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 :)

Guernsey QROPS Green Light Flexible Access

Guernsey QROPS Green Light Flexible Access

Guernsey Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are the latest to green light flexible access withdrawal rules from April 2015. Deputy treasury minister Jan Kuttelwascher announced the Channel Island’s government will amend tax laws to allow QROPS to operate under the same rules as pension schemes as those in the country where funds transferred in

Flexible Access Pensions Explained

Flexible Access Pensions Explained

Flexible access pensions start from April 2015 – but what are they and how do you choose the best way to manage your pension? The new rules mean from 55 years old retirement savers can withdraw as much of the direct contribution pension funds as they wish. The good news for expats is these rules

SIPP Compensation Pay Outs For Failed Investments

SIPP Compensation Pay Outs For Failed Investments

Retirement savers who lost pension cash in three failed investment schemes have been given the go ahead to make claims from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The FSCS has agreed to pay out for investment losses, including pension charges and lost pension growth. IFAs are to be held liable for giving pension savers advice

QROPS List – February 15, 2015

QROPS-List

It’s business as usual in the world of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) as another seven open in the past two weeks. This boosted the worldwide number of QROPS to a new peak of 3,673 pensions, up from 3,667 two weeks ago and 3,314 a year ago, according to the latest QROPS List published

More Pension Changes Pledged If Minister Voted Back

More Pension Changes Pledged If Minister Voted Back

More sweeping pension changes could be on the way if Lib Dem Pension Minister Steve Webb gets back into power. Webb has been a driving force behind auto-enrolment workplace pensions, scrapping annuities and the new flexible access pension rules that start later this year. Now, he is dangling another carrot in front of voters –

Deferring The State Pension FAQ

FAQ

If you are unsure about whether to delay taking your state pension, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions. As is often the case with financial matters, deciding not to take the money depends on several factors, like age, health and other income. Many people who have cash in the bank, a

Tax Code Nightmare Could Hit Pension Drawdowns

Tax Code Nightmare Could Hit Pension Drawdowns

Retirement savers could face paying thousands of pounds more tax than they should when accessing flexible drawdown pensions after April. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says many pension providers will impose emergency tax coding on pension withdrawals because they do not hold the right tax codes for customers. Taxing income under the emergency code means

Pension Liberation Scammers Target Minister

Pension Liberation Scammers Target Minister

Cheeky scammers have sent a text to Pensions Minister Steve Webb asking him to give them a call if he wants to liberate his pension. The minister was about to address a conference hosted by the Resolution Foundation think tank when he picked up the text. As a result of the text, Webb is alerting

Week in Expat Money Matters 8th February – 15th February 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: Taking A Financial Gamble Is Risky For Homeowners The trend of taking mortgages in foreign currency denominations has backfired for the huge number of expat homeowners who

Expats Ready For Mortgage Misselling Court Battle

Expats Ready For Mortgage Misselling Court Battle

Expat property investors are launching a legal challenge against an alleged Swiss franc mortgage misselling scandal in Cyprus. More than 200 British expats are starting court action against banks within weeks after waiting for years to try to resolve the problem. Some investors bought holiday homes on the Mediterranean island in 2003. Developers and estate

Chocolate Loving Expats Not So Sweet After Legal Row

Chocolate Loving Expats Not So Sweet After Legal Row

Thousands of British expat Kit-Kat lovers are sticking two fingers up at US chocolate maker Hershey after the giant corporation won a court case banning imports of the sweets from the UK. More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition in a bid to melt the hearts of Hershey’s executives after two firms importing

Investors lose £250m in Bitcoin Ponzi Scam

Investors lose £250m in Bitcoin Ponzi Scam

A Hong Kong Bitcoin exchange has suddenly closed locking thousands of investors out of their accounts believes to hold around £250 million. MyCoin is the latest in a line of Bitcoin ‘evaporations’ which have seen holders of the virtual currency lose hundreds of millions of pounds. Almost to the day a year ago, Bitcoin exchange

£1m Invested In Shariah SEIS In Less Than 14 Days

£1m Invested In Shariah SEIS In Less Than 14 Days

Britain’s first Shariah compliant Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) has raked in £1 million in less than 14 days. Shariah rules bars investors from receiving fees or commission for lending money, while the business receiving the cash must not offer goods or services that are contrary to Islamic religious principles. This makes SEIS an ideal

Armed Forces Pension? Should You Transfer into a QROPS?

Armed Forces Pension? Should You Transfer into a QROPS?

We all know by now that the UK’s unfunded public sector pension schemes are to be banned from transfer as of April this year. But of all the schemes this affects, it is the military pension model – and the variety of benefits it offers – that is causing most debate among UK and overseas

Property Secrets Of The World’s Billionaires

Property Secrets Of The World’s Billionaires

The world’s wealthiest people have around £2 trillion tied up in luxury homes, according to new research. Just 211,275 individuals considered as of ultra-high net worth because they have net assets of at least £20 million own these properties – and two or more belong to one in eight of this rich elite. Many of

Taking A Financial Gamble Is Risky For Homeowners

Taking A Financial Gamble Is Risky For Homeowners

Gambling on financial matters over which you have no control often looks a good idea at the time but can go wrong with a vengeance. Thousands of expat home owners are finding this out to their cost as the value of the Swiss Franc soars. Until a couple of weeks ago, the value of the

Expat Saving Rates: February 4, 2015

Expat Saving Rates

Bank and building society fixed rates for expats are on the slide again and likely to keep on slipping lower. Interest rates were shaved on several expat savings accounts this week- mainly by the odd fraction of 1%. But expats cannot expect rates to start climbing any time soon as the hawks on the Bank

QROPS LIST – February 1, 2015

QROPS-List

The number of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) is continuing to hit a new high. The February 1 QROPS List published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) details 3,667 of the pension schemes for expats and international workers worldwide. In the past 12 months, 419 QROPS opened and 28 closed, leaving a net gain

Three Danger Cities Named And Shamed

Three Danger Cities Names And Shamed

New research for expats has identified three of the world’s most dangerous cities as Ho Chi Minh City, Tehran and Jakarta. The study places these danger zones at the bottom of 50 world cities scrutinised for urban safety by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Tokyo was reckoned the safest city in the world, ahead of Singapore

Time to Review Your BP Pension?

Time to Review Your BP Pension

BP has reported a dramatic 20% decrease in year-on-year profits during the last three months of 2014, and an annual fall of 10%. Now, as damage limitation exercises begin, many of the tens of thousands of British BP staff working across the globe have been left wondering how this will affect them. So far, BP