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 :)

Working out the expat cost of living

Working out the expat cost of living

Cost of living is just one of the factors expats and international workers have to take into account when moving overseas. For working expats, bulging pay packets and low or no tax does not necessarily mean low day-to-day living expenses. For retired expats living on a budget, the cost of living is also an important

Expat Pensioners Urged To Rekindle Winter Fuel Fight

Businessman with a snow shovel and briefcase

Expat pensioners are trying to rekindle their battle to stop the British government taking away their winter fuel allowance. British MP Roger Gale has today tabled a motion in the House of Commons to axe the new law scrapping paying the allowance to expat pensioners in countries where the average winter temperature is higher than

Pensioner Bond Web Site Crashes In First Hour Live

Pensioner Bond Web Site Crashes In First Hour Live

A flood of online applications on the first day high interest pensions bonds have gone on sale has crashed the National Savings & Investment web site. Within an hour of the bonds going on sale, the web site slowed to a crawl and the NS&I press office issued a statement asking customers to be patient

Companies House Reveals Startup Hot Spots

Companies House Reveals Startup Hot Spots

A record 581,000 new startups registered with Companies House last year, according to new research. London led the way for entrepreneurs with more than 180,000 new companies. Other startup hotspots for entrepreneurs included Birmingham, with more than 18,000 new companies and Manchester just tipping the 13,000 mark for startups. Unsurprisingly, the number of startups was

QROPS LIST – January 15, 2015

QROPS-List

After a New Year spurt, the number of new Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) opening has slowed. With the addition of Kosovo, Kenya and the Falkland Islands to the number of financial centres offering QROPS in the past few weeks and a surge in the number of schemes opening, it was likely the market

Amazon Eyes New Marketplace For Startups

Amazon Eyes New Marketplace For Startups

Amazon may be planning to muscle in on markets for entrepreneurs and startups with a new online platform, according to industry insiders. Crowdfunders and entrepreneurs have watched the Amazon space with interest for several months as the company has quietly put out feelers and marketing executives and IT specialists with an interest in helping inventors

Ombudsman Makes First Pension Liberation Rulings

Ombudsman Makes First Pension Liberation Rulings

The Pensions Ombudsman has finally ruled on three pension liberation complaints about blocked transfers after a year of deliberating over the claims. The ombudsman is thought to have a backlog of around 100 pension liberation cases and these are the first rulings. In each, the ombudsman has backed the refusal of pension providers to block

QROPS Start 2015 On A New High

QROPS Start 2015 On A New High

The global Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) market started 2015 on a record high. With 3,634 QROPS pensions offered by 45 financial centres worldwide, retirement savers have never had so many schemes to choose from. Putting 2014 into perspective for QROPS – 412 new pensions opened for business 31 pensions closed 3 new financial

Flexi-Drawdown Rules For QROPS Published

Flexi-Drawdown Rules For QROPS Published

New Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) draft legislation has overhauled the rules for offshore pensions, bringing them into line with flexible access rules for UK pensions. The problem was QROPS rules dictated that providers had to ring fence 70% of the fund to provide a lifetime income for the retirement saver. This requirement meant

IRS Switches On FATCA Tax Information Swapping

IRS Switches On FATCA Tax Information Swapping

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) information exchange network has gone live and is receiving the first reports on the financial affairs of US taxpayers. The online network links tax authorities in 110 countries and more than 145,000 financial institutions with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Financial institutions outside the US must tell the

Jersey QROPS Revamped For Off-Island Expats

Jersey QROPS Revamped For Off-Island Expats

Jersey Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are set to open to non-residents from January 1, 2015. A long-awaited law change on the Channel Island that was put on the back burner in April 2012 after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) changed QROPS pension rules is due to take effect from the New Year. In

QROPS: Unravelling New Zealand

QROPS Unravelling New Zealand

New Zealand is viewed as a relatively simple jurisdiction for a QROPS, with good tax benefits and a well regulated system, however, QROPS in New Zealand have not been without complication. For instance, when promises of 100% access were made and kept by certain providers in flagrante of the HMRC-imposed rules, which lead to some

Suicide Bomber Blasts Police Station

Suicide Bomber Blasts Police Station

Expats and visitors to Turkey are under threat from terror attacks, warns the British government. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued a travel warning highlighting that the country not only faces terrorist incidents from home-grown groups, but that the borders have been infiltrated by Islamic terror groups from Iraq and Syria. In the

Eurozone Deflation After Months Of Stagnation

Eurozone Deflation After Months Of Stagnation

The Eurozone has finally slipped into deflation after months of morbid economic inactivity. Inflation was -0.2% in December, according to a statement from Eurostat, the European Union’s official statistics agency. This is a drop of 0.5% from a rate of 0.3% in November. Eurostat says the fall into deflation is due to rapidly collapsing energy

Top Scams Trapping Investors Seeking High Returns

Top Scams Trapping Investors Seeking High Returns

Scammers are cashing in as savers look for investments offering higher returns than rates offered by cash in the bank. Investors yielding to the temptation of rich rewards lose an average of almost £6,000 each; according to research by consumer champion Which?. A survey of members showed around 10% were cold-called by scammers looking to

QROPS Tax Conundrum For Easy Access Drawdown

QROPS Tax Conundrum For Easy Access Drawdown

Easy access drawdown rules for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) come with a twist in the tail. The Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have confirmed QROPS are included in pension reforms that start from April 6, 2015 – which means retirement savers can access their QROPS fund as and when they wish.

QROPS List – January 1, 2015

QROPS-List

Kenya is the latest financial centre to join HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) QROPS List. The nation is the second in Africa to offer Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). The other is South Africa, with a well-established QROPS market offering 32 different schemes. The new Kenya QROPS is provided by Nairobi based ICEA Lion

Quick Guide To The New State Pension

Quick Guide To The New State Pension

How the State Pension is paid is changing for people retiring on or after April 6, 2016 – but you need to make some plans now to see how the new measures will affect your retirement income. The Department of Work and Pensions has issued a set of guidance notes for employees and the self-employed,

Osborne Silent On Flexi-Access Rules For QROPS

Osborne Silent On Flexi-Access Rules For QROPS

The future of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) and how they will interact with the new flexi-access pension rules remains puzzling after Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement 2014. The statement is a mini-Budget that gives the Chancellor an opportunity to give a report on how the economy is progressing and to give a heads

QROPS List – December 15, 2014

QROPS-List

A second new Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) financial centre has opened for business this month. Hot on the heels of the Falklands Islands, which joined the ranks of financial centres offering  QROPS pensions earlier this month, the Fondi Sllovene – Kosovar i Pensioneve has opened in the tiny Balkan state of Kosovo. The