Frequently asked questions
and financial concerns



Can you advise me on UK Pensions which are Defined Benefit or which have Safeguarded/Guaranteed rights?

Yes. It is now mandatory for a UK-based advisory firm with appropriate pension permissions to advise on and transact any transfer from a UK pension scheme that is defined benefit or which has safeguarded benefits, where the transfer value exceeds £30,000. This follows the introduction of the UK pension reforms in April 2015, via the UK Pensions Schemes Act 2015. We have full authority to undertake this work.

Can I transfer my UK pension to Australia/NZ under the current regime?

Yes. Transfers can still be undertaken in many cases. There are also many international pension strategies which exist for residents of all ages living in these countries to help you minimise the taxation you would otherwise have to pay on your UK pensions.

Should I transfer my pension within/from the UK?

Often, transferring your UK company and personal pension assets will create significant tax benefits for you. Depending on your specific circumstances, though, this might not be in your financial best interests – get professional advice to talk through the options.

Should I cash out of my UK pension?

Whilst you may feel this is an excellent option to help realise your pension funds, it may not always be the best solution for you. In many cases, other strategies will be even more favourable for you.

Can you transfer pension funds which exceed country transfer limits?

Yes. By having access to the full range of pension products in the UK, including those which allow pension funds to be split prior to transfer, we can transfer pension funds of any size from the UK.

What about Offshore Investments?

Some of these have significant tax benefits based on your country of residence and should be properly considered as part of any international strategy.

How do I get the best exchange rate on currency transfers?

Although we don’t give specific advice on this topic, we can give you some information on the best rates available in the market at a given time and provide you with a solution which is likely to be up to 3-5% better than the rate you would otherwise obtain from a high street bank. Make sure you know about the tax issues that can potentially arise when you transfer currency.

How do I get the best exchange rate on pension transfers?

We would be happy to put a solution in place which mean you are not locked into simply having to accept the exchange rate loss of up to 3-5% of your pension fund on transfer of the whole fund to a destination abroad. This saving is significant and in many cases will cover our fees for undertaking the work for you.

Should I leave my investments or property in the UK?

Often, the taxes you’ll need to pay on these can be significantly minimised when you emigrate – it’s a matter of taking advantage of overlapping tax years and up to date visa and tax legislation. Make sure you clearly understand these situations before you move to maximise your savings.

What should I do with endowment policies?

This depends on your personal situation, taking into account tax rates, any exemptions, bonuses, policy conditions are more. Sometimes it makes more sense to cash any endowments in so there’s no need to continue paying premiums into the policy. Be wary however as a surrender penalty could be significant.

Can you explain Inheritance Tax? Will I be liable?

If the value of your worldwide assets exceed £325,000 then your estate may be liable to pay tax back to the HMRC in the UK at a rate of 40% of the excess on death. In many cases, this liability carries over from the UK even if you have emigrated. It is important to seek advice from a UK specialist on how to best minimise this liability. We would be pleased to assist.

What exactly is an Actuary anyway, and why do I need their help?

Actuaries specialise in calculating the ‘Cash Equivalent Transfer Value’ (CETVs) for final salary pension schemes. This means that when you talk to an actuary about your pension transfer, you’re getting a high level of expertise to make sure that your transfer value is fair, and that the transfer is actually in your best financial interests. Having an in-house Actuary helps us to review the transfer value offered and provide appropriate comment as to whether or not a transfer of your pension fund is in you best financial interests.
(Please note, the Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate actuarial services and our advice is not to be construed as being actuarial advice.)

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