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 :)

Flexible Pension Freedom Triggers Fraud Alert

Tips For Avoiding Bogus Investment Scams And Fraud

Pension freedoms have triggered a flood of fraudsters cold-calling over 55s with dodgy investment opportunities, according to consumer watchdogs. Thousands of over 55s have received telephone calls, texts and emails from suspected bogus IFAs offering high returns on risky investments, says the Consumers Association. Shockingly, 40% of those contacted confess they have no idea how

How To Benefit From A QROPS In Malaysia

US Residents See Extra Benefits in QROPS

So you are an expat living in a country without any Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) providers – so how do you switch your pension offshore? This is an often asked question as only 45 financial centres offer QROPS and for many, the retirement saver must live in country. Most of the popular British

deVere Group Awards, Accolades and Accusations

Hong Kong

Owing to its status as the largest and the highest profile expat financial advisory firm in the world, deVere Group often comes under scrutiny. But rarely has it received this scrutiny in such extreme forms as it has this week. On the one hand, deVere Group CEO, Nigel Green, posted a blog in which he

QROPS List – May 19, 2015

QROPS-List

New Zealand Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) have seen 23 expat pensions delisted in the past two weeks. The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) QROPS List for May 1 listed 57 pensions – which has been sliced to 34 on publication of the latest list. HMRC declines to comment on why schemes are delisted,

Hundreds Of QROPS Face Flexible Access Rule Change

Financial Planning For Your Flexible Access Pension

Hundreds of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) could face suspension with the introduction of flexible access rules in the UK. The rules which came in on April 6, 2015, only allow a pension to be classed as a QROPS if the retirement savers can access their benefits in the same way as British pension

EU Ready To Switch On A Digital Europe

Wealth Managers Focus On Digital Entrepreneurs

A revolutionary plan to make Europe into a single digital market by breaking technology barriers hampering business on the internet has been set in motion. The Digital Single Market Strategy expects to deliver key targets within 18 months that will smash technology barriers between European Union nations. These barriers, says European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, are

Expat Exchange Rates – May 2015

Expat Exchange Rates

Expats need to keep an eye on foreign currency exchange rates to make sure they are getting value for money. Forex rates can be so volatile in the short-term, it’s easy to think you should have asked for a rise or left that cash in another currency rather than switching to one that’s on a

QROPS List – May 1, 2015

QROPS-List

The number of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) has dropped for the first time in eight months. The latest QROPS List published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on May 1, 2015 lists 3,723 pensions – a decrease of 31 schemes since the last list was published on April 15, 2015. The last time

Election 2015 Pension Pledges Hurt High Earners

Pension Top Up Cash At Risk After Next Election

High earners will seek alternative savings away pensions whatever the result of Election 2015, according to financial experts. Both the Conservatives and Labour have hinted in their manifestos that tax relief on pension contributions for those earning more than £150,000 a year will change. As a result, these wealthy individuals will look elsewhere for reasonable

Pension Liberation Wrecks Lives And Relationships

Pension Liberation Wrecks Lives And Relationships

Pension liberation fraudsters have left a trail of suicide and wrecked manages in their trail as they ruthlessly target vulnerable retirement savers. A campaigner fighting for justice for hundreds of ordinary workers who lost their lifetime savings to crooks has revealed the human cost of their scams. Angela Brooks, who heads Ark Class Action, claims

FATCA List – May 1, 2015

FATCA List – March 01, 2015

The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is celebrating five years on the statute books at the end of the month – and has changed the face of tax reporting worldwide. President Barak Obama backed FATCA as part of the HIRE Act 2010 with the aim of clamping down on offshore tax avoidance by

Phased Retirement Is The Key To A Better Lifestyle

Phased Retirement Is The Key To A Better Lifestyle

The time has come to reconsider how everyone thinks about retirement as the distinction between giving up work and moving towards a more relaxed lifestyle blurs. A study by HSBC Bank believes that now people can expect to live longer, many want to continue working, but at less of a pace than earlier in their

US Residents See Extra Benefits in QROPS

US Residents See Extra Benefits in QROPS

British expats now residing in the USA –and there is a lot of them –who still have pensions back in the UK have now seen the benefits of QROPS escalate. Transferring a UK pension into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme is nothing new for US residents, it has been a tax-efficient method of accessing one’s pension from

Expat Saving Rates – April 23, 2015

Expat Savings

Savings rates are continuing their downward spiral as providers seem to operate in a pack by setting returns around the same level. The return expats can earn on their money has steadily fallen in recent years, with quantitative easing in Britain and the USA making money cheaper for banks to borrow and lessening their need

All Change As Pension Freedoms Alter IHT Thinking

Delight and freedom

A shift in inheritance rules that has accompanied pension freedoms has led to wealthy investors considering a U-turn in the way they hold or spend assets. Since April 6, 2015, many wealthy pension savers may are better off keeping their retirement assets locked away while drawing down on other assets, like shares, ISAs and cash

Brakes On Falling House Prices In Spain

Brakes On Falling House Prices In Spain

House prices in Spain are still falling more than seven years after values started to drop following the financial crisis. Property valuation web site Tinsa reckons the average home price was 2.8% lower in March 2015 than 12 months earlier, although the drop is slowing. In February, the year-on-year fall was 3.6%. Since the start

New HMRC Tax Penalty Warning To QROPS Savers

New HMRC Tax Penalty Warning To QROPS Savers

Consumer warnings on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) QROPS List have changed this month. The latest list published on April 15, 2015, points out that HMRC only lists pensions that scheme administrators have declared meet registered overseas pension scheme (ROPS) rules and that the tax authority cannot guarantee that they are QROPS. The warning

Don’t Bank On Picking Up Your Pension Cash At 55

Don’t Bank On Picking Up Your Pension Cash At 55

Retirement savers are looking forward to retire with a personal pension at 55 years old, but many will find this is a dream rather than reality. The private pension age and state pension age are different figures. The private pension age is 55 years old, but the state pension age is 65 years old until

SEIS Directory Proving a Hit

SEIS Directory Proving a Hit_a

The recent launch of the SEIS Directory on SEIS.co.uk has seen some of the UK’s newest start-ups take advantage of being able to be listed on the number one site for the widely lauded legislation. The SEIS Directory allows any company seeking investment through SEIS to get listed. Companies are able to upload photos, videos,

HMRC Change QROPS List Statement

HMRC Change QROPS List Statement

HMRC has rushed to amend the text on its controversial QROPS list, to try and bring attention to the fact that simply making an appearance on the list means very little in terms of meeting the necessary criteria to ‘qualify’ and be ‘recognised’. The QROPS list is published every fortnight, and features all new additions