Just Two QROPS Centres Ready For Flexible Access

Flexible Access Pensions Threat To State Benefits

Only six weeks left until flexible access for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) and still only two financial centres have announced they will be ready to let retirement savers drawdown up to 100% of their funds. Gibraltar and Malta were both quick out of the blocks to let QROPS investors know they can draw

New Rules For QROPS DB Transfers

New Rules For QROPS DB Transfers

Retirement savers contemplating switching their UK defined benefit pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) only have a few days left to transfer the money without consulting an IFA. New pension transfer rules come in from April 6, 2015 that require all defined benefit pension transfers to a QROPS  for funds of £30,000

Banks Accused Of Forex Charges Rip-Off

Banks Accused Of Forex Charges Rip-Off

Expats believe foreign currency transfers cost too much and that many services have rip-off charges. Only 15% of expats who send money overseas believe the fees they pay for the service are fair. Around 85% felt £4 was a fair charge – equivalent to an average 2.4% fee, according to a survey by online money

Budget 2015 – Changes For SEIS, EIS And VCTs

Budget 2015 – Changes For SEIS, EIS And VCTs

Chancellor George Osborne has tinkered with the qualifying rules for companies pitching for startup and growth investment from business angels. He explained the measures were to make the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT) comply with European Union state-aid investment rules. Osborne also said the changes would

The Belvedere Ponzi Scheme Unravelled

The Belvedere Ponzi Scheme Unravelled

Belvedere Management Group, the financial solutions company at the heart of what could potentially be one of the largest financial fraud cases the world has ever seen, are coming under fire from all angles today having been exposed by OffshoreAlert as “an essentially criminal enterprise”. A label such as this, when attached, is for any

Tighter Rules Coming For Defined Benefit Transfers

Tighter Rules Coming For Defined Benefit Transfers

British companies are making big cash offers to workers to move their pension liabilities off their balance sheets. If you have a defined benefits scheme which gives a guaranteed pension income plus benefits, the question is do you take the money and run or stay with the scheme? For companies, shifting the liability to workers

Expats Win Right To Cash In Duff Annuities

Expats Win Right To Cash In Duff Annuities

Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget 2015 has extended the freedom for pensioners to cash in their annuities to expats as well. From April 2016, any retirement saver who has bought an annuity has the right to buy-out their contract regardless of where they live. In return, they can pick up a cash lump sum based on

Bogus Fraud Cops In Phone Cash Scam

Bogus Fraud Cops In Phone Cash Scam

Scammers posing as bogus fraud squad detectives are cold-calling prospective victims in a bid to persuade them to hand over cash. The Serious Fraud Office is warning that these callers claim to be part of the ‘fraud squad’ working for the SFO in London and are investigating financial firms. Victims are then asked to give

Tunisia Is No-Go Zone For Tourists And Expats

Tunisia Is No-Go Zone For Tourists And Expats

Travel companies have declared Tunisia a no-go zone following the terror attack on the Bordo Museum. Nine suspected gunmen have been arrested following the shoot-out in the museum. At least 23 foreign tourists died in the attack as a gang of gunmen switched targets from government buildings to the museum. Islamic jihadists ISIL have claimed

Where Is The Best Place In The World For Expats?

Where Is The Best Place In The World For Expats

Companies are forever releasing lists of the best places to live in the world for expats in a clamour for free column inches or web page space. List are a good way of  grabbing publicity that money could not buy as advertising as readers are more likely to take notice of editorial content and are

Crowdfunding 101 – The Basics Explained

Crowdfunding 101 – The Basics Explained

Crowdfunding is an alternative investment phenomenon sweeping Britain, the US and Europe that allows companies to fund start-ups and raise capital to finance growth from a pool of investors. New investors need to understand how crowdfunding works before staking any cash, because some pitches do not fully explain the terms and conditions. For investors three

Week in Expat Money Matters 11th March – 18th March 2015

Below are the articles from last week, documenting events from the world of expatriate finance, as reported on iExpats and from other places across the web: From iExpats: SEIS Startups Not Just For The Wealthy The tax breaks offered by investment through SEIS can benefit everyone. The door to investment has been blown wide open

Where Do You Come In The Global Pension League?

Where Do You Come In The Global Pension League

Financial experts have come up with a pension premier league that shows today’s young savers are unlikely to have such a comfortable retirement as their parents. The research looks at pensions in three ways- how the schemes work, how much current pensions pay and whether pension firms can sustain current benefit levels for future generations.

Pensions Boost For Women As Shares Soar

Pensions Boost For Women As Shares Soar

Women giving up work this year expect to settle for a retirement income of a quarter less than men, according to new research. The pension income ‘gender gap’ is an average of £92 a week or £4,800 a year, says financial giant Prudential, which carried out the survey. Women will pick up an average £14,300

Taking Stock Of A 26% Rise In The DAX

Taking Stock Of A 26 Rise In The DAX

The FTSE may have recently seen a record high – but London is not the only European stock market where share prices have soared since the start of the year. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 has also traded at record highs and investors seem to have an appetite for even more German stocks and shares. Financial experts

Soaring Living Costs Prompt Expats To Leave UAE

Soaring Living Costs Prompt Expats To Leave UAE

Tax-free salaries and a jet-set lifestyle are not enough to keep expats in the United Arab Emirates, according to new research. While many agree that money and other benefits of living in the UAE are good, the high cost of living is pricing all but the wealthy out of the country. The population of the

Big Pay Rises For Top Directors Hike Gulf Salaries

Big Pay Rises For Top Directors Hike Gulf Salaries

The swelling pay packets of top directors were the main reason average salaries in the Gulf went up last year, according to a recruitment survey. C-level –or director level – salaries rose significantly and are expected to drag up rates of pay for other post this year, says the Gulf Business Salary Survey 2015. Average

City Regulator Lays Down New Social Media Rules

City Regulator Lays Down New Social Media Rules

Financial firms looking to keep in touch with customers through social media will have to follow a strict set of rules laid down by City regulators. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a strict set of guidelines demanding any online contact with prospective consumers must be fair, clear and not misleading. For financial firms,

Expat Savings Round-Up: March 12, 2015

Expat Saving Rates November 25 2014

The spending power of £1,000 invested in a savings account six years ago when interest rates in the UK were cut to a record low of 0.5% is now just £832. Financial experts at investment firm BlackRock have worked out even savers who moved their money into the best rated accounts during that time have

QROPS Renotification Delayed For A Year

QROPS Renotification Delayed For A Year

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) savers need to make sure their providers renotify their scheme status or they could face steep tax penalties. The renotification process was due to start on April 1, 2015, but has been put back a year by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Providers and HMRC felt more time was