British Frozen Pensions
Are you missing out?
Many changes have been made in UK pension legislation during recent years. Before you emigrated, if you worked in pensioned employment in UK since 1970, and you have a UK occupational or personal pension, then now is the time to review your arrangement.
If you are a member of a UK occupational scheme it is entirely possible that, instead of the real investment growth of your pension funds, they are only being credited with the lesser of 5% per annum or the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Typically CPI could have averaged as little as 2% over the last few years. Your former employer can legally keep any additional increase. For example, well-managed pension funds have historically increased by 8% to 12% per annum. In other words, you can quite legally be shortchanged.
You can overcome the problem by transferring the value of your pension arrangement to a UK-approved overseas pension under your personal control where you can enjoy 100% of its growth. Furthermore, by meeting certain criteria, expatriating your pension will enable you to escape from the UK tax and pension rules, such as the restrictive “lifetime allowance”, so that any unused pension assets can be left to your heirs free of UK inheritance tax.
The minimum age for receiving pension benefits in UK was raised in April 2010 to age 55. Expatriated pension benefits can, in most cases, be taken from age 55, if you wish, even if the original pension was set up to provide benefits at age 65. For many this will mean that a generous 25% lump sum can be taken free of either UK tax or local tax in the pension’s overseas jurisdiction. The remainder of the pension fund can remain invested and can be used to provide a pension income, free of local tax, but this need not be taken simultaneously. It can be deferred to a later age. All this can be done whether or not you have decided to retire yet. You are no longer obliged to use your pension assets to buy an annuity – which might be to your disadvantage. There are other alternatives open to you.
If this sounds complicated – it is. Without obligation, UK Pension Transfer LLC can help you find a solution that fits your circumstances. We can assist you in achieving a better objective and can offer you continuing advice thereafter.