assumption use €82,000 or £66,000. More accurate exchange rates are available from http://www.fttcurrency.co.uk/fpspain.jsp trading as La Torre Fx – Foreign Exchange.



Fund Investment

·       Investment through an insurance bond is NOT allowed but there are arrangements in place with a London-based Discretionary Fund Manager (DFM) who can handle the investments in Swiss Francs

·       The range of investments is wide but excludes residential property and at least 70% must be in Swiss Francs


Regulation

·       All QROPS schemes are heavily regulated by the Swiss regulator


·       Switzerland is acceptable to UK HMRC due to the existence of a Double Taxation Treaty


·       Switzerland has very many Double Taxation arrangements, including importantly for expats, most of Europe, USA, Canada and South Africa


·       Swiss Residents and Non-Residents are treated equally for tax purposes, so the scheme passes the ‘fairness’ test



Advice

·       ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ will only recommend fully regulated advisers whose services and qualifications have been check. Selecting the correct QROPS jurisdiction is a key element in the role of an adviser

·       The Swiss Custodian (usually Trustee in the UK) keeps strict control over the organisations that it accepts business from. They have seen other jurisdictions disqualified by UK HMRC and are determined they will always offer a ‘clean’ service

·       ‘Know your client’ and ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ are key to good advice. I am dealing with clients myself for this scheme. If you want a discussion, without obligation, please send an outline of your circumstances and I will contact you directly by email, initially.

·       This service is available in Spain and also any country where there are expats who are not UK residents or even intending Non-UK residents


The administration of the scheme is extremely smooth, efficient and (sorry) runs like clockwork!


David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

New Zealand QROPS


            
QROPS Week – Day 2

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) have to be approved by the UK Tax Authorities (HMRC) in order to receive transfers from UK Pension Schemes or Plans

There are many previous references to NZ QROPS here at Financial Pages in Spain, but this is a complete update.

New Zealand, as a jurisdiction is very credible with strong links to the UK. NZ was one of the first jurisdictions to offer QROPS after their inception in 2006. NZ is now a leader in offering flexible benefits.

Key Factors

·       Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS) of 30% is allowed

·       70% of the fund is used to provide retirement income in line with UK requirements

·       100% cashouts of funds is NOT allowed and advertisers who suggest otherwise are scammers (beware)

·       Income is more flexible AFTER 5 years of UK non-residency and is paid gross, importantly it is NOT determined by UK annuity rates.

·       Benefits can be taken at age 55


Fund Investment

·       Investment through a bond is allowed (e.g Prudential, Aviva etc)

·       The range of investments is wide but excludes residential property

Regulation

·       All QROPS schemes are fully regulated by NZ Financial Services Commission

·       NZ is acceptable to UK HMRC due to the existence of a Double Taxation Treaty

·       New Zealand has very many Double Taxation arrangements, including importantly for expats, most of Europe, USA, Canada and South Africa

·       NZ Residents and Non-Residents are treated equally for tax purposes, so the scheme passes the ‘fairness’ test

Competition

·       There is a good choice of New Zealand QROPS providers which helps to make fees competitive

Advice

·       ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ will only recommend fully regulated advisers whose services and qualifications have been checked. Selecting the correct QROPS jurisdiction is a key element in the role of an adviser and even if NZ is the preferred more than one supplier should be considered

·       ‘Know your client’ and ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ are key to good advice. I will recommend an appropriate Adviser if you email me some brief details


David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

Monday, 29 October 2012

Malta QROPS


QROPS Week – Day 1

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) have to be approved by the UK Tax Authorities (HMRC) in order to receive transfers from UK Pension Schemes or Plans

Malta, as a jurisdiction is very credible being in the EU and Commonwealth with strong links to the UK. As part of the Eurozone, many expats in Europe welcome the investment in euros which removes the unwelcome exchange rate fluctuations

Key Factors

·       Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS) of 30% is allowed

·       70% of the fund is used to provide retirement income in line with UK requirements

·       Income is more flexible AFTER 5 years of UK non-residency and is paid gross

·       Benefits can be taken at age 50


Fund Investment

·       Investment through a bond is allowed (e.g Prudential, Aviva etc)

·       The range of investments is wide but excludes residential property

Regulation

·       All QROPS schemes are fully regulated by Malta Financial Services Authority

·       Malta is acceptable to UK HMRC due to the existence of a Double Taxation Treaty

·       Malta has very many Double Taxation arrangements, including importantly for expats, most of Europe, USA, Canada and South Africa

·       Maltese Residents and Non-Residents are treated equally for tax purposes, so the scheme passes the ‘fairness’ test

Competition

·       There is a limited choice of MALTA QROPS providers which helps to make fees competitive

Advice

·       ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ will only recommend fully regulated advisers whose services and qualifications have been checked. Selecting the correct QROPS jurisdiction is a key element in the role of an adviser

·       ‘Know your client’ and ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ are key to good advice. Please email me to be referred to an appropriate adviser, a few details will help


David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

Friday, 26 October 2012

QROPS Week


Week commencing 29th October 2012 is QROPS Week @ Financial Pages in Spain. An ideal time to follow the Blog and get your updates

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes

Conceived in the UK Finance Act 2006 but not effectively marketed until late 2007. Major changes were made, in part to remove abuses, from 6th April 2010. QROPS are UK Pension Transfers which require professional and authorised advice and are intended to provide lifetime income.

Key Facts

  • Pension funds accumulated in the UK have received favourable tax treatment, including tax relief on contributions and HMRC will seek to maintain control over the future use of funds. Their fundamental rule is that the fund produces an income for life

  • Only 30% of the fund can be used to provide a Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS) which is often called Tax-Free Cash

  • 70% of the fund is utilised to provide an income for life. The investment of these funds will be determined by local rules but cannot be invested in residential property

  • UK Pension Plans and Schemes can only transfer available funds to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) approved QROPS arrangements in acceptable jurisdictions

  • Income can only be paid gross (no tax deducted) from jurisdictions which have Double Taxation Treaties with the UK. Some jurisdictions may however deduct tax on income before distribution

  • QROPS providers can only accept transfers where the advice has been given by authorised & regulated financial advisers

  • No QROPS scheme will be approved if it pays 100% of the fund as cash. The principal of an ‘income for life’ must be maintained

If you require clarification or information please email me

QROPS Week

The following posts will appear during QROPS Week

1.     Malta QROPS

2.     New Zealand QROPS    

3.     Introducing Switzerland QROPS

4.     Developments and the future of QROPS

5.     Comparing QROPS jurisdictions




David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

                                                    


Monday, 24 September 2012

Financial Pages in Spain - Key Issues


Since starting in August 2010, Financial Pages in Spain has grown to over 150 posts. Whilst time moves on, many of the issues remain the same, but need updating. This is a summary of the most popular posts over the last year, by important categories;

Pensions

  • UK Pension Scheme but you Live in Spain
This post lists 30 different types of UK Pensions Schemes to help readers understand what the might have. There are then a series of questions and answers

  • QROPS – Comparing Jurisdictions
Following very substantial changes to the rules and regulations, in April 2012, QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) have changed substantially. Here is an update of the key jurisdictions for QROPS

  • QNUPS (Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes)
These were introduced in 2010 under arrangements to shelter retirement income producing assets from UK Inheritance Tax (IHT). British nationals who are Spanish residents often, mistakenly, think that IHT doesn’t apply to them

  • UK Overseas Pension Schemes
This summary will be of interest to expats who work, are near retirement or already retired. It includes a summary of Section 615 schemes for those who work in Spain.

Our hard earned pensions are often our second biggest asset (even if you didn’t know it). You need PROFESSIONAL ADVICE to look after your future income and protect its capital value. Please email to be referred to an adviser I have thoroughly checked.


Taxation

  • Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion
These issues are topical though I am regularly annoyed that newspapers, broadcasters and politicians confuse the two. Its easy to deal with tax evasion – it’s illegal. Tax avoidance is legal but much more complex. Seems to me that most taxpayers, in any country, want to AVOID tax as long as they are not illegally EVADING tax!

  • Five Non-Resident Taxes
This is an issue which never fails to amaze me.  I’ve produced a PDF which anyone can request. I suspect that everyone who owns property in Spain should be checking out. Just email me

  • Spanish Inheritance Tax (ISD) - Impuesto sombre sucesiones y donaciones
The first important fact that expats and property owners should know is that UK IHT and Spanish ISD are not covered by a Double Taxation Agreement or Treaty. British nationals are often shocked to learn that ISD is payable on the death of the first spouse or partner.

Whatever your taxation position and even your liability in the future, planning is key. Email and I’ll link you to a professional if you give me a brief outline.


Investment Planning

  • Why Invest Offshore?
Well certainly NOT for tax evasion! Offshore investment suits a surprisingly large number of expats and property owners. It’s certainly worth investigating but only through professional advice.

  • Tax Efficient Savings for Expats
This includes long term investments as well as traditional savings. For the expat there is often the added complication of foreign exchange differences too.


Other Important Issues

  • 10 Things that some advisers won’t tell you
When someone first told me, I didn’t believe it! Many advisers, even those saying they are regulated by FSA, refuse to disclose commission which has been a UK rule since 1993. These nine other abuses too. I can refer you to advisers I have carefully checked if you email me.

  • Getting a Second Opinion
Financial Pages in Spain will gladly give a second opinion to any advice received – just ask!

  • La Torre Fx – Foreign Exchange
It’s online and available 24 hours per day, every day of the year. After setting up the account, it can be used over and over again. Your first use takes a little longer to comply with necessary ID checks, but after that it’s super-quick! The rates offered have been specifically targeted at beating the banks and giving you the bonus


Enjoy Spain – avoid the usual pitfalls and can I suggest that you followFinancial Pages in Spain

@davidgspain                                 Twitter
DavidGoodall.Spain                        Facebook

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain

Friday, 14 September 2012

Ten things some advisers won’t tell you

Advisers should ALWAYS adhere to the principle of 'Know your client' I also advocate that clients should know their adviser!


Ten things some advisers won’t tell you 

It doesn’t apply to all ‘International Financial Advisers’ but it applies to more than you might think. Some are even guilty on all ten counts!

  • They refuse to disclose commission
You may not pay it directly by writing a cheque but you pay for the commission through charges. So why won’t they disclose how much they are making?

The requirement to disclose commission in the UK started in 1993. It is something that we all accept and take for granted. But many advisers in Spain not only don’t disclose, they arrogantly refuse to tell even when asked! Commission is your payment from your funds – you should know what it is – Ask and insist they tell you

  • They don’t even fully disclose charges
I recently read a report on behalf of one of my readers who contacted me through www.financial-pages-in-spain.co.uk . In a 17 page report charges  were mentioned a number of times but there was no table showing the total. That would seem reasonable or a single paragraph setting out the costs.

On reading it again, I found that although a complex financial structure was recommended there were no fund charges disclosed. This is key since, for example, cash fund charges should be low but ‘fund of funds’ are expensive. The adviser has a duty to point these out!

This action could lead to a fine by the FSA in UK

  • They tell lies in advertisements
Just because something appears in an advertisement, it doesn’t make it true.

Always remember that you can get a SECOND OPINION

Beware of what the newspapers call ‘Advertorials’. The advertisers pay for an advert but also get the equivalent space to write an article. This supports the advert! Look out for them, you’ll see lots

  • They don’t write you an individual report
I raise this issue as it has been mentioned in feedback from several readers. Feedback is always welcome.

One client wrote ‘I am not certain that this company really knows who I am, it was clear that it was a mass produced document with a few of my details added’. You would think as they are taking your money (undisclosed commission) they could give you some individual attention.

I emphasise its some advisers. Advisers I refer you to will definitely treat you fairly and give you personal advice. Email me for a referral

  • They use the FSA as a marketing tool NOT a regulator
There are many examples of why this is true. Already mentioned are examples which would not be tolerated in the UK. But they are in Spain and they do get away with it.

Non-disclosure of commission, failing to declare all charges clearly and refusing in-specie transfers are all rule breaches in the UK. Most British people have knowledge of the FSA and it gives comfort to them when advisers are authorised by FSA. Little knowing that many, not all, advisers use the FSA for marketing recognition then ignore the rules!

I know FSA advisers who do obey the rules and I am happy to give you a recommendation. The same is true of advisers regulated in Spain by the CNMV and DGS authorising agencies. Please email me for details.

  • They charge an up front fee before they will talk to you
This is very definitely a small minority. They tell you that if you go-ahead with their recommendations the fee will be rebated. That of course merely puts you under pressure to buy from them!

  • They put all their QROPS through one provider
Since the changes in April 2012, there are three QROPS jurisdictions which justifiably dominate the market (New Zealand, Malta and Switzerland) and between them cover the vast majority of client needs and wants. But many advisers deal with just one provider in one jurisdiction. This clearly is not in the clients’ best interest.

The reason these advisers do it is to lessen the admin burden, which frankly they should deal with anyway, and in many cases they receive extra commission sometimes call a ‘volume override’.

Check here and ask for real advice

  • They put all investments through one company
Given that the QROPS exists through a Trust Deed, it is in effect a ‘wrapper’ The substance of the arrangement is the investment within the QROPS. Future income and fund values will directly be affected by investment performance. It is therefore vital that the adviser takes note of each individuals need.

It may surprise you to learn that many advisers put all or nearly all investments within a QROPS to the same investment company. I expect that you guessed why by now! They get a ‘volume override’. The more they place with one company the bigger the payout. But was it in the clients’ interests. – I doubt it!

  • They deny the existence of ‘In-Specie’ transfers
One particular discussion I had really sums up what I believe to be blatant misselling!

I had a conversation with an English guy now living and working in Spain who was telling me about his Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). Naturally, I asked if he had considered transferring to a QROPS. He told me that he was very happy with the investment returns in his SIPP and that his ‘adviser’ had told him that it wasn’t possible to transfer the assets in his SIPP to QROPS!

This advice is wrong

Such a transfer is possible and is known as an In-Specie transfer, this is perfectly acceptable and clearly good advice where the individual is pleased with his investment performance. He has ditched the ‘adviser’! Please don’t get the wrong ‘adviser’ email me

One big company, after initially advertising QNUPS has decided to stop advising on them. Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes are ideal for In-Specie transfers and the big company makes less money for them! They make more if you cash in your investments and invest through their own investment arrangements. Yet In-Specie transfers are normally better!

  • They can’t tell the difference between the rules and their own business plan
In many of the big companies, advisers who operate from their offices are told the rules. In many cases they not the QROPS rules but the rules applied by ‘company policy’

There is one in particular I’ll tell you about. A well known company, you have seen their adverts, tells its ‘advisers’ that the minimum sum for transferring to QROPS is £100,000. That is their business plan not the rules. Just a piece of corporate arrogance!



10 bad practices for you to avoid!

* * * * *

QROPS will be right for most people who have moved from the UK to work or retire and who are unlikely to return. QNUPS can be ideal irrespective of residency but you need real advice. Just be careful from where your advice comes and I can recommend advisers who do not fail any of the above.
Please contact me for a recommendation.



David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain