British expats are spread in more than 100 countries around the world and they all have the same problem with Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS).
Many would like to switch their UK onshore pensions out of the country to a more tax effective QROPS but don’t think they can because the country where they live has no local provider.
That’s not a problem.
If you are a British expat or someone from overseas who has worked in the UK and have pension rights, then you have the opportunity to transfer your fund to a QROPS regardless of where you live in the world.
With around 195 recognised countries but only 40 financial jurisdictions offering QROPS, that leaves huge swathes of the globe with a local provider.
Latin America, Africa and the Asia Pacific are woefully under represented by QROPS providers.
Third party QROPS
But it doesn’t matter because several providers, notably some based on the European Union island of Malta offer QROPS for everyone.
‘Third party QROPS’ are special expat pensions that are permanently based in one financial centre while the expat or former foreign worker in the UK can live and work where they wish.
Even retirement savers living in countries where QROPS were closed by the British taxman – HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) – can take advantage of the opportunities offered by QROPS.
Now you know that you can transfer to a QROPS if you wish, the next step is how do you find a reliable international IFA to manager the switch?
Plenty of unregulated sharks are out there circling ready to take a bite out of your retirement savings with dubious advice and risky investments coming at a high price.
Finding QROPS advice
You need a trusted, regulated and authorised adviser to give you the right pension advice.
QROPS are not necessarily suitable for every retirement saver and certainly once you start picking a product and jurisdiction, that list of around 800 QROPS whittles down very quickly to a few suitable choices.
For the best advice you want a truly independent adviser who can talk about products across the global market, not just those offered by the firm he or she may be tied to.
You also need someone with the support of tax and investment experts to match your personal financial objectives with the right advice to make the most of your money.
That adviser should be regulated and authorised in the country where you are to give that advice.