I recently attended the British Embassy Outreach Meeting in Perigueux and as you can imagine there were a lot of disgruntled expats wanting answers that, frankly, aren’t really available right now. Understandably, for many living through the turmoil and uncertainty of Brexit, there is a lot to take into consideration and some may even be contemplating moving back to the UK.
One issue in particular piqued my interest as a gentleman had a letter from his UK pension company informing him that, post-Brexit, they may no longer be able to passport into the EU, which means that they may no longer be able to pay his pension payments directly into his French account.
The official response to this was that the Government are in constant talks with the financial institutions to try and resolve this, but there is no guarantee at this point that there will be a resolution and in fact there was an article published this week in International Investment that states the government White Paper “has confirmed that its negotiations with the EU27 over Brexit will see it aim to end passporting rights for financial services”.
Now this is a very broad statement and there are moves afoot to negotiate cross-border dealings within the financial industry, but if there comes a time when deals are made and passporting is not included then this could cause a few headaches for many expats who are already receiving their pensions or getting ready to start.
There may be a simple solution to this problem, in that you could have your UK pension paid into a UK bank account and then face the issue of fluctuating currency rates when you need to transfer it to your French account, or you may need to consider a more permanent solution and transfer your pension into an International SIPP (self-invested personal pension) or a QROPS (Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme). Which of these will suit your needs is dependant on your individual circumstances and it may not be a possibility or in your best interests to do this, but if you are at all concerned about this then please get in touch and we can talk you through your options. All initial consultations are without obligation or cost and we may be able to provide a simple solution that you hadn’t thought about before.