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 Tracker – August 1, 2014

QROPS Tracker

Despite occasional setbacks like last month’s surprise suspension of 115 Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) , the offshore pensions market keeps marching on. Since QROPS were introduced on April 6, 2006, the number of pensions has rocketed from zero to a record 3,423 schemes with the publish of the most recent QROPS List by […]

How Social Investment Tax Relief Works

How Social Investment Tax Relief Works

Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) is an investment offering tax relief to wealthy good Samaritans who put money into social enterprises to help less well-off people and communities. Some consider the scheme as a way for the government to raise finance for social projects that cannot raise public funds because of spending cuts. Others believe SITR […]

Offshore Fixed Savings Rates – July 31, 2014

Offshore Fixed Savings Rates – July 31 2014

Most offshore fixed savings rates remain unchanged – but the Nationwide is offering a new three-year bond. At 1.80% for a minimum deposit of £5,000, the rate is conservative and lacks excitement for expats who can pick up better rates over the same term elsewhere for depositing the same cash. Conister Bank is offering 2.50% […]

Week in Expat Money Matters 11th August – 17th August 2014

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.com: Boko Haram Bombings Sparking Travel Warning With the ongoing terror attacks in Nigeria, the foreign office is advising against a visit to the troubled African country for […]

African Ebola Virus IS Worst Outbreak Ever

African Ebola Virus IS Worst Outbreak Ever

The worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is sweeping across four countries in Africa. The Ebola epidemic is the worst by geographical spread and the number of people infected. So far, the virus has claimed victims in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria after the first reported case were in Guinea earlier this year. The most […]

Teachers Pension Transfers to QROPS

Expat Teachers: Many Opting to Transfer Pension to QROPS

In the wake of the recent announcements following the UK pension consultations, teachers, as well as the majority of public sector employees are facing up to an uncertain pension future. As of April 2015, restrictions will be put in place which essentially prevents the transfer of any unfunded defined benefit schemes into a more beneficial […]

Magic Roundabout sees 15,000 businesses start

Magic Roundabout sees 15,000 businesses start

London’s Silicon Roundabout is the place where most new businesses are starting in Britain, according to figures from industry experts. The magic ‘EC1V’ postcode, which takes in The Angel, City Road and Old Street, saw 15,620 new start-ups in the last tax year, says accounting firm UHY Hacker Young. The firm says that outpaces new […]

QROPS Transfers – Safeguarding Expat Pension Cash

QROPS Transfers – Safeguarding Expat Pension Cash

Switching cash between pensions and triggering tax penalties and losing cash to fraudsters is a hot topic of concern for many retirement savers. Pension liberation has cost honest retirement savers a fortune in advice costs, fines and some have even lost all their money to crooks. So, quite rightly, many expats considering a transfer from […]

Door May Be Closing On Public Sector QROPS Switches

Door-May-Be-Closing-On-Public-Sector-QROPS-Switches

The clock may be ticking for local government and civil service employees who might want to switch their pensions overseas to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). Chancellor George Osborne announced in Budget 2014 that a ban was probably on the way against transferring public sector pensions into other schemes, including QROPS, from April […]

QROPS Transfers for South African Residents

QROPS Transfers for South African Residents

Those expats residing in South Africa that opt to leave their UK pension where it is leave their funds subject to UK pension legislation. And despite the most recent Budget announcements declaring that the fundamentally restrictive nature of the UK pension market is over for now, there is still much work to be done separately […]

Will You Leave it to Fate?

Will You Leave it to Fate?

If the unthinkable were to happen, it is important that your affairs are in order – particularly if you have a family. As an expatriate in the UAE it is not just important, it is imperative that you have a Will drafted. Nobody enjoys talking about death, despite it being a part of life. The […]

Pension Liberation Adviser Fights Court Ruling

Pension Liberation Adviser Fights Court Ruling

Pension liberation adviser Paul Baxendale-Walker is appealing against a High Court ruling that closed his scheme. Baxendale-Walker is challenging the judge’s decision and an injunction granted the The Pensions Regulator (TPR) to stop the former lawyer and media entrepreneur from running alleged pension liberation businesses. The appeal follows a decision in the High Court earlier […]

QROPS in the USA

QROPS in the USA

Since the introduction of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) in 2006, expatriates across the world with a UK-based pension have been able to transfer their funds overseas. This has a variety of advantages, most notably a reduction in tax rates, the potential for higher returns and a higher pension income, increased flexibility, no exposure […]

Boko Haram Bombings Sparking Travel Warning

Boko Haram Bombings Sparking Travel Warning

Expats and visitors to Nigeria are urged to avoid public places after a spate of terrorist bombings. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is warning travellers of an increased threat from terror group Boko Haram across major cities. The latest attacks were in Kano and Kaduna around lunchtime on successive days this week. In the […]

Week in Expat Money Matters 4th August – 10th August 2014

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.com: Expats Paid Less Than Saudis Doing The Same Job Expatriates working in the private sector can be paid as little as half the salary of Saudi nationals, […]

Rate Hikes Spur Competition For Offshore Savings

Rate Hikes Spur Competition For Offshore Savings

Isle of Man based Conister Bank has hitched up offshore savings rates by 0.5% across a range of accounts. The bank is now offering the best five, three and two year offshore rates for expat savers. At 3%, the five year rate is just above Skipton International’s 2.75%, but asks a minimum £5,000 deposit against […]

How Do You Find A Company For A SEIS Investment?

How Do You Find A Company For A SEIS Investment

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is a great tax break for investors, but just how do you find a company that needs your cash? SEIS is run by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), but no list of companies eligible for investment is published, leaving new start firms and investors who want to link up […]

FATCA 2 Ready In Global Crackdown On Tax Cheats

FATCA 2 Ready In Global Crackdown On Tax Cheats

A new global standard for governments to crack down on tax evasion has been released by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Almost 70 countries have already signed up to the charter, which will roll out a US style Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) law globally. FATCA started on July 1, 2014 […]

QROPS: The Four Points

QROPS points

There are four crucial aspects which, when put together correctly, contribute to the creation of the perfect QROPS. The complexities involved in finding a QROPS which is suitable for the individual’s circumstances can be simplified when broken down into segments. These four features are perhaps the most important considerations when making sure that the QROPS […]

The Difference Between SEIS And Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding

Unless investors looking for high returns have been hiding under a rock for the past few months, they should know that companies are pitching for their cash with the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and crowdfunding. Although both schemes are aimed at raising start-up cash for entrepreneurs, some big differences separate them. SEIS is a […]