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Retirement planning traditionally infers management of pension funds and plans. With this in mind, we discuss below some such structures.
However, retirement planning combines different assets, investment funds, income requirements, tax considerations and family planning. Our role is to co-ordinate these different aspects, including investment advice, such that our clients have the most efficient planning in place to support their retirement.
Our advisers each have over 25 years experience advising clients on retirement and pension investments, including personal and occupational (final salary & money purchase) pension accounts.
We meet many clients who have a collection of private and previous employer pensions, who wish to consolidate these into one easily managed, tax effective pension account. We frequently come across pensions which have been sitting in poor investments for many years losing valuable growth or those which have higher than average charges eroding the value.
The pension rules affecting all European citizens are constantly changing and if you have not reviewed your options in recent years, we provide up to date advice on whether your pensions and the investments in them can be improved upon or not.
Co-ordinated Investment, Pension and Tax advice, which we provide, is needed to maximise and protect your wealth and income.
Expatriates moving around Europe and the rest of the world may be caught out by changes in pension rules in different jurisdictions. We suggest you take independent advice, perhaps annually, to help ensure your wealth is administered and invested appropriately and maintained compliantly.
For a review of your pension arrangements, please get in touch via our contact page or call +356 2776 1094.
QROPS, International SIPPS, QNUPS & Foundations
A pension is an administrative vehicle (or pot) holding cash and investments. It promises an income, subject to (from a tax point of view) the terms of the legislation that the pension was set up under and the circumstances of the individual beneficiary when that beneficiary takes any benefit, cash or income from the pension account.
With many people moving between many different countries, there are a wide variety of types of pension accounts to cater for all personal circumstances. In Europe the main personal savings vehicles we come across are QROPS, QNUPS & Offshore Annuities (Administered outside the UK e.g Malta) and International SIPPS, a UK administered facility designed for expatriates living outside the UK. Another favorite vehicle, although not a pension plan, being used for retirement planning alongside generation planning is the Malta Foundation structure.
Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Schemes (QROPS)
QROPS are very useful pension vehicles for those moving around Europe & the rest of the world or for those aiming to retire from the UK to abroad. They are designed for British expatriates and non British expatriates who have built up pension rights & funds in the UK but who wish to have those funds administered outside the UK.
The reasons to transfer funds from an existing qualifying UK pension into a QROPS will depend upon your individual circumstances and the country in which you are currently resident or propose to move to. Some reasons could be:
Increased investment flexibility & control over the pension account
To have a pension administrator local to where you live
The potential to increase the tax-free lump sum available to you after age 55*
The potential to pay less income tax on any income payments from your pension*
The potential to avoid future punitive changes in UK pensions legislation
* Subject to the QROPS jurisdiction used and the relevant legislation at the time.
We can help with making the right choice of QROPS provider which is recognised by any appropriate authority and fits with your life and retirement plans from a tax perspective.
Maltese Foundations are non-trading incorporated entities with the benefits of trusts and the added protection of being a separate legal personality. With origins in the legal traditions of ancient Rome or Greece, Foundations have existed in Maltese law for at least a hundred years but a recent amendment to the civil code and a published guidance statement in 2007 has clarified their usage in the modern financial services industry.
Maltese Foundations are suitable for passive holdings only. If trading is required then the foundation will hold the shares of a limited company. Private foundations can elect to be taxed either as company or as a Trust, giving some tax planning choice.
Foundations can be a useful vehicle for:
Owning family trading structures and property
Estate and Inheritance tax planning
Helping with General Asset protection and Confidentiality concerns
Maltese law enables Trusts to be converted into Foundations and vice versa.
Qualifying Non UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS)
QNUPS are primarily for those UK individuals looking to build up larger pension funds than those permitted by UK pension’s legislation under the lifetime allowance rules and for internationally mobile executives & entrepreneurs looking to build up pension funds in a trusted environment . It can be a very useful tax effective vehicle. As with QROPS, there is no tax relief granted on new contributions into a QNUPS, however assets inside a QNUPS can grow tax free.
One of the main reasons that a QNUPS is set up is so that savings and assets can grow in a tax free environment - there can also be Inheritance Tax and Family Wealth Protection planning opportunities.
A QNUPS can be set up by almost anyone, a favorite jurisdiction being Malta because of its multiple double taxation agreements with many countries. There is no requirement to live in Malta, it is simply that Malta is a safe place to have your funds administered.
If you would like to discuss QROPS or QNUPS facilities please contact us or call +356 2776 1094.
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