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 :)

Pension Liberation Firms Closed By High Court

First FATCA Fraud Goes Before US Courts

The trustees responsible for the day-to-day running of two notorious pension liberation schemes have been wound up in the public interest after an investigation by the Insolvency Service. Omni Trustees and Imperial Trustee Services administered the Henley benefit retirement Scheme and Capita Oak Pension Scheme. The inquiry revealed both pension schemes were involved with other

12m Fall Victim To Identity Theft


Millions of people have had their identities stolen by fraudsters because they fail to take basic security measures to protect their sensitive information. Action Fraud, the UK’s online scam fighters have launched a campaign to raise awareness about identity theft called ‘Not With My Name’. More than 12 million people – one in four adults

QROPS List – July 15, 2015


The number of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) has recovered as 48 new schemes join the list, according to the latest data from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Since the introduction of the pension age test on April 6, more than 3,000 of the offshore schemes have stopped receiving transfers from British expats and

Tories Keep IHT Election Pledge – Six Years On

British Expat Voters Urged To Sign Up For Elections

Britain’s inheritance laws underwent a huge but not unexpected change in Chancellor George Osborne’s Summer Budget. In a manifesto promise first made before the coalition came to power in 2011, the Tories lifted family homes worth up to a £1 million out of the inheritance tax (IHT) net. Married couples and civil partners now have

Should Expats Consider A Philippines QROPS?

Time To Think About Philippines Financial Planning

The cheap cost of living and tropical sunshine of The Philippines are a magnet for expats looking to relax after spending hectic time working on oil and gas rigs. The climate, financial benefits and laid-back lifestyle as well and the warm and friendly locals are the main reasons why so many expats go back to

What next for QROPS pension savers?

What next for QROPS pension savers

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has lifted the suspension on Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) transfers – but has cut a swathe through the number of pensions accepting transfers from expats. In just two weeks, more than 3,000 QROPS and seven financial jurisdictions have lost QROPS status – but what does that mean for

What’s different between an IFA and a tied adviser?

What’s different between an IFA and a tied adviser?

Independent Financial Advisers and their tied adviser counterparts may look alike, but under the skin they are as different as chalk and cheese. An IFA who claims to be independent must be just that – having no ties with any financial providers that could influence any decision to recommend products or services. Independence means having

Kiwisaver QROPS Win Tax Reprieve From HMRC

New Zealand QROPS Kiwisaver’s Being Short Changed

Expats who have recently transferred money into Kiwisaver Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) in New Zealand have won a stay of execution on tax penalties. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has agreed to waive any tax penalties on unauthorised transfers to New Zealand Kiwisaver QROPS between April 6 and June 17, 2015. The ruling

Why Bangkok Expats Should Switch To A Malta QROPS

Malta gets tough on tax for QROPS investors

The benefits of switching to Bangkok Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are often overlooked by expats who believe the low cost of living in Thailand is already making their money stretch further. Bangkok offers a great life for expats with even modest financial resources with a tropical climate and cheap lifestyle. But planning for

Pension Savers In Dash For Cash

Expat Pensioners Losing Out On Spending Power

Pension freedoms have already changed the way thousands of over 55s are managing their finances, according to new research. A study by provider BlackRock has revealed 80% of retirement savers are taking all their pension savings as cash and £1 in every £4 invested is going towards a future drawdown pension product. This represents a

Expats Confused By QROPS Suspension


The Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) industry was thrown into confusion by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) suspending the regularly published list of schemes accepting transfers from UK pensions. Effectively, failing to publish the list on June 15 shut the international QROPS industry as UK pension firms cannot switch funds to a QROPS unless

QROPS List – July 1, 2015


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published the latest Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) List following the recent suspension of the list. In the two week suspension, 3,037 schemes and seven financial centres have been delisted. Although HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) refuses to discuss individual QROPS, the main reason for the missing schemes

High Court Shuts £12m Pension Liberation Firms

EU Court Backs British Expats In Homes Row

Pension liberation scheme KJK Investments Ltd and loan company G-Loans have been closed down by the government Insolvency Service. More than 200 retirement savers transferred £11.9 million into the scheme run by the two companies over almost three years and are likely to have lost their money. They are also facing HM Revenue & Customs

Rule breaking Australia QROPS beg saver tax amnesty

How QROPS Prospered In 2014

Australian Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) providers are pleading with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to grant a tax amnesty to retirement savers after hundreds of pensions were found to be breaking new rules. HMRC delisted 1,650 Australian QROPS on July 1, 2015, effectively closing the offshore pension market for expats in the country

Up Pension Spending Power With A Thailand QROPS

Up Pension Spending Power With A Thailand QROPS

Thailand Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) rarely register on the radar of expats because they think they are financially well-off in this low-cost country already. If they thought for a second, they would realise they could be even better off if they switched their pensions to a flexible and tax-efficient QROPS. Living a good

Philippines QROPS? Yes, Pensions Can Go To Paradise

A Look at QROPS for the USA

The cost of living and beautiful sun-kissed paradise islands of the Philippines are an irresistible pull for expats looking to take a breather from the rat race. Living in the Philippines is cheap by US and European standards. Although the nation is the world’s 12th largest by population and home to almost 100 million people,

What HMRC Knows About Expat Financial Secrets

Caymans Set To Reveal Secret Owners Of Companies

A top secret HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) computer system is revealing hidden financial information about expats and their money. Thousands of expats live abroad but still keep property, bank accounts and sometimes claim benefits in the UK while failing to declare any earnings from their assets on tax returns. Now the long-arm of the

10 Tips To Stress Test Your Pension Savings

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

Pension freedoms are opening the door on a huge source of wealth for many over 55s with money locked away in retirement savings – but sometimes accessing this cash can mean losing valuable benefits. Financial firm Standard Life has put together a 10 point checklist that reveals the dangers of eagerly taking pension cash without

Money Advice Can Give Thailand Expats A Little Extra

QROPS SafetyKeeping your Money Secure

Everyone cruises through life happily believing they have enough money to live well in retirement, but then something crops up and really you need some more. This is common for expats and retirees in Thailand, who can happily get by on their incomes or pensions because the lifestyle and cost of living are so cheap.

Gibraltar Looks To Tighten QROPS Pension Rules

QROPS May Come Under Easy Access Pension Rules

Gibraltar Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are likely to face tougher regulation. The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission wants providers in the offshore financial centre to police the advice given by financial advisers from outside the territory and to assess the investment risk of consumers. The regulator is concerned that some QROPS investors opt into