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Pension planning

With constant changes to legislation and an ever-growing selection of pension plans and investment options, investors should take particular care when planning for their retirement. Investors wanting to enjoy a high quality of life after they retire should carefully consider the advantages of a private insurance or company pension plans.

Saving and Investing Offshore

Whether you work in one location or in multiple overseas localities, you may find that you have savings and investments in several locations. However, it can make sense to place retirement savings into a single offshore solution. But before you choose to place your hard earned savings in a single retirement vehicle it is critical that you select the right one. Royal Crown can help you choose the best offshore solution for your situation. We can advise you as to the benefits of holding your savings in different currencies so that you are protected against currency fluctuations before you retire.

Choosing Where to Retire

Another important question to consider is where you will choose to retire. For investors working abroad, this might include returning to their home country to retire, retiring abroad or a combination of the two. The location that you decide to retire to will impact which pension plan will be right for your situation. Choosing the right location can also make a large difference to your tax obligations and the lifestyle that you enjoy in retirement. Your Royal Crown financial consultant can talk you through the different options that are available and help you decide which country would work best for you in retirement.

International pension planning presents both challenges and advantages. With our help you can ensure that you maximize the tax benefits afforded by your status. We are also able to help ensure that your retirement savings are properly protected so that there are no unpleasant surprises when it comes time to retire.

 

The 6 Stages of Retirement

Most major life-changing events, such as marriage or divorce, involve an ongoing process of emotional adjustment. Retirement is no exception. Marriage, divorce and other family-related issues have been the focus of decades of research and analysis by both clinical therapists and religious institutions.

Unfortunately, the emotional and psychological frontier of retirement has remained virtually unexplored until recently. However, while research on this subject has barely begun, it is clear that the psychological process of retirement process follows a pattern similar in nature to the emotional phases accompanying other areas of transition. Read on to discover the six stages of retirement and what you can do to prepare for this important life transition

Retirement: The Final Frontier

Retirees must face what is essentially the last transition in their lives. The first transition comes when we leave the security of home to begin our school life in kindergarten, and after school we have the rest of the day to ourselves. Another major transition comes when we join the working world. Now we work all week but still have the weekend to ourselves. Then finally comes retirement, a time when careers are over and the work is done. Retirees have the rest of their lives to themselves. The transition into retirement can be broken down into six main phases. Let’s take a closer look at each of these phases.

Pre-retirement – Planning Time


During the working years, retirement can appear to be both an oncoming burden and a distant paradise. Workers know that this stage of their lives is coming, and do everything they can to save for it, but often give little thought to what they will actually do once they reach the goal – the current demands that are placed upon them leave them little time to ponder this issue. Many people face retirement like a running back on the football field who dodges or plows through one defender after another until reaching the end zone. It’s hard for many workers to think seriously about what their lives will be like in 20 or 30 years when they are trying to stay on top of their mortgage, put their kids through college and have a little fun in the meantime. They want to reach the end zone, but other issues will tackle them long before then if they don’t take immediate action.
The Big Day – Smiles, Handshakes, Farewells
By far the shortest stage in the retirement process is the actual cessation of employment itself. This is often marked by some sort of dinner, party or other celebration, and has become a rite of passage for many, especially for those with distinguished careers. In some respects, this event is comparable to the ceremony that marks the beginning of a marriage. Honeymoon Phase – I’m Free!

Of course, honeymoons follow more than just weddings. Once the retirement celebrations are over, a period often follows where retirees get to do all the things that they wanted to do once they stopped working, such as travel, indulge in hobbies, visit relatives and so forth. This phase has no set time frame and will vary depending upon how much honeymoon activity the retiree has planned.

4. Disenchantment – So this is it?


This phase parallels the stage in marriage when the emotional high of the wedding has worn off and the couple now has to get down to the business of building a working relationship together. After looking forward to this stage for so long, many retirees must deal with a feeling of letdown, similar to that of newlyweds who must get down the the business of living once the honeymoon is over. Retirement isn’t a permanent vacation after all; it also can bring lowliness, boredom, feelings of uselessness and disillusionment.

5. Reorientation – Building a New Identity


Fortunately, the letdown phase of retirement doesn’t last forever. Just as married couples eventually learn how to live together, retirees begin to familiarize themselves with the landscape of their new circumstances and navigate their lives accordingly. This is easily the most difficult stage in the emotional retirement process and will take both time and conscious effort to accomplish. Perhaps the most difficult aspects of this stage to manage are the inevitable self-examination questions that must be answered once again, such as “Who am I, now?”, “What is my purpose at this point?” and “Am I still useful in some capacity?” New – and satisfying – answers to these questions must be found if the retiree is to feel a sense of closure from his or her working days. But many retirees cannot achieve this and never truly escape this stage – make sure you do!

6. Routine – Moving On

Finally, a new daily schedule is created, new marital ground rules for time together versus time alone are established, and a new identity has been at least partially created. Eventually, the new landscape becomes familiar territory, and retirees can enjoy the last phase of their lives with a new sense of purpose.

Conclusion

Life planning is an important key to successful retirement. Workers that have given serious time and thought to what they will do after they retire will generally experience a smoother transition than those who haven’t.

It is our job to help secure your Financial Future and take away the worry of how you will provide for both yourself and your family in the future.

Long gone are the ‘good old days’ whereby your offspring will look after you, clothe, feed and house you. It is no longer the job of the Government or your children to look after you in retirement. This is something you have to take responsibility for

Please contact us for a free consultation to discuss your own personal requirements and see how we can help you plan for this significant part of your life

Additionaly you can read following materials:

  • QROPS
  • QNUPS
  • SIPPS

 

QROPS

What is QROPS?

A QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) is a pension transfer scheme that is based in a jurisdiction other than the UK but is recognised by HMRC and follows the same standards or equivalent as a UK pension. Most expat UK pensions can easily be transferred into a QROPS, as long as the overseas scheme is registered with HMRC and is fully compliant with the standards of the jurisdiction it is domiciled in. QROPS’ profile was increased after HMRC introduced a series of new pension rules on 6th April 2006.

Why should I choose a QROPS?

Putting your pension into a QROPS will give you a greater level of control over the way your pension fund is invested. You can consolidate a number of different pensions into one QROPS pot and you will not have to buy into an annuity.

QROPS will also let you bestow the rest of the fund to your beneficiaries without any deduction of UK tax upon death, as long as you have spent five years or more living outside the UK.

Is a QROPS suitable for me?

A QROPS is suitable for most people who have a UK pension but have left the UK or are planning to leave. However, seeking professional financial advice before taking any steps towards a pension transfer is always highly recommended. An independent financial adviser will assess your financial and personal situation and ensure that the scheme you choose is suitable for you and fully compliant with HMRC rules and standards.

What are the key benefits of a QROPS through Royal Crown?

Royal Crown Investments are the market leader in the field of QROPS pension transfers. The benefits of booking into a QROPS through Royal Crown include:

  • Consolidation of multiple pensions
  • Flexible choice of currency
  • Funds fully conferred on to heirs after death (after five full years of non-UK residence)
  • Investment flexibility and freedom
  • No obligation to buy an annuity
  • Possibility to allay UK income tax or death charges of up to 55%
  • Safe and well-regulated jurisdictions
  • Transparent charges
  • Up to 30% pension initial lump sum (see rules of residence above)

Which is the best jurisdiction for QROPS?

The QROPS jurisdiction you choose will vary depending on your individual requirements – however, deVere Group highly recommends Malta and Gibraltar. Malta is an integral member of the EU, with a highly-regulated banking sector and a fully transparent tax system while Gibraltar’s links with the UK make it subject to EU rules and regulations.

For a pension review with no obligation, or to learn more about QROPS and how it can help you, speak to a deVere Financial Adviser today.

 

QNUPS

 

A Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is an overseas pension scheme in which cash and assets that are not eligible for UK tax relief can be contributed. QNUPS regulations were introduced by UK HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on 15th February 2010. The creation of the QNUPS legislation has provided significant investment and savings opportunities for British nationals, whether they are expats or still residents of the UK.

 

A QNUPS offers an excellent vehicle to top up the overall amount of assets and capital that needs to be set aside for a comfortable retirement, as many individuals do not have enough capital within their existing pension scheme to provide them with the level of income they will require in retirement. If you’re thinking of transferring your pension to a QNUPS, an actuary will help you establish the level of retirement benefits required to sustain your standard of living in retirement. Based on that information, a sensible funding level of contributions to the QNUPS can be settled with your financial adviser.

QNUPS can offer some great benefits, especially concerning the extraction of wealth in a tax-efficient manner, which is usually the most difficult issue to solve.

The key points of a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme:

Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to contribute to a QNUPS after you have retired.
The pension fund can be used by the member during his lifetime and any remaining balance can be passed on to their chosen heirs upon the member’s death.
You do not need to have any earned income from employment in order to make a contribution.
There is no maximum contribution that can be made into a QNUPS – as long as it is sensible to one’s standard of living. For this reason, the approval of an actuary may be needed.

As a full member of the European Union, Malta is one of the Royal Crowns preferred jurisdictions for QNUPS for a number of reasons:

Malta has been a successful full member of EU since 2004
Pension administrators in Malta are all fully licensed in line with HMRC requirements
Malta has met full IFRS standards since 1997
Malta has a reputable comprehensive, legislative and regulatory framework through the Malta
Financial Conduct Authority.
Malta has a sophisticated ICT infrastructure in place nationwide.
Malta offers investor protection through a vast tax treaty network with over 59 Double Tax Treaties at the time of writing.

Furthermore, Malta is a member of the following bodies:

International Organisation of Securities Commission
International Association of Insurance Supervisors
European Banking Authority
European Insurance & Occupational Pensions Authority
European Securities Marketing Authority

Who can benefit from a QNUPS?

Both UK residents and non-UK residents who still maintain a UK inheritance Tax (IHT) exposure can benefit for a QNUPS.

With UK retirement rates being at near-record lows, even individuals who have a fully-funded UK pension in line with the current Lifetime Allowance limit (£1.5 million) can find that their retirement pot is not enough for them to maintain their lifestyle after they stop working. A QNUPS therefore creates an ideal vehicle to build an individual’s retirement provisions, in a way that matches their retirement income expectations.

Since QNUPS are not subject to lifetime allowance limits there will not be the same severe tax penalties that a UK resident will suffer should they fund their UK registered schemes over the lifetime allowance limit.

A QNUPS can also benefit people who travel frequently from one country to another and live and work in different locations for long periods of time. Instead of creating a pension plan that has to be funded in one country only, a QNUPS will serve as a fully international retirement plan that can be contributed to and accessed no matter where the individual resides.

While both UK residents and expats creating a QNUPS should do so for retirement provisions, any funds that remain in the QNUPS on death do not attract a UK IHT charge and can be passed to beneficiaries of the member’s choice rather than being distributed in accordance with their will.

 

SIPPS

 

What is a SIPP?

A SIPP is a type of UK-government-recognised personal pension scheme which allows clients and their financial adviser to choose from a wide range of investments that are approved by HM Revenue & Customs ( HMRC). Therefore, a client can freely choose how their money is invested.

How does a SIPP work?

With the help of a financial adviser, a SIPP allows you to decide what type of investments to invest in depending on your risk appetite and timeframe until retirement.

Since regulations surrounding UK pensions changed in 2006, you can pay as much as 100% of your salary into the scheme each tax year, as long as it does not exceed £40,000 (2013/14). On the other hand, if you become retired or unemployed you can still continue to invest in your SIPP with a limit of £3,600 per year.

What are the benefits of a SIPP?

It is essential that you start to plan for your retirement as early as possible so that you are able to live comfortably in the knowledge that your lifestyle needs are covered. This will mean careful consideration of your pension fund throughout your working life.

A SIPP gives you control of your pension, whereas most members of a company pension scheme have very little control and almost no idea where their pension money is invested. Also, with many of the UK’s largest companies closing their final salary schemes to all members, many members now have to look at taking their pensions into their own hands.

Indeed, there are many reasons why SIPPs are become increasingly popular. Some of the key features include:

Control

A SIPP allows the individual along with their financial adviser to decide on the type of investments depending on their investment risk profile and timescale to retirement.

Flexible Investment

A wide range of investments are allowed, including stocks and shares, unit trusts, investment trusts, OEIC’s, insurance company funds and even commercial property which allows individuals to put business premises into the pension fund and the rental income.

Charges

SIPP trustee fees tend to be fairly cheap on an annual basis, sometimes as low as a few hundred pounds per year. Access to funds and other collectives or shares is generally available via platforms or offshore life wrappers, allowing access to a whole range of assets at lower charges than individuals can achieve.

Consolidation

Many individuals have several small pensions that they often forget about or are not growing as they should. The National Association of Pension Funds and the Trades Union Congress believes that an average UK person changes jobs eleven times during their career. A SIPP can consolidate all these pensions into one allowing for easier management and better control.

Taking Benefits

Members of a SIPP can take income drawdown, meaning that an income can be taken from the fund (subject to certain limits) whilst leaving the remainder of the fund to grow in value. An annuity need not be purchased. The benefits taken each year can vary depending on your individual circumstances.

Tax Relief

The SIPP Administrator will claim basic rate tax-relief for you if you have any UK earnings. Therefore, if GBP100 are invested, you (the member) only have to contribute GBP80 and the Administrator will ensure the UK Government contributes the difference. A higher rate tax-payer can obtain further relief via the UK Self Assessment tax return.