Lisa Smith, Editor and Writer

Expat for over 15 years with my wonderful two children. A teacher and a writer and in my spare time (which is very little) a surfer. You can usually find me at the beach or in a cafe reading or writing. Currently doing a great deal of research and reading in to expat pension and retirement plans such as QROPS and QNUPS. I would love to hear your comments on any article I write, it really does fuel my passion for journalism :)

QROPS List – October 1, 2015


Almost 200 Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) have joined the UK list of offshore pensions since the start of July. Then, the number was slashed from 3,700 to 665 as HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK imposed new stricter rules on paying benefits to the under 55s. The latest list has 861

Broadgate Advisory Thailand


Nigel Green’s deVere Group – the largest independent financial consultancy in the world -has completed the acquisition of one of the leading wealth advisory firms in Thailand – Broadgate Advisory. The Asian market, and Thailand in particular, is an extremely popular destination for international workers and expats, with many choosing to retire there due to

Guernsey QROPS Readying For Flexible Access

Guernsey QROPS

Guernsey law makers have flexible access for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) on the agenda for discussion. New regulations following those introduced in the UK in April are scheduled for debate by the Guernsey States next week. If the bill is passed, the new rules are expected to start from October 2, 2015. QROPS

Financial Watchdogs Publish Investor Alerts


Financial alerts about alleged bogus firms offering unauthorised advice has been published this week by government regulators worldwide. Warnings about bogus advisers – Worldwide Bogus adviser alerts on the International Organisation of Securities Commissions web site: Forex Consulting GmbH – Switzerland Ouroboros Derivatives Trading Ltd – Canada Anyoption Ltd., Anyoption Payment Services Ltd. and/or Anyoption

Is Your Pension In Safe Hands With Shell?


If you have a pension with oil giant Shell and are worried about what may happen to your retirement savings if you lose your job you need to take specialist financial advice. Many Shell workers have built up significant retirement savings as high-earners in a well-paying industry. The company runs the Shell Overseas Contributory Pension

IRS Targets Secret Offshore Bank Accounts


US taxpayers with secret bank accounts in Belize are about to feel the full force of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A federal court in Miami has issued summonses against Belize Bank International and Belize Bank aiming to identify accounts controlled by US taxpayers from 2006 until 2014. Belize banks are subject to the Foreign

Judge Throws Out FATCA Legal Challenge


A long-awaited legal challenge against the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was rejected in the courts. The Federal Court of Canada rejected an attempt from Virginia Hillis and Gwendolyn Deegan claiming that FATCA infringed the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and their right to enjoy security of person and unreasonable search and

Australia QROPS Delisting Timeline


The writing was on the wall for Australia Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) late in 2014 – but no one saw what was coming. December 19, 2014 – Consultation opens: The British government opened an industry consultation on amending the qualifying rules for QROPS by aligning them with other UK legislation introduced under a

Pension Giant Blocks Savers From Flexible Access


One of Britain’s biggest pension providers is making a mockery of flexible access by blocking access to retirement savings. Aegon serves millions of customers around the world and controls billions of pounds of pension cash. But savers trying to exercise their rights to take their money out of their funds and spend the cash as

Too Few Are Aware Of SEIS Tax Breaks, Say Directors

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme_Spending Funds Raised Through SEIS

The government needs to do more to raise awareness of enterprise investment schemes by businesses, according to company directors. The Institute of Directors (IoD) is calling on policy makers to revamp the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) because entrepreneurs and investors do not understand the benefits they offer. In a

Spain And France Top Expat Retirement Choices


Spain and France are still the most popular retirement destinations for British expats, according to a new survey. Spain led the way with 24% of the poll for financial services firm Retirement Advantage. France was second with 20% of the vote, while 9% pitched for the hot spots of the Eastern Mediterranean, such as Greece,

QROPS List – September 15, 2015


Retirement savers investing in Australia Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) gained a little respite with the publication of the latest HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) QROPS List. After 1,650 were wiped off for breaking UK pension rules in June, in the past two weeks, three more QROPS passed the stringent HMRC tests to qualify

QROPS Australia Tax comparison

Tax Services

The question for many expats is in Australia is if switching their UK pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is worthwhile? Tax is a personal issue and no one-size-fits-all solution is available, but here are some general pointers to how pensions are taxed in different financial centres for British expats and foreign

How The New Dividend Allowance Affects You


The tax man has published guidance about the new tax-free dividend allowance that will replace the current dividend tax credit in April 2016. The headline is shareholders will not have any income tax to pay on the first £5,000 of dividend income, regardless of how much income they have from other sources. The allowance covers

What is the OECD?


The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is like a global think tank for advancing ideas and policy for the leading developed nations. Based in Paris with 2,500 staff, the OECD gathers social and economic data from member states which is analysed, discussed and edited into digests with recommendations for governments to consider as

More Awards for Expat Financial Advisers deVere Group


deVere Group, which is generally regarded as the world’s biggest financial advisory organisation for expatriates, is continuing its award-winning streak by receiving another two prestigious awards over the past month. The company has this week been named Best Independent Financial Advisory Team Global 2015 by Capital Finance International (CFI), and deVere CEO Nigel Green has received a 2015 CEO

Australian QROPS Get Me Out of this Mess


Thousands of retirement savers are looking for a way out of a pension nightmare after the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) market collapsed in Australia. As a favourite UK retirement and emigration destination, Australia reckons to be home to at least 1.2 million British expats. Add to that the thousands of Australians who have

Don’t Rely On That £1m Inheritance Tax Lifeline


If you believe you can leave an estate of £1 million on your death, then you need to think again because the right comes with a lot of ifs and buts. Chancellor George Osborne announced raising the allowance to £1 million in his Summer Budget – but if you read what he said carefully, that

What Are The Alternatives To Australia QROPS?


Australia QROPS are no more and unless financial regulators Down Under radically change superannuation pension rules, they are unlikely to return to the mass market for British expats. The problem is Aussie superannuation schemes allow pay outs to retirement savers aged under 55 years old, while UK pension rules do not. Changing the rules in

UK Biometric Residence Permits


Foreign nationals from outside the European economic Area intending to stay in Britain for more than six months must have a biometric residence permit (BRP) when they apply to come to the UK. Information for the BRP is gathered automatically from personal data declared as part of a visa or immigration application. The procedure brings