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This week, I had an opportunity to speak to a representative from Expat & Offshore, a specialist team of expat experts, about the implications of moving to Portugal during your retirement years. I hope the following interview is of interest to those in that situation.
Who are you and what do you do?
We are Expat & Offshore, a community of expats living all around the world. We help to educate, explain and inform expatriates on all aspects of offshore personal finance and help them make the most of the unique opportunities available to people living abroad.
What is the first thing I should do on arriving in Portugal to plan for my retirement?
Expats moving to Portugal from their home countries will have access to opportunities not available to the peers they left behind. For example if they have a pension that they have been paying into back in the UK they may be able to transfer this offshore.
I’ve heard about a QROPS. What is it and could it help someone like me?
QROPS stands for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme and is one way to gain access to a paid up UK pension. It is the set of rules put in place by the HMRC that govern such transfers and is suitable for UK citizens who are no longer resident in the UK.
If your circumstances qualify for a QROPS it is possible to transfer one of more UK pensions to a jurisdiction with an ideal tax environment allowing an even more comfortable income in retirement.
I became an expat to enjoy my life in the sun! Why should I care about offshore pensions?
It is easy to become comfortable with your pension provision when living in the UK with often generous company pension contributions and a state pension to fall back on. However, expats living in Portugal need to think carefully about their impending retirement years with a different situation in their new home.
With expat pension plans there’s normally no minimum age to begin draw down and offshore pensions are considered an asset in their own right, meaning that you can pass them on to beneficiaries. You basically have a greater level of flexibility in terms of what you can do with it. Retirees can sometimes even take control of the entire asset, in cash, when they retire, with pensions for expats offering far more choice than with traditional UK plans.
Ok that all makes sense. How can Expat & Offshore help me?
Here at Expat & Offshore we know that making the right pension decision isn’t always easy, and that’s why we’re committed to offering as much support as we can to simplify the process.
If you’re in need of more personal attention we can put you in touch with trained financial advisors who will be able to offer expat pension advice on a one-to-one basis, taking you through the various pensions for expats to decide which one would be right for you, ultimately helping to ensure you can make the most of your retirement. For more information, please visit www.expatandoffshore.com