If You Were Scammed, You Might Be In For A Refund

Expats are among the thousands of fraud victims who may have a chance of getting their money back after wire transfer firm Western Union settled a multi-million-dollar court case. Western Union is an international money transfer network that has admitted money laundering and other criminal offences. To settle the case, Western Union paid the … [Read more...]

What Happens To Your QROPS When You Die?

The question is uncomfortable for many expats, but prudent financial planning means looking after your family and loved ones when you die. Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) fall under the same inheritance rules as UK pensions – plus an extra tax-free boost for expats who are left a share of any unspent pension money. The … [Read more...]

Moving Gold-Plated Pensions To QROPS Is No Longer Taboo

Switching a final salary pension to an offshore Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is a taboo topic for many IFAs for no good reason. A final salary pension is undoubtedly one of the most generous pensions any retirement saver could expect. Offered by a dwindling number of employers, the pension offers a retirement income … [Read more...]

Private School Fees In A Class Of Their Own

Britain's private school fees are racing up at almost four times the rate of inflation and average earnings. Expats with children receiving a private education have seen the cost spiral by 21% in five years. Someone on an average UK gross salary of £35,148 a year needs to hand over 39% of their earnings to pay the day fees of £13,000 for one … [Read more...]

SIPPs For Expats Explained

SIPPs are ideal for expats away from the UK for a year or two who want to carry on retirement saving with all the tax advantages of staying at home. An important rule about SIPPs is pension savers do not have to stay in Britain to gain all the benefits of a UK pension – they must retain residence. Residence is a matter of fact, not choice, … [Read more...]

Move To Make QROPS Transfers Easier For Expats

The British government suspects strict rules about transferring pensions worth more than £30,000 to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) are putting some expats at a financial disadvantage. The Department of Work and Pensions is considering whether to scrap the need for expats to seek advice from an adviser regulated in the UK … [Read more...]

Gold-Plated Pensions Tarnished By Failure

History is littered with stories of the rise and fall of civilisations but we do not expect to apply these lessons to our own lives. As proud empires return to dust, we should expect the same from our biggest businesses. The brands that dominated their markets a century ago are no longer remembered and those on everyone’s lips today will … [Read more...]

New Visa Rules For Expats Working In China

The Chinese government is readying a new visa system for expats from November 1. The three-tier process will be trialled in the capital Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai; the provinces of Hebei, Anhui, Shandong, Guangdong, Sichuan and the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. If the trial is successful, the visas will roll out to the rest of the country … [Read more...]

Does Your KiwiSaver QROPS Invest In Weapons?

A public outcry has broken out in New Zealand after revelations that Kiwisaver pension funds were breaking laws by investing in arms companies. KiwiSaver pensions are forbidden by law from backing firms that make weapons. Over the years, many of these KiwiSaver pensions have taken in expat pension transfers from the UK as Qualifying … [Read more...]

Company Pension Solutions All Mean Savers Taking A Hit

Companies are looking for solutions to plugging their £459 billion pension black holes, but whatever way they decide to go, retirement savers will lose. Direct benefit or final salary pension schemes offer savers a guaranteed pension rising in line with the cost of living for life. The trouble is these pensions have become too expensive for … [Read more...]