Changing tax rules for expat offshore pensions have led to a change of tack for one of the world’s leading independent financial advice firms.
deVere Group is focussing on Europe as part of a global review of services following the introduction of a 25% tax on QROPS pension transfers imposed in the Spring Budget 2017.
The transfer tax allows tax-free transfers if the expat lives in the European Economic Area (EEA) and their QROPS is also managed within the same area.
Most transfers outside the EEA will attract the transfer tax, except for a few exceptions, such as moving retirement savings to a workplace pension.
deVere founder and CEO Nigel Green plans to offer expats in Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland an expanded service after assessing how the QROPS change might impact the firm’s global business.
Western Europe roll-out
Switzerland is home to many wealthy British expats, while the other four nations head the places where most British expats live in the EU – a total of around 650,000 expats.
““One of the decisions we have made, based on the strategic review of our corporate structure and operating units is to extensively expand and develop our already solid position across Western Europe,” said Green.
“This expansion and development of the region is now a major priority for the organisation for the rest of 2017 and beyond.
“We’re set to shake-up the Western Europe market place. Of that, I am confident.”
Green explained that deVere Group intends to open two more European offices to add to the 13 already in place.
The deVere reshuffle is driven by three factors – Western Europe’s burgeoning economy; demand from expats and a lack of IFAs offering advice to expat customers.
“As we move into our fifteenth year, and still dominating the international advisory sector, we have recently embarked on a strategic review of not only our corporate structures but also our operating units,” said Green.
“The process which we’ve now begun will allow us to take a bird’s eye view perspective of where we need to go as a business in order to maintain and expand on our market-leading position.
“It will enable us as a business to see in which areas and markets we need to reduce our presence, where we should invest and develop more quickly and in more depth, and with which products and services.
“The strategic review will, no doubt, result in a comprehensive period of restructuring.”