How many people came to Spain thinking that one of the additional benefits of starting a new life as an expatriate is the ability to transfer your pension to QROPS and enjoy a prosperous retirement knowing that all your pension planning is taken care of?
Well for many the dream has turned sour and for a number of different reasons. Unlike in the UK where most reputable advisers would see the issue of transferring your pension to a new type of arrangement as at least worthy of a proper discussion with the pension holder and a full review of the pros and cons of switching schemes not so in Spain where unscrupulous advisers just see QROPS as an opportunity to prey on the expatriate community with the sole intention of generating the most amount of commission for themselves. Without proper regulation or adviser integrity companies have been promoting all sorts of schemes that fall outside HMRC guidelines. If it is not the promise of 100% encashment it is the promotion of access to benefits at ridiculously early ages. Neither option would seem to satisfy the desire for long term favourably taxed retirement income.
Even when appropriate that a QROPS is the right thing to do for the client the unsuspecting expat is still not off the hook. Rather than invest funds directly, an extra tier of charges is often put in place by using an investment bond. This is of course held in the name of the Trustees and therefore any commissions are not explicitly advised to the client and then there is the choice of funds. Most people would probably expect pension funds to be carefully invested with long established highly rated fund managers taking into account the need to provide regular income and the fact that with longer life expectancy funds will (hopefully) need to last for a considerable time. Not so for our one size fits all adviser. Choosing the latest new fangled funds such as viaticals or offshore property or student accommodation quite often threatens the stability and liquidity of the QROPS but of course our adviser has already moved onto his next unsuspecting expat and so doesn’t really care what might happen to the investments over the course of time.
The sad thing is doesn’t have to be like this. If you take the time to talk to a firm of pension specialists such as ourselves you will not only benefit from the services of a regulated firm affiliated to a well respected legal practice you will also be dealing with fully trained professional advisers who can explain to you all the options available and let you decide which is the best route for your specific circumstances. Not only that but the adviser will look after your financial needs on an ongoing basis.
If all that sounds either too good to be true or exactly what you are looking for why don’t you give us a try. After all what have you got to lose other than a lifetime of pension contributions and a peaceful retirement.
To speak to a pensions specialist in your area call +34 956 796 911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.