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 – March 15, 2015

QROPS-List

The lack of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) providers taking part in the new flexible access rules starting from April 6 seem to have no effect on the appetite of expat retirement savers to transfer their pension funds overseas. The only financial jurisdictions to indicating they will allow flexible access are Guernsey, Malta and

HMRC Blitz Wins £100 Billion In Tax Avoidance Cash

HMRC Blitz Wins £100 Billion In Tax Avoidance Cash

Government money handed to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to blitz tax avoidance has given a return of more than 100 times the investment. The incoming coalition government pledged £900 million to bolster HMRC’s compliance departments in 2011. The money was spent on sophisticated technology and recruiting specialist investigators. Since then, HMRC has collected around

Just Two QROPS Centres Ready For Flexible Access

Flexible Access Pensions Threat To State Benefits

Only six weeks left until flexible access for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) and still only two financial centres have announced they will be ready to let retirement savers drawdown up to 100% of their funds. Gibraltar and Malta were both quick out of the blocks to let QROPS investors know they can draw

New Rules For QROPS DB Transfers

New Rules For QROPS DB Transfers

Retirement savers contemplating switching their UK defined benefit pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) only have a few days left to transfer the money without consulting an IFA. New pension transfer rules come in from April 6, 2015 that require all defined benefit pension transfers to a QROPS  for funds of £30,000

Banks Accused Of Forex Charges Rip-Off

Banks Accused Of Forex Charges Rip-Off

Expats believe foreign currency transfers cost too much and that many services have rip-off charges. Only 15% of expats who send money overseas believe the fees they pay for the service are fair. Around 85% felt £4 was a fair charge – equivalent to an average 2.4% fee, according to a survey by online money

Tighter Rules Coming For Defined Benefit Transfers

Tighter Rules Coming For Defined Benefit Transfers

British companies are making big cash offers to workers to move their pension liabilities off their balance sheets. If you have a defined benefits scheme which gives a guaranteed pension income plus benefits, the question is do you take the money and run or stay with the scheme? For companies, shifting the liability to workers

Expats Win Right To Cash In Duff Annuities

Expats Win Right To Cash In Duff Annuities

Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget 2015 has extended the freedom for pensioners to cash in their annuities to expats as well. From April 2016, any retirement saver who has bought an annuity has the right to buy-out their contract regardless of where they live. In return, they can pick up a cash lump sum based on

Tunisia Is No-Go Zone For Tourists And Expats

Tunisia Is No-Go Zone For Tourists And Expats

Travel companies have declared Tunisia a no-go zone following the terror attack on the Bordo Museum. Nine suspected gunmen have been arrested following the shoot-out in the museum. At least 23 foreign tourists died in the attack as a gang of gunmen switched targets from government buildings to the museum. Islamic jihadists ISIL have claimed

Where Is The Best Place In The World For Expats?

Where Is The Best Place In The World For Expats

Companies are forever releasing lists of the best places to live in the world for expats in a clamour for free column inches or web page space. List are a good way of  grabbing publicity that money could not buy as advertising as readers are more likely to take notice of editorial content and are

Crowdfunding 101 – The Basics Explained

Crowdfunding 101 – The Basics Explained

Crowdfunding is an alternative investment phenomenon sweeping Britain, the US and Europe that allows companies to fund start-ups and raise capital to finance growth from a pool of investors. New investors need to understand how crowdfunding works before staking any cash, because some pitches do not fully explain the terms and conditions. For investors three

Week in Expat Money Matters 11th March – 18th March 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: SEIS Startups Not Just For The Wealthy The tax breaks offered by investment through SEIS can benefit everyone. The door to investment has been blown wide open

Pensions Boost For Women As Shares Soar

Pensions Boost For Women As Shares Soar

Women giving up work this year expect to settle for a retirement income of a quarter less than men, according to new research. The pension income ‘gender gap’ is an average of £92 a week or £4,800 a year, says financial giant Prudential, which carried out the survey. Women will pick up an average £14,300

Soaring Living Costs Prompt Expats To Leave UAE

Soaring Living Costs Prompt Expats To Leave UAE

Tax-free salaries and a jet-set lifestyle are not enough to keep expats in the United Arab Emirates, according to new research. While many agree that money and other benefits of living in the UAE are good, the high cost of living is pricing all but the wealthy out of the country. The population of the

Expat Savings Round-Up: March 12, 2015

Expat Saving Rates November 25 2014

The spending power of £1,000 invested in a savings account six years ago when interest rates in the UK were cut to a record low of 0.5% is now just £832. Financial experts at investment firm BlackRock have worked out even savers who moved their money into the best rated accounts during that time have

QROPS Renotification Delayed For A Year

QROPS Renotification Delayed For A Year

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) savers need to make sure their providers renotify their scheme status or they could face steep tax penalties. The renotification process was due to start on April 1, 2015, but has been put back a year by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Providers and HMRC felt more time was

Expat Pensioners Losing Out On Spending Power

Expat Pensioners Losing Out On Spending Power

Two thirds of pensioners are financially less well off than they were a decade ago, according to a new survey. Pension payments firm Equiniti has looked at how pensions paid in Sterling are faring against other currencies. Although the pound is growing stronger and buys more foreign currency in many countries, the bad news for

QROPS LIST – March 01, 2015

QROPS-List

Financial jitters have failed to affect the seemingly unstoppable rise of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) around the world. Despite volatile markets, falling bond rates and low returns on savings, retirement savers are still pinning their hopes on QROPS to featherbed their later years. As HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued the 108th QROPS

Week in Expat Money Matters 3rd March – 10th March 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: FATCA List – March 01, 2015 Everybody’s least favourite piece of US tax legislation continues to march forward unabated. Here’s the rundown on the latest places to

QROPS Tracker – March 1, 2015

QROPS Tracker

The world of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) may be small, but in some of the 45 financial jurisdictions offering 3,688 pensions there’s a lot going on. Looking at how many QROPS have stopped and started over the past 12 months shows shome interesting statistics. The top 10 financial centres which host the most

QROPS Solve Expat Pension Banking Problems

QROPS Solve Expat Pension Banking Problems

Expat pensioners are suffering from the knock-on effects of tighter financial regulation following the credit crunch as British banks close overseas accounts. One often overlooked solution is considering transferring a UK onshore pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). Many UK financial planners and pension providers discount these schemes because they lack knowledge