If you are leaving the country there is so much to think about. You have your accommodation to organise, and perhaps even a new office to get used to if you are going abroad for a work placement.
The trouble with pensions is that they are often left on the proverbial back burner until it is too late. If you are moving abroad, you may understandably have other things on your mind, but failure to pay attention to what will happen to your pension may cost you dearly.
If you have a private UK pension, have you considered whether to leave it in the United Kingdom or move it abroad too?
The advantages of moving your pension abroad may include:
- freedom from the UK income tax system. As long as you are away for 5 years or more, you may be able to leave UK income tax behind for good;
- freedom from UK inheritance tax;
- greater investment freedom. Some foreign schemes may be able to hold a wider range of asset classes than you are used to investing in; and
- freedom to take your money when you want it. You may find that overseas schemes may be more flexible about when you can take a lump sum, and even about how much you can take.
To get the best out of moving your pension abroad, look into getting a QROPS. The acronym stands for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme and applies to schemes that have individually checked by HMRC.
QROPS are approved if they are taxed and regulated as pensions. But that does not mean that their structure and tax background need to mirror a UK style scheme. Accordingly, you have the choice of over a thousand diverse arrangements which can be found on a list on HMRC’s website.
If you use an independent QROPS adviser to help you, you can get advice on the whole of the QROPS marketplace. So what are you waiting for?