Now more than ever, with the UK leaving the EU, if you have a UK pension/pensions you will need to make sure that they are being properly looked after and managed. This needs to be by someone who can legally practice in the country where you are tax resident. Many UK pension companies are no longer able to give advice to those living outside of the UK, meaning you could have difficulties accessing, managing and securing your pension moving forward. A local adviser also has the advantage of knowing the local regulations, so is able to make sure you are adhering to the rules in addition to being as tax efficient as possible.
When people approach me to speak about their UK private or company pensions, they usually are not clear on:
- What they are invested in, and whether the strategy is appropriate given the stage of life they are at now
- How investment decisions are made, who makes them and when
- The costs of management, what they are and are they efficient
- How to access the pensions, particularly doing it tax efficiently living in Spain
- How to consolidate multiple pensions, reducing costs and creating greater annual gains
When I ask most people what their pensions are invested in, what the annual returns are and when they last reviewed this, they usually don’t know or can’t remember. One of the reasons for this is that being outside of the UK makes all this all the more difficult to manage, and even more so now after Brexit.
Or, if they do know the answer to my questions, they have now found they cannot receive any advice from UK pension companies or UK based financial advisers moving forward.
Consider consolidating several pension pots
If you have several different pension pots, there are potential advantages if you consolidate them into one. These include:
- Simplification of administration and keeping track of your pensions
- Managing your pension savings more easily and effectively, including potential tax liabilities knowing local, Spanish rules
- Saving money if you can transfer from higher-cost schemes to a lower-cost one
- Opening up a greater choice of investments if you are consolidating your pension pots into a flexible scheme
In many cases, the first step would be to locate your pensions and then evaluate what you have, how they work, what your options are and then have these managed effectively.
I help clients consolidate their UK pensions, managing them efficiently and effectively, planning for when they want to access them integrating with their tax situation and lifestyle. We can help you achieve all this, giving ongoing advice and moving forward making sure you access you pension tax efficiently, adapting to your life as it changes along the way.
For example, if you are over 55 years of age and currently on the Beckham Law, did you know you can cash your UK pensions in, potentially paying no tax in the UK, and potentially none in Spain? This is because on the Beckham Law, all ‘non-Spanish’ income is tax exempt (this depends on your personal circumstances) and being a NON-UK resident, you have no tax liabilities there either.