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: Why Transfer an Army Pension?

QROPS Why Transfer an Army Pension

The military have always provided excellent benefits to those in their service, and rightly so. A Military pension is paid into by the Army on the behalf of its recruits, and can be drawn at 65. The scheme has always been solid (aside from a few notable exceptions relating to individuals), but should anybody with

33 Super Rich Join Ranks Of World’s Wealthiest Daily

33 Super Rich Join Ranks Of World’s Wealthiest Daily

An astonishing 33 people a day are minted as ultra-high net worth individuals with personal fortunes of more than £19 million. Just over 12,000 wealthy people joined the ranks of the world’s richest individuals in the past 12 months, according to a new report by Swiss bank UBS and market research firm Wealth X. The

Alternative Finance Plugs Entrepreneur Funding Gap

Alternative Finance Soars As Banks Shun Businesses

Alternative finance is starting to plug a multi-billion pound funding gap for entrepreneurs and startup businesses. The market has mushroomed to a £2 billion a year business from almost a standing start just two years ago, according to new research by innovation charity NESTA. The finance is equivalent to high street banks lending to 7,000

Week in Expat Money Matters 10th November – 16th November 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: Alternative Finance Soars As Banks Shun Businesses Banks are still not comfortable with offering start-up businesses the necessary funding to get things off the ground. As a

Tax Avoidance FAQ

Tax Avoidance FAQ

The tax man is sending out thousands of letters to individuals and companies allegedly involved in illegal tax avoidance schemes. Around 43,000 letters are in the post, with 33,000 going to individuals. Recently HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued a list of myths about tax avoidance and here are some of the key points: Do

Getting a QROPS Recognised by the USA

Getting a QROPS Recognised by the USA

A Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) can be a great option for those now living in the US, but with an accumulated UK pension remaining in Britain. There are tax advantages and investment flexibility options offed by a QROPS which are not available in the UK, as well as a choice of currency denomination

QROPS List – November 15, 2014

QROPS-List

Gibraltar QROPS are proving one of the offshore retirement market success stories with 20 new schemes opening in the past year. Three more QROPS were added to the Gibraltar portfolio in the past two weeks, making a total of 44 pensions available in the financial centre. Australia, Ireland and Guernsey have all more new QROPS

Teachers Flock to QROPS

Teachers Flock to QROPS

As coverage of the torrid situation the UK public sector pension market is in continues to be the subject of various articles and forum debates, QROPS providers have reported a huge increase in the number of enquiries they are receiving, particularly from teachers. Many teachers from the UK now work in the same profession overseas,

SEIS, More Help For Entrepreneurs Seeking Business Cash

More Help For Entrepreneurs Seeking Business Cash

Entrepreneurs have trouble raising finance to grow their businesses because they do not know where to look for investment once a bank turns them away, says a new report. To try to level the playing field, the government has introduced a raft of new measures to help them with alternative finance sources – but 50%

How Fund Supermarkets Work

How Fund Supermarkets Work

Investing money in equities or funds can be a scary proposition for many ordinary people who have worked hard to save some cash but have no idea how stock markets operate. Many look to financial advisers to help – but find a significant amount of their savings are can be spent as fees. Some armchair

Easy Access Threatens To Swamp Pension Firms

Easy Access Threatens To Swamp Pension Firms

Pension providers are expecting a huge surge in the number of customers opting for easy-access drawdown next year. Standard Life, Britain’s biggest drawdown provider fears thousands of new customers wanting to take cash from their pensions will over run the company’s online portal and call centres. Around 6% of retirees put their pensions into drawdown

Expatriate Academics Getting Into QROPS

Expatriate Academics Getting Into QROPS

Retirement pots have already been slashed for University lecturers and staff over the course of the last 15 years, many instances resulting in strike action. But now it has been revealed that a whole host of further cutbacks are being considered by the UK’s Universities as the current pension regime is seen as being unsustainable.

Expats Ready To Flee Islamic State Advances

Expats Ready To Flee Islamic State Advances

Terror outrages and the advance of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq are making some expats in the region fear for their safety. One flashpoint is the Turkish border between the north of Iraq, which is an area dominated by Turkish Kurds. Many expats in southern areas of Turkey were drawing up plans to

Expat Saving Rates: November 5, 2014

Expat Saving Rates November

Offshore savings banks and building societies are still sitting tight on rate moves as they consolidate their balance sheets to meet regulatory requirements. The European Central Bank recently run ‘stress tests’ to monitor how the banks might perform in another credit crisis. All the major offshore banks passed – with the exception of Permanent Bank’s

QROPS Flexible Drawdown to Come

Good and Bad News

While in the UK, we are set to witness a defining moment for the pension market in 2015 and beyond, for the international and expatriate market, the same is also true. Traditional pension plans are set to be granted 100% access and flexibility in terms of drawdown, and while some predicted that this would affect

QROPS List – November 1, 2014

QROPS-List

Five India Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) have been relisted by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) after fears that the financial jurisdiction would lose QROPS status. Provider HDFC had five QROPS suspended in a surprise move by the tax man in October. All the schemes have now been reinstated, leaving India QROPS with 12

SEIS Tax Breaks May Come Under HMRC Scrutiny

HMRC

Business angels investing in start-up and early stage growth companies through tax schemes that provide loss relief could come under the scrutiny of the tax man. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has already investigated several film partnership tax avoidance schemes that generated artificial losses. Now a claims management company is speculating that investors in Seed

Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) Qualifying Trade

seed-enterprise-image

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) has been in operation for three years now, and has assisted numerous young start-ups with sourcing vital investment where none would previously have been forthcoming. One grey area for entrepreneurs however, seems to be regarding which trades qualify for the SEIS. Here we have compiled a list of qualifying

QROPS – the US Outlook

QROPS  – the US Outlook

It’s well documented that the UK’s pension market is in a bad way. Falling investment returns, financial uncertainty the continual legislation changes are concerning enough for UK pension investors, but when you throw currency volatility into the mix as an expat, it’s relatively easy to see why Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are currently

Pension Tax Relief At Risk, Hints Minister

Pension Tax Relief At Risk, Hints Minister

Pension Minister Steve Webb has dropped a heavy hint that pension contribution tax relief faces a shake-up if the Lib Dems are still in power after the next election. Rumours have floated around The Treasury and back-rooms at Westminster over recent months that the top-up cash paid to retirement savers when they put money into