Pension law is extremely complicated and most of us have very limited ideas about how to get the best out of our pensions. This applies even more once you leave the UK to live abroad.
Make the best of it
In the present economic climate it is more important than ever to be able to get the most out of your lifetime’s hard work. It was not always so, but nowadays pensions are transferrable from one provider to another – not only within the UK but also to overseas providers in safe-haven jurisdictions that have already been approved by the UK. It allows an expatriate pension-holder the ability to consolidate all his occupational UK pensions under one roof instead of paying separate charges to a number of different providers. Having one larger pot makes for easier management, simpler investment decisions and more generous and convenient treatment of retirement benefits. Selecting an alternative overseas provider can enhance performance, lower tax obligations and increase the benefits, which can be taken earlier than they can in UK if certain conditions are met.
Talk to an expert
Tim Carroll, President of UK Pension Transfer LLC, can tell you whether your UK pensions are doing all they could for you. There is no obligation, and all you need to do is complete the secure form on this web site and submit it. If a statement of benefit can be obtained a detailed review will be sent to you at absolutely no charge.
In most cases, once you leave the UK to live in another country your UK pension becomes frozen from further contributions. When you cannot add more money to it the only way its value can be increased is by obtaining a good return on its investment, preferably in a less restrictive environment.
What happens when former UK employers go bust?
Going bust does not necessarily affect a company’s pension fund which is securely held by law in the custody of pension trustees. Its assets are preserved for the benefit of its pension-holders. However, through misfortune or mismanagement many British occupational pension schemes are underfunded. Some two thousand schemes are already in wind-up. Survivors can be rescued by a so-called “lifeboat” in the form of the PPF (Pension Protection Fund). This “lifeboat” is not funded by the UK Government. It is paid for by imposing a levy against the solvent providers of the remaining defined benefit pension schemes in UK and is therefore an added cost to their pension-holders. The PPF does not pay more than 90% compensation and applies an annual cap of £30,049.84 at age 65. The cap is lower at earlier retirement ages. Its pension holders are no longer allowed to take the optional tax-free 25% lump sum benefit. They can only take pension income – which is taxable. Increases in the value of pensions-in-payment are limited to a maximum of 2½% p.a. Once your distressed UK pension scheme has been absorbed by the PPF it cannot be transferred elsewhere. You may need to act promptly.
What does UK Pension Transfer LLC offer?
UK Pension Transfer LLC will recommend, handle and document the transfer transaction. There is no transfer fee. After a transfer has been effected it will provide the pension-holder with continuous advice and monitoring for a modest annual fee. It will handle queries, request interim reports, advise on investment decisions, deal with death and retirement claims, order the distribution of lump sum benefit withdrawals and deal with pension-sharing claims in cases of divorce. In other words, it provides ongoing service.
Please note, the services described above are not available to current UK residents.