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UK Private pension discriminating against those living abroad.


Woodrup
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I have a small private pension pot with a well known UK company, beginning with P who had a lot of red brick buildings back in the day.

They have farmed out my annuity, which includes a 'guaranteed minimum pension' to L&G. Filling out my application form to start drawing it, they want my doctor to verify my cholesterol test in English and accept payment in Sterling. They sent me an 'inconvenience' payment cheque of £150 recently (because of their incompetence in dealing with my pot, I couldn't cash it at my bank and had to send it back. Also they can forward the payments to my French bank via Citibank transfer, but with a £2.85 charge for each monthly transaction. When you consider the number of Brits living abroad, this seems to me to be discriminatory.

Rant over 😔.

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I have my PP paid into my UK bank account, then using my Visa card take any money needed out of a local ATM. The bank I use gives me free withdrawals at as near as darn it to the spot rate. Why should Brits and that includes me should get special treatment because we live abroad? Just saying.

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We have been fighting my wife's pension company for years.  When she eventually wants to touch it they offer either annuity (no thanks) or you take the lot in cash with the 40% tax bill, no draw down or anything else offered.  Her second pension plan offers draw down but will not accept the transfer of the other pension pot as it is "new business" as we live in Europe, despite her already having a plan with them for years before we left the UK.  Once Covid dies down we have to go the UK to pay a financial advisor several thousand pounds to do the transfer on her behalf.

Yet every year they send all the bumf telling her all the options she has.  And when you write to take them up they say its just the normal stuff they send every one, but does not apply to her. The Governments much vaunted reorganisation of the pension scheme is not compulsory, just advisory on pension companies.

My blood pressure soars just typing this.

 

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2 hours ago, Woodrup said:

I have a small private pension pot with a well known UK company, beginning with P who had a lot of red brick buildings back in the day.

They have farmed out my annuity, which includes a 'guaranteed minimum pension' to L&G. Filling out my application form to start drawing it, they want my doctor to verify my cholesterol test in English and accept payment in Sterling. They sent me an 'inconvenience' payment cheque of £150 recently (because of their incompetence in dealing with my pot, I couldn't cash it at my bank and had to send it back. Also they can forward the payments to my French bank via Citibank transfer, but with a £2.85 charge for each monthly transaction. When you consider the number of Brits living abroad, this seems to me to be discriminatory.

Rant over 😔.

I have a Wise (formerly Transferwise) mùlti currency card which has a UK bank sort code in addition to my  Euro details   so that one can ask for payments in Sterling to be made into it. After I can transfer them at a very low conversion rate. I find that helpful on the rare occasions I have to receive money from the UK.  https://wise.com/gb/borderless/card

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3 hours ago, Lehaut said:

We have been fighting my wife's pension company for years.  When she eventually wants to touch it they offer either annuity (no thanks) or you take the lot in cash with the 40% tax bill, no draw down or anything else offered.  Her second pension plan offers draw down but will not accept the transfer of the other pension pot as it is "new business" as we live in Europe, despite her already having a plan with them for years before we left the UK.  Once Covid dies down we have to go the UK to pay a financial advisor several thousand pounds to do the transfer on her behalf.

Yet every year they send all the bumf telling her all the options she has.  And when you write to take them up they say its just the normal stuff they send every one, but does not apply to her. The Governments much vaunted reorganisation of the pension scheme is not compulsory, just advisory on pension companies.

My blood pressure soars just typing this.

 

Consider and evaluate a transfer to a foreign pension provider.

Please see:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/overseas-pensions-pension-transfers#when-transfers-are-taxed

https://www.gov.uk/transferring-your-pension/transferring-to-an-overseas-pension-scheme

Also, before you pay any supposed pensions advisers those thousands of quids, then, see below.

https://nationalpensionadvisors.co.uk/v1/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgLa3l8758wIVhulRCh0eMgTREAAYAyAAEgIHbvD_BwE

 

 

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3 hours ago, Lehaut said:

We have been fighting my wife's pension company for years.  When she eventually wants to touch it they offer either annuity (no thanks) or you take the lot in cash with the 40% tax bill, no draw down or anything else offered.  Her second pension plan offers draw down but will not accept the transfer of the other pension pot as it is "new business" as we live in Europe, despite her already having a plan with them for years before we left the UK.  Once Covid dies down we have to go the UK to pay a financial advisor several thousand pounds to do the transfer on her behalf.

Yet every year they send all the bumf telling her all the options she has.  And when you write to take them up they say its just the normal stuff they send every one, but does not apply to her. The Governments much vaunted reorganisation of the pension scheme is not compulsory, just advisory on pension companies.

My blood pressure soars just typing this.

 

If you're not a UK tax resident you'll get the 40% back, you have to declare the lump sum here but there is a fixed rate of tax (currently 7.5%) and a 10% allowance on the whole amount so the overall tax hit is really 6.75%. 

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Nick I'm interested in which bank you use in the uk and which bank you draw out from in France. In the last month I have tried to use a Santander card and a Nationwide card at Credit Agricole . They wanted to charge €5 for a transaction. . 

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NationWide Flexiplus account and any ATM going. Some tell you if they charge, if it does we don't use them. I'm sure that some banks even in the UK charge for other banks credit card withdrawals. Well according to the Grauniad 25% of British ATMs charge withdrawal fees.

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If you're not a UK tax resident you'll get the 40% back, you have to declare the lump sum here but there is a fixed rate of tax (currently 7.5%) and a 10% allowance on the whole amount so the overall tax hit is really 6.75%. 

I am a UK tax payer on a government pension, so think we would have to take the hit.  Even if we could get the lump sum (which we don't want) where would we invest it to get the same level of increase a UK Pension fund gets?

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Gluestick, we tried the national pension advisors help lines and several other sources.  They told us that there is no binding agreement on the Pension companies to take on board the Governments pension reforms.  Its up to them whether they do or not. So there was nothing they could do to help us.   Hence one company who were very easy to deal with and did everything the Government reform promised and another who just ignored it.

We have looked at overseas options, but on balance, my wife would rather keep it in the UK with a system we understand.  We are fortunate enough not to need the income, but are interested in protecting the capital to hand down to the family at death.

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On 02/11/2021 at 06:20, Woodrup said:

I have a small private pension pot with a well known UK company, beginning with P who had a lot of red brick buildings back in the day.

They have farmed out my annuity, which includes a 'guaranteed minimum pension' to L&G. Filling out my application form to start drawing it, they want my doctor to verify my cholesterol test in English and accept payment in Sterling. They sent me an 'inconvenience' payment cheque of £150 recently (because of their incompetence in dealing with my pot, I couldn't cash it at my bank and had to send it back. Also they can forward the payments to my French bank via Citibank transfer, but with a £2.85 charge for each monthly transaction. When you consider the number of Brits living abroad, this seems to me to be discriminatory.

Rant over 😔.

Eat lots of meat and your cholesterol will go up so you look worse. That would give you a slightly bigger annuity, oh and put down you smoke 30 per day and drink a bottle of wine, the worse you look and therefore shorter you live, the larger the annuity.

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4 hours ago, Lehaut said:

If you're not a UK tax resident you'll get the 40% back, you have to declare the lump sum here but there is a fixed rate of tax (currently 7.5%) and a 10% allowance on the whole amount so the overall tax hit is really 6.75%. 

I am a UK tax payer on a government pension, so think we would have to take the hit.  Even if we could get the lump sum (which we don't want) where would we invest it to get the same level of increase a UK Pension fund gets?

Just to be clear, if you are a French tax resident but a UK tax payer then you can still get the 40% back.

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42 minutes ago, Teapot1 said:

Eat lots of meat and your cholesterol will go up so you look worse. That would give you a slightly bigger annuity, oh and put down you smoke 30 per day and drink a bottle of wine, the worse you look and therefore shorter you live, the larger the annuity.

Exactly. I stupidly told them the truth, one bott of wine a week, non smoker ..... As soon as the damn payments start to kick-in I'll pop my clogs I bet !

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Also, the L&G person who gave me the annuity quote over the phone ... didn't know whether it would be taxed at source (I haven't had any dealings with Inland Revenue since I moved here 12 years ago), she said it depends on what I.R. say. So I'm betting that will be another ongoing headache for me to resolve. Honestly they're an absolute nightmare, claiming my State Pension was a walk in the park in comparison.

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On 03/11/2021 at 07:49, Lehaut said:

We have looked at overseas options, but on balance, my wife would rather keep it in the UK with a system we understand.

That mindset is what's causing you the problem.

Depending on the amount it sounds like an ideal case for a QROPS with flexible drawdown - just in case you did need to draw from it at sometime in the future.

Nothing 'complicated' about them, most are essentially a SIPP just the same as in UK except established elsewhere, commonly in Malta but there are other options.

That's where my private pension is and take what I want from it when I want, anything I do draw goes down as income on my tax return so timing can be worked to advantage.

 

I have two annuities with L&G, they won't send the payments abroad so are paid into my UK account.

Tax is deducted at source however as a non UK taxpayer they refund it every year when they also send me a P60 

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  • 1 month later...
On 05/11/2021 at 06:46, AnOther said:

That mindset is what's causing you the problem.

Depending on the amount it sounds like an ideal case for a QROPS with flexible drawdown - just in case you did need to draw from it at sometime in the future.

Nothing 'complicated' about them, most are essentially a SIPP just the same as in UK except established elsewhere, commonly in Malta but there are other options.

That's where my private pension is and take what I want from it when I want, anything I do draw goes down as income on my tax return so timing can be worked to advantage.

 

I have two annuities with L&G, they won't send the payments abroad so are paid into my UK account.

Tax is deducted at source however as a non UK taxpayer they refund it every year when they also send me a P60 

That's strange because L&G have said they will transfer to my French bank for a about £4 per transaction, I forget the exact amount, so to reduce this I've opted for quaterly payments. They sent me an Overseas Mandate France and Monaco form to complete.

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