E33. You deserve the best retirement plan; here is how to choose!

Fiduciary Wealth Team

If you are an expatriate considering your retirement planning options here are some key factors that you need to consider.

Be careful who you speak to. Many so called advisers would not be qualified to offer advice in the UK and some are not regulated which means they are unlikely to carry professional indemnity insurance or be able to offer any redress if something goes wrong.

Don’t invest in QROPS until you have spoken to an adviser who can review your existing pension arrangements and properly explain any advantages that QROPS might have over your existing scheme.

Don’t be taken in by promises of extra lump sum payments or greater income benefits. HMRC has already changed QROPS rules to outlaw schemes promoting 100% lump sums and will be quick to stamp on any future abuses of their rules. Remember your pension is there to provide you with an income for life, if you spend the money now what will you live on in the future?

There may be no such thing as a free lunch and there is certainly no such thing as “free” financial advice. You may be entitled to a free initial consultation but make sure your adviser explains all the costs and charges of any product they recommend and sets these out in writing. If the charges are reasonable then there should be no problem in getting you to agree to the terms.

Take time to understand the tax implications of your retirement plans as they affect you in your country of residence. Retirement planning should dovetail with your overall financial planning objectives and your estate planning requirements. Don’t treat your pension in isolation. Ask your adviser to explain the implications of taking a lump sum from your pension fund or how taxation will affect any income that you draw.

 Don’t think you have to have a tax wrapper to invest in QROPS. Sometimes a wrapper can be the most sensible and cost efficient way of arranging QROPS and other times it can be an unnecessary and expensive additional layer of cost.

Do make sure the advisers you choose are capable of managing the underlying assets associated with your pension arrangements. The key point about any financial planning is that unless your assets are pro actively managed moving forward in line with your attitude to risk then you may well be disappointed. There is little point in working with an adviser who cannot give you ongoing advice when it comes to your investment strategy or who simply wants to outsource the management of these assets to a third party and devolve all responsibility for investment decisions moving forward.

 If you are not happy with your pension adviser then you have a right to change. Get a second opinion; find out how a professional firm can look after your interests moving forward.
If you want a complete retirement planning service then look no further than Fiduciary Wealth. For an appointment with one of our consultants telephone Tel: 956 796 911 or email