As an expat you can take advantage of new UK pension rules. It may be that you are better leaving your pension where it is. However, the good news is that it is free and without obligation to find out what your options are. Gone are the days when the only time you gave a passing thought to your pension was when a payment was taken out of your payslip and then again when you eventually retired. Today we’re all encouraged to be actively involved with planning for our financial future.
The fact we’re living longer and could enjoy a retirement of 30 years or more makes it crucial to ensure your pension lasts as long as you do. According to the Office for National Statistics, British men can expect to live to 79 on average, while British women can expect to live to 83. With the ability to access our personal pensions from the age of 55, the right pension and investment choices are critical to meeting our lifestyle needs in the retirement period of our lives, and it’s wise to be on the ball with your pension savings.
Self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) have revolutionised retirement planning. You choose what you invest in and when. From age 55 you can choose when to start taking benefits, and how to receive income when you need it, within same constraints, but more flexible than final salary/ differed benefit schemes. Different currency options are also available for those who will not retire in the UK.
A SIPP can also make a good home for old pensions. It’s easy in today’s job-hopping workforce to build up numerous pension pots with different employers. In fact, UK employees will change jobs every five years on average. Pooling your pensions together in a SIPP can help you take control of your savings. By bringing them together in one place, it makes it easier to manage and keep track of your retirement savings, helping you to plan ahead more effectively – and it could be cheaper, with lower service fees than you are currently paying.
By consolidating your pensions into a self-invested personal pension you can get your investments working as hard as possible. A SIPP offers a wide range of investment options and the freedom to manage your own investments, with all the usual tax perks of saving into a pension, while you are offshore/before retiring.
Transferring your UK pensions to SIPPs may bring several advantages:
Leave remaining pension funds to your chosen beneficiaries free of death taxes if you are under 75.
Continue to make contributions to your pension, offset by any UK tax you may be earning, or up to £3,600 per annum if you are a UK resident or have been in the last 5 years.
Can take commercial loans within your pension fund.
Take the option of 25% Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS) under the new pension rules.
Under the age of 75 if you have funds that are unlikely to exceed £1,000,000 then a SIPP should be your first port of call.
Enjoy greater flexibility and investment freedom than a standard UK pension
Be given the option to choose various investments.
Author: John Booth
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PLEASE NOTE: IPP Financial Advisers Pte Ltd is a licensed financial Adviser and neither the company, nor it's representatives, are tax advisers.
Any reference to tax, in any jurisdiction, is sourced from third party sources, which we deem to be reliable and accurate at time of print, and professional tax advice should always be sought independently.
Any reference to any investment, fund or product should be read in conjunction with the prospectus/brochure/factsheet.
Investments can go up and down and past performance is not an indication of future performance.
Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. With pension products you will not be able to withdraw your money until you reach age 55.
It’s important to understand that pension transfers are a complex area and may not be suitable for everyone. Before going ahead with a pension transfer, we strongly recommend that you undertake a full comparison of the benefits, charges and features offered.