Big decisions looming for expats as UK pensions rules change

I see the Telegraph rolled out their standard image of expats walking hand in hand along the beach (representing the idyllic expats dream we all know to be a load of spheres) to accompany Alison Steed’s article on the options facing expats pensions once certain public schemes are banned from transferring overseas.

You did know that was happening right?

New rules coming into force next April will prevent those with pensions in unfunded public schemes, such as the military, police, NHS workers and teachers, from transferring their pension overseas. It means that anyone with savings in one of these schemes – known as defined benefit (DB) schemes – will find themselves at the mercy of exchange rates when it comes to how much they will receive from their pension.

QROPS to the rescue then?

Those looking to retire overseas still have time before April to move their pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (Qrops) if they wish to do so. But whether to move your pension or not is a tough decision, as the security of a DB scheme is so appealing. This is why the Treasury is insisting that UK-regulated advisers under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regime are the only ones that should be giving advice on these transfers.

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