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 :)

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

Armed Gangs Prey On Tourists And Expats

Armed Gangs Prey On Tourists And Expats

Lawless organised crime gangs are preying on tourists and business travellers in some areas of Mexico, according to a warning from the US State Department. Criminals are targetting American and European tourists in several states, says the alert. Crimes include kidnapping, car-jacking and robbery. Thousands of Americans cross the US-Mexico border every day for business,

Tories Renew Pledge To Raise IHT Threshold To £1m

Tories Renew Pledge To Raise IHT Threshold To £1m

David Cameron has resurrected his pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million if the Conservatives win Election 2015. The promise was a key part of his manifesto for the last election, but was horse-traded with the Lib-Dems as one of the negotiable policies if the coalition was going to work. Now the

Dead Singer Holds Key To Election 2015 Marginal Vote

Dead Singer Holds Key To Election 2015 Marginal Vote

While the party leaders are battling out for who wins the most seat in General election 2015, the absurdity of Britain’s voting system has thrown up some astounding anomalies. Voters in Hampstead and Kilburn have the option of casting their vote for a dead candidate – Sixties pop star and Eurovision contender Ronnie Carroll. Unfortunately

QROPS List – April 15, 2015

QROPS-List

The number of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) has gone up by another 12 pensions during the past two weeks. The latest QROPS List published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) shows the total  of QROPS worldwide has hit a new high of 3,754 pensions – an increase of 12 over the previous list.

Boardroom Confidence Grows As Economies Improve

Boardroom Confidence Grows As Economies Improve

Bruised faith in the global economy is improving as executives across the world report more confidence in their boardrooms, according to a new study. Companies based in developed markets also have stronger balance sheets and are delivering higher returns, says the Fidelity 2015 Global Analyst Survey. The highest hopes come from healthcare companies, while the

Week in Expat Money Matters 6th April – 13th April 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: Setback As Chinese Push Yuan As Major Currency The Chinese Yuan has stalled in popularity despite its initial ent5try into the league table of the world’s most

Expat Savings – April 1, 2015

Expat Savings

The official interest rate is only going up, according to Bank of England governor Mark Carney. In a recent speech he explained that he felt inflation and economic growth did not any further intervention – but he gave no indication of when or how much rates will rise. That news makes the Permanent Bank fixed

FATCA List – March 01, 2015

FATCA List – March 01, 2015

The list of international financial institutions signing up to comply with the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is still growing. Another 3,734 registered as FATCA compliant during March, taking the total number to 160,010 from 227 financial jurisdictions – up from 156,276 in February. Every organisation listed has pledged to report the financial

Expat Savings – March 26, 2015

Expat Savings

If you are thinking of moving overseas to take up an expat lifestyle and giving up your home in the UK, then you will need to open an offshore bank account. For many expats, having an account with a name they know and trust from home is often the best option – which is why

QROPS Tracker – March 15, 2015

QROPS Tracker

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) are opening at the rate of one every day around the world. In the past 12 months, 395 QROPS have opened in 19 financial centres, while 32 have been delisted in seven. Australia leads the way for new QROPS, with a net 277 new QROPS, while India tops the

Week in Expat Money Matters 30th March – 5th April 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: Money Laundering Laws Set To Bring Bitcoin To Heel In a sign that the UK Government are kind of backing the potential emergence of Bitcoin, they have

QROPS for US Residents – FATCA & IRS Compliant

QROPS in the USA

For British pension holders in the US, transferring into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is now commonplace. These pension solutions are widely accessible to all US residents or nationals who have accrued pensions from their time working in the UK, and are an invaluable aspect of financial planning that meets the regulations imposed

Travellers Face Exit Checks When Leaving UK

Travellers Face Exit Checks When Leaving UK

Travellers leaving the UK will have to undergo exit checks to help police track illegal immigrants, criminals and terrorists staying in the country without permission. The exit checks will collect personal data on passports as people leave the country by sea, air or rail via the Eurotunnel link with France. The information will allow police

State Pension Axed If Proof Of Life Call Is Ignored

State Pension Axed If Proof Of Life Call Is Ignored

Civil servants are urging British expats claiming the state pension not to ignore ‘proof of life’ forms – because they are likely to lose their pensions if they do not deal with them. The life certificates are issued to expats in countries which the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) consider have a high fraud

Budget 2015 – Personal Tax And Savings Changes

Budget 2015 – Personal Tax And Savings Changes

Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget 2015 offered little in financial surprises for expats as the state of government finances left him little room for any pre-General Election tax giveaways. Budget 2015 was Osborne’s last chance to set any agenda prior to the election on May 7, but he failed to deliver any major surprises. Besides some

Budget 2015 – How Were QROPS Affected?

Time’s Against SEIS Investors And Budget 2015

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) had an easy ride in Chancellor George Osborne’s Budget 2015 – but did not escape unscathed. Although the Budget did not mention QROPS by name, Osborne has reduced the lifetime allowance for pensions from £1.25 million to £1 million. However, he explained the change affected only 4% of high