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 retirement wherever they live in the world is a major financial decision for any expat.
The problem is Bangkok QROPS are not available on the market – but for that in the know, other tax effective QROPS options are easily available.
British expats relaxing in warm and friendly Bangkok can investigate the benefits of a Malta QROPS.
Pension portability is the key for expats
Malta may seem like another world, thousands of miles away, but QROPS from the island are just the job for expats in Bangkok and the rest of Thailand.
Although the QROPS market offers hundreds of scheme from 35 financial centres, few rival those from Malta.
Malta QROPS have all the tax efficiency and flexible access options offered by any other similar pension – but the added factor that makes all the difference is portability.
For expats setting up a home in Bangkok while jetting off to work elsewhere in the Middle East or Asia Pacific, a Malta QROPS is ideal.
The pensions allow retirement savers to live where they want and to move between countries without having to pay expensive fees to uproot their pension funds and switch them across borders.
That means expats who know they are not coming back to Britain but do not know where the next contract may take them can rest easy about their retirement savings.
Even the complicated tax and pension rules imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on expats moving to the USA are not a problem.
Malta has a double taxation treaty with the US that allows the IRS to recognise QROPS based on the island as non-reportable for income tax or capital gains tax in The States.
Expats interested in switching their UK onshore pensions into a QROPS should be careful to take professional, regulated advice.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in the UK has made clear that expats are responsible for checking any QROPS transfer does not fall foul of the pension age test that stops any scheme paying out to a saver aged under 55.
The Malta QROPS regulator has carefully aligned the island’s pension laws with those in the UK to make sure they do not fall foul of this new rule that has led to so many QROPS in other financial centres closing to new transfers.