The crashing pound is prompting many of the 1.8m British expats across Europe to consider moving their British pensions to overseas jurisdictions to protect their retirement income, affirms one of the world’s leading financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.
The observation from James Green, Investment Director and Europe Divisional Manager at deVere Group, comes as the pound sterling collapsed to its lowest-ever level against the dollar and falling, too, against the euro and other major currencies.
He says: “The pound – which was already one of the year’s worst performing currencies – is under enormous pressure.
“It comes after the UK government announced on Friday the most radical package of tax cuts since 1972, and huge spending increases, which raised concerns about Britain’s unaffordable debt levels and the likelihood of even higher inflation.”
The news has triggered a surge in enquiries from worried UK expats around the world who are directly affected by movements in the British currency.
“The volatility of the pound hits hard those expats who still receive retirement income in sterling.
“It makes already soaring living costs in their adopted countries significantly higher.
“In addition, the government’s radical plans also make it more likely that the Bank of England will now intervene by further hiking interest rates, which will push down final salary transfer values further, which is creating urgency.”
When your retirement funds are transferred into an overseas jurisdiction, you can choose the currency that you’re paid out in, they are not typically subject to inheritance or income tax in the UK and, after paying initial tax on transfer, you can often benefit from a much lower tax rate.
There’s also flexibility around lump sum or income payments; on death, your whole pension fund can be passed to your heirs; you can consolidate multiple schemes into one that will be easy and sometimes cheaper to manage.
James Green concludes: “The UK government’s plans have proven to be a masterclass in the Law of Unintended Consequences – one of which is that an increasing number of expats are looking to take their pensions out of the UK to help safeguard their hard-earned nest eggs.”