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Old 10.10.2011, 12:10
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Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Hi all,
Sorry for the amount of posts today. I've read a couple of threads about cashing in pensions but can't find one for returning to the UK. I spoke to my pension fund and they said I have to apply to the zentralstelle who will then contact the British government to see if it's OK to pay my pension contributions to me in cash.

Has anyone done this? It looks like a long process which I'd rather not begin if it's going to end in 40% tax to Mr Cameron. I want to invest the cash amount in property. It's about 16k francs according to the statement I've just received.

Any help greatly appreciated.
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Old 10.10.2011, 12:12
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

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Hi all,
Sorry for the amount of posts today. I've read a couple of threads about cashing in pensions but can't find one for returning to the UK. I spoke to my pension fund and they said I have to apply to the zentralstelle who will then contact the British government to see if it's OK to pay my pension contributions to me in cash.

Has anyone done this? It looks like a long process which I'd rather not begin if it's going to end in 40% tax to Mr Cameron. I want to invest the cash amount in property. It's about 16k francs according to the statement I've just received.

Any help greatly appreciated.
If you become 100% self employed whilst still in CH you can take it as cash.
In theory you can use it for a house purchase in the UK, I am not sure how that might be taxed in the UK as it's unusual in UK tax terms.
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Old 10.10.2011, 12:17
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

maybe it would be best to realise it as cash here in switzerland and then bring back as cash rather than cashing in to the UK.
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Old 10.10.2011, 12:21
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Hmm sounds like a plan. However I'm currently working part time as a teacher so self employed may not be an option. I suppose I could ask if they'd pay me in cash then promise that I'd leave shortly after.

I just spoke to the zentralstelle again on the phone. They say there's a form to fill in if I am leaving the country but they need to contact the British government.
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Old 10.10.2011, 12:32
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

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Hmm sounds like a plan. However I'm currently working part time as a teacher so self employed may not be an option. I suppose I could ask if they'd pay me in cash then promise that I'd leave shortly after.

I just spoke to the zentralstelle again on the phone. They say there's a form to fill in if I am leaving the country but they need to contact the British government.
Just become 100% self employed, then fill in the form, get cash & leave CH. It probably takes a month.

I will probably do the same thing, seems the best way.
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Old 10.10.2011, 13:40
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Yeah seems that may well be the way to go. I am currently PT teaching which is topped up by the Chomage so I suppose I'd have to resign my job after they make a payment. Live on one month's salary and hope the money came through quickly.
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Old 10.10.2011, 14:29
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

It used to be the case that you could cash in your Swiss pension contributions and take home a wad with you. But I'm pretty sure that for the last few years you've only been able to transfer it to another pension fund. (Within the EEA).
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Old 10.10.2011, 14:31
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

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It used to be the case that you could cash in your Swiss pension contributions and take home a wad with you. But I'm pretty sure that for the last few years you've only been able to transfer it to another pension fund. (Within the EEA).


Yeah to be quite honest I'm not that confident. Seems too good to be true. Perhaps when I am 65 I may end up glad that I was unable to access it at the time


Edit Seems there's more threads on this and it's complicated. I googled it and found the threads through that way. I am trying to access the second pillar. However the second pillar has two parts and I want to access both if possible. To try keep it as simple as possible there only seems to be two possible ways I may be able to. One be self employed or two, use it to buy my house in the UK. Will post if I get anywhere with it.

Last edited by cbb; 10.10.2011 at 15:06.
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Old 10.10.2011, 16:53
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Finding more about the self employed route. Check out the top of page 7 on this document.

http://www.igpinfo.com/igpinfo/publi...witzerland.pdf



but seems you need a C permit to get it when I only have a B

(see bottom of this document) http://www.vaud.ch/en/our-services/e...lf-employment/
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Old 11.10.2011, 18:26
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

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Finding more about the self employed route. Check out the top of page 7 on this document.

http://www.igpinfo.com/igpinfo/publi...witzerland.pdf



but seems you need a C permit to get it when I only have a B

(see bottom of this document) http://www.vaud.ch/en/our-services/e...lf-employment/
You need a C if from a third country (Non-EU/EEA). If you are EU/EEA an L or B permit suffices provided it has EG/EU on it.
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Old 01.11.2011, 11:04
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Well after spending a few more weeks on this pension access issue I have decided on the following. Both my pension companies assure me that if I buy a house in the UK then they will release my pension (provided it's my primary residence, which it will be). Therefore I have enough of a deposit with this and my savings to buy quite a nice house in old Blighty and return to be with family

Last hurdle is to find a teaching job in the UK so I can get a mortgage. Will probably use the supply route to find my way home. When I've bought a house I'll post to show it can hopefully be done
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Old 14.11.2011, 10:57
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Hmm update again. Turns out that now I am about to ask for it, my new pension company is unsure if they can release my second pillar to buy a house in the UK. They are looking into it. They say I can only access my second pillar WHILST I am working in CH. So therefore it's hard to justify that my primary residence would be in the UK. I'm now looking at trying to transfer my pension back to Zurich who still assure me that they can release it.

So just a word of warning. Be sure to clear well in advance with your pension company that they'll release funds AFTER you've left the country to buy a primary residence outside CH. If not then find a pension company who will.

Will continue to update peeps on my battle.
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Old 23.08.2012, 14:10
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

***Update***

Today I bought a house in the UK and used ALL my Swiss pension to make up the deposit. It almost killed me. It required a ton of paperwork and it came at a financial cost (there's a pension tax to pay and admin fees) However, IT CAN BE DONE

We move into our new home on Wednesday. If anyone needs any advice feel free to PM me for info.
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Old 23.08.2012, 14:59
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Can you summarize the steps? Congrats!
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Old 23.08.2012, 15:46
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

1. Prove to Swiss pension company that I am buying a house in the UK
- requires letter from my English solicitor stating I am buying primary residence
- requires copy of land registry and title deeds
- requires signed letter/declaration from me that I am buying primary residence, then countersigned by English solicitor

2. Employed Swiss solicitor as Swiss pension must be released into a Swiss bank account (this appears to be a new EU based law due to money laundering or something). *I think I could have used my personal Swiss account but my bank wanted a ton of assurances- see similar to point 1 and my German was poor and I needed speed*

3. Swiss solicitor (English speaking) required all of the above points in number 1.

4. Admin fees (400 chf) and Swiss Pension tax (1000CHF- on 20,000 chf pension) to be paid to Swiss pension funds.

5. Then money is released after 7 days when all the above has been done.

It more that constant email matching up the chain of people up and sadly the UK side, unable to "speak foreign" can't get their heads round it. It probably took me 6-8 weeks all told to achieve. Fortunately I am a school teacher and was on my summer hols.



JUST REMEMBER - My original pension company said they would never release it so I had to move my libre passage to a company who said they would. CCHECK WITH YOUR PENSION COMPANY FORST THAT THEY WILL EVEN CONSIDER IT.
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Old 23.08.2012, 15:48
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

And in reply to Clarence...... ***17clarence has exceeded their stored private messages quota and cannot accept further messages until they clear some space.**
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Old 23.08.2012, 15:55
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Thanks for posting the info it's very useful. I think I'll contact my pension company and see what the score is as I should be returning to the UK next year so it can't hurt to do a little digging now
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Old 23.08.2012, 17:17
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

Was it the Zurich Vesting Fund that allowed the release? if not which fund was it?
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Old 23.08.2012, 17:24
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

I'm curious about the Zurich answer as I work there.

Thanks Cbb for the details. The fees are in line with normal pension fund practice. It costs roughly the same to transfer to a Swiss mortgage property based on the figs you provided. Taxes are generally 8-12% depending on the canton of residence/pension fund residence if abroad.

I'm curious Cbb, what were your Swiss lawyer legal fees?

Happy housewarming!

Mick
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Old 23.08.2012, 19:09
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Re: Cashing in Swiss pension and returning to the UK

What is the liability to uk tax in this transaction? I suspect it will be counted as income as its not possible to do the same thing with a uk pension. The money has to be for your main residence so you must be living their & liable to uk tax at the time!
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