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Articles > Financial


How does a QROPS UK pension transfer overseas work? (Part two)

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (17:13:42)
Tom Zachystal
by Tom Zachystal

This is the second installment of a two-part column on the process involved in transferring UK pensions to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). In part one we looked at the people, agencies, and costs involved in the transfer process and here we will summarize the paperwork that typically needs to be completed.

Whether you are dealing directly with a QROPS administrator or with an intermediary, you will be asked to complete a letter of authority that allows the agent to contact your UK pension administrator on your behalf to obtain information regarding your benefits. The agent will inquire regarding the transfer value of your benefits, whether you have any protected rights to transfer, and as to the paperwork the scheme requires to be completed in order to facilitate a QROPS transfer.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Currency Transfer for Expats – Transferring Money Overseas

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (17:09:16)
There are many ways of sending your money from one country to another without ending up in a mess. As in many things, expats can save themselves a LOT of trouble and cost if they do a little research and shop around.

Standard International Bank Transfers

Let’s consider the basic sort of expat money transfer requirement, and make the assumption you want something a little safer than using brown envelopes full of cash in the post!

For most expats, currency transfer consists of getting small to medium sized amounts transferred regularly from your UK bank account into your new overseas bank account in the local currency. These may be pensions payments, benefits, or any other form of income.   more ...

Articles > Financial


How does a QROPS UK pension transfer overseas work? (Part one)

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (17:06:50)
Tom Zachystal
by Tom Zachystal

A number of readers have asked how the process of transferring UK pensions overseas typically works. In this part one of a two-part column we will look at the people and agencies involved in the transfer process and the various associated costs. In part two, we will look at the paperwork that needs to be completed and steps that need to be taken in order to effectuate a UK pension transfer.

First let’s identify the parties that may be involved in the transfer process:

- At a minimum your UK pension provider and the QROPS administrator must be involved.
- In the case of an occupational scheme, your pension might be administered by a financial services firm on behalf of your company; so your corporate pension administrator as well as the pension company representative might be involved.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Currency transfer – Why it pays to think ahead/buy ahead

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:53:13)
Many of us still dream of buying a property in Italy. Buying a property overseas involves a big financial outlay, with foreign exchange being an aspect that is often overlooked. Planning ahead, talking to a foreign exchange expert such as World First and doing your homework on the different currency exchange arrangements, will pay off.

Buying a property means you will have to transfer your pounds into euros. How you go about completing your transfer(s) could make a huge difference to the cost of your property.

Shifts in exchange rates are common and rates are constantly moving. Imagine entering into a contract to buy your dream property abroad and before you’ve paid for it the exchange rate shifts to go against you by 10% effectively increasing the sterling cost to you by 10%.   more ...

Articles > Financial


UK Pensions – Top 10 Tips & Facts for Expats

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:43:59)
If you are receiving, or planning to receive, a pension then this quick fact sheet may prove useful. It is, though, aimed at those who have pension fund savings in a UK based scheme.

If your pension is held in another jurisdiction, do remember that these points may not necessarily apply to you.

- You should be able to receive your state and/or private pension payments directly into your expat bank account overseas without penalty.

- At the age of 50 (rising to 55 from 2010) you may be able to take up to 25% of your private pension savings out as a tax-free sum.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Expat Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:39:15)
This FAQ has been kindly provided by April Medibroker

Q: Who can buy Expatriate Health plans?
A: Expatriates of all nationalities can purchase international Health Plans

Q: Is there an age limit at joining International Health Plans?
A: The maximum age when joining International Health Plans varies from company to company. Some companies allow entry to healthcare plans to people of between 70 and 80 years.

Q: What is the payment excess on an International Health Policy?
A: The standard excess is the amount of each claim that you have to pay out of your pocket. You may sometimes reduce your premium by increasing your voluntary excess.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Commercial Mortgages For Expats

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:37:11)
A commonly held and mistaken belief amongst new or potential expats is that overseas one cannot secure a commercial mortgage. A commercial mortgage can be many things but here for simplicity’s sake let’s call it a mortgage to secure a commercial property such as a shop or warehouse etc.

Excluding a few countries in the world where religious beliefs prohibit it, Bankers everywhere share one objective if nothing else – they want to make money! They are always looking for promising ideas and deals that help them achieve that. If their clients and the local economy also benefit then they’re doubly happy. As such they may well be predisposed towards saying ‘yes’ so don’t be afraid to ask.

It’s not always easy to differentiate between a commercial or residential mortgage, but let’s consider how a given bank MAY see it.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Financial Planning Issues for Expats Moving to the USA

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:34:30)
There are numerous issues that need to be addressed when moving to a new country and it seems the more “developed” your new country of residence, the more important it is to understand and follow regulations.

Individual Asset Management provides financial planning services to non-US citizens living and preparing to live in the United States, and I have identified seven topics that anyone moving to the US should consider:

1. Visa / citizenship issues
2. Reporting and taxation of non-US financial accounts
3. Obtaining loans / credit history
4. Pension transfer
5. Investment management
6. Estate tax
7. Education and retirement savings plans   more ...

Articles > Financial


Interview with Simon Hilton, foreign exchange consultant

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:27:55)
Simon Hilton
Simon Hilton is a senior foreign exchange consultant at World First specialising in assisting private clients and companies with their foreign exchange transactions. Simon is authorised by the FSA to offer foreign currency options.

To contact Simon directly for currency transfer information or a no-obligation quote please click here.

Expat Focus: Simon, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you came to work for World First?

I have a BA hons degree from the University of Reading in History and Politics and joined the company in 2006. I have since undertaken regulatory exams and obtained FSA approval to advise our clients on hedging their foreign exchange risk.   more ...

Articles > Financial


Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) – Examples

Posted on Friday December 23, 2011 (16:21:52)
In the first three articles of this brief series we examined what QROPS is, how it could benefit some expats (and others) and briefly how the system works.

In the final analysis though, words can be confusing and there is no substitute for examples when it comes to showing how things work.


In all these articles we have made the point that you should not make decisions about what to do with your pension funds based upon advertisements and articles however well written and attractive they appear. You must get professional advice that is specific to your circumstances and only from a registered professional adviser. Please note that the examples below are illustrative and hypothetical – they may well not apply to your given circumstances.   more ...