IHT Changes Turn Pension Planning Upside Down

Upside Down

Changes in pension rules have given wary investors yet another reason to turn away from annuities. Until April, retirement savers who had not drawn from their pensions and died before their 75th birthday faced a tax charge of 55% on the fund. This all changed when pension freedoms were introduced by Chancellor George Osborne at

What is the Gulf Cooperation Council?

Gulf Cooperation Council

The Gulf Cooperation Council or GCC is a group of six nations in the Middle East with special economic, social and political relationships. The GCC has six member states: Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Kuwait Qatar Bahrain Oman Stretching from the Red Sea in the west to the Arabian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz in

Expat Savings Rates – August 20, 2015

Protecting Expat Cash In Offshore Savings Accounts

Ruthless banks are closing expat current and savings accounts due to changing business focus. Expats are becoming tainted customers for banks as they have to put complicated systems in place to identify them and then report their financial information to home country tax authorities. The issue was started by the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance

QROPS List – August 17, 2015


The latest HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) List showed a big uptick in the number of schemes on the market. The latest list showed 832 QROPS are available from 40 financial centres worldwide – up from 757 from 38 centres on the last list posted on August 3, 2015.

Can you transfer your pension to a QROPS?


The latest rule change by the UK Treasury has left many retirement savers unable to switch their pensions to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). To clarify who can move their UK onshore pension to a QROPS, here’s a guide outlining eligibility. The main factor to consider is the status of your pension –

What is the European Economic Area?


The European Economic Area or EEA is a group of countries that allow the free movement of people, goods, services and finance within the Europe’s single market. The EEA comprises all the member states of the European Union plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Switzerland does not belong to the EU or EEA but is part

Fraudsters Flood Over 55s With Pension Scam Offers


Scammers are relentlessly contacting the over 55s with cold calls, texts and emails to lure them into pension frauds, according to a new survey. Consumer watchdogs Citizens Advice says research suggests 40% of over 55s are regularly targeted by crooks posing as bogus pension advisers. Around 10% of those contacted fell for the sting and

Generali Vision Savings Plan


One of the financial products we often find our readers asking about at iExpats is the Generali Vision Savings Plan. This is a plan that many international financial advisors favour for the level of advantages offered to the client, so what exactly are these advantages, and what is the Generali Vision Savings Plan all about?

Law Rushed In To Ban Public Sector QROPS Transfers


The government has quickly moved to plug a gap in Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) rules for civil servants and public sector workers. After a loophole was spotted in rules that were aimed at stopping the transfer of civil and public sector pensions to QROPS, retirement savers were warned more legislation was on the

Expat Pensioners Trapped In Visa Nightmare


Thousands of British pensioner expats are living in limbo in Australia because the government stopped recognising their residency visas a decade ago. The Australian immigration authorities granted 410 retirement visas to expats over 55 years old who could prove they could fund their retirement from personal resources until 2005. Since then, the visa has not

Equity Release For The Elderly Is Booming


Pensioners are treating their homes like cash points by withdrawing more than £4 million a day from equity release companies. Almost 5,500 pensioners took £385 million in equity release loans borrowed against the value of their homes between April and June. This was 18% up on the first three months of the year and an

QROPS Thailand FAQ


Many expats in Thailand do not realise they can transfer their UK onshore pensions into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). Having a QROPS in Thailand can offer several benefits to British expats when compared to their UK-based scheme, so here’s a list of some frequently asked questions about the offshore pensions: Can I

Central Banks Spook The Markets With Rate Rise Talk

No Change As Central Banks Peg Interest Rates Again

Do comments from leading central bankers just spook the markets or are they helpful hints that oil the wheels and let markets run smoother? The will-they, won’t they raise interest rates game has been going on for years. Top of the current leader board are Janet Yellon, chair of the US Federal Reserve and Bank

Liberland – The Country Built On Crowdfunding

Bigger And Better On The Way For Crowdfunding

Applications are underway for people who want to become citizens of the European micronation Liberland. The new nation was found in April 2015 when founder Vit Jedlicka noticed that due to an administrative area, 80,000 square meters of the former Yugoslavia had gone unclaimed when the country separated. Liberland is a small corner of land

Qatar Construction Boom Fuels Explosive Growth


Qatar is laying the foundations for building a prosperous future brick by brick as the construction industry surges ahead showing the most impressive growth across all the Gulf States. Although the nation may lose the right to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup, construction in Qatar is expected to maintain an average annual growth rate

FATCA Fails Fair And Just Test Of Good Law Making


A good test of a fair and just law is that the people who have to comply consider the rules fair and just. Now and then a law sparks controversy and one such law is the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Five years after the law hit the statute books and a year

QROPS Transfers from Public Pensions Loophole

QROPS Loophole

Civil servants and public workers transferring their pensions to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) face a race against time as the government moves to change the law. Public sector pension savers were banned from switching their funds to an offshore QROPS as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s pension overhaul in April that introduced flexible

China Crisis Is The Real Danger To World Economy

China Admits Millions Of Firms Fail In Early Years

Forget fears of a Grexit and German grumbles over the billions of euros going to bail out Athens, the real economic crisis is in China. Yes what happens in Athens is important and if the Eurozone and Greece had said goodbye, the economic shock would have reverberated around the markets for a while. But China

43,000 Nuisance Calls And Texts Go Out Every Minute

Nuisance Calls And Texts Go Out Every Minute

An astonishing 43,000 nuisance phone calls, texts and emails are sent every minute in Britain by cold calling claims companies, pension liberation scammers and investment fraudsters. Consumers are plagued with nuisance calls – each of us receives 468 calls or texts a year, claims research by financial firm LV=. That adds up to wasting a

Pension Freedom Costs Confusing For Savers

Pension Freedoms Spark Tax Windfall For Treasury

Pension freedom comes at a cost and some savers are paying a lot more than others as financial firms are making big profits to allow early access to retirement cash. A study comparing charges savers are paying on income drawdown services from 18 leading pension providers revealed someone could end up £3,000 better off over