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Old 10.05.2012, 14:09
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QROPS & offshore investment minefield

Its clear that new expats in Switzerland are fresh meat for commission hungry financial salespeople and I am grateful for all the posts I have read on the subject and all the warnings about certain companies.

The problem is after all this I am really no clearer as to what I should do with my UK pension and have not identified anyone I can trust to give clear unbiased advice. The internet is just a big classified add and I don't know where to look.

I think that QROPS is the option for me (for personal reasons I wont go into) but how do I select the right product, how can I compare fees, do I really need an expensive offshore bond in Isle of Man? Is a QROPS in Switzerland a bad idea (as I was told) due to resident status and tax?

There are enough posts about bad advisers and predatory sales techniques so no need to go through that here but links to relevant information, properly regulated advisers (preferably not on commission) and good sound advice would be really appreciated.

Bruster
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Old 10.05.2012, 14:24
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

contact your work pension provider. they may be able to transfer it to your work pension. this is what i have done and has the simplicity of everything being in the same place.
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Old 10.05.2012, 14:37
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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contact your work pension provider. they may be able to transfer it to your work pension. this is what i have done and has the simplicity of everything being in the same place.
Thanks, that one was blocked from the start unfortunately. My choice is leave it frozen in the UK or move it out to QROPS.
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Old 10.05.2012, 15:30
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

No idea what they're like, but there are UK IFAs listed here: Gold Standard for Independent Financial advice. Some are Chartered Financial Planners. Regulated/authorised IFAs are on the FSA register.
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Old 14.05.2012, 09:29
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

Does anyone know about the self regulated OAR-G?

http://www.oarg.ch/index.php?option=...id=76&Itemid=1

I have found an adviser who is regulated as a member of this organisation but I am not sure what value that has to me as it seems more focused on money laundering.

I'm still confused so please help!

Bruster
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Old 14.05.2012, 10:14
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

While I can't tell you which IFAs in CH are trustworthy nor am able to offer advice myself as my business activity is only focused (and licensed) to Germany, it is not so hard, actually, to find a good QROPS provider for yourself. The main point are keeping the costs low, both upfront and on the long-run.
If you like to check what products from Swiss providers are registered with HMCR for transfers within the QROPS schemes, here is the link and a short copy from the list: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/qrops.pdf

Baloise Assurances

So, basically you only need to check with BALOISE how they are represented in CH and which products exactly fit the QROPS requirements.

Other location that have become very attractive are for instance New Zealand ( we work together ourselves with Endeavour Fund in NZ because of their really low costs). Malta also seems to become a new hub for the location of QROPS funds but because of this I would also recommend to be very cautious and always look at the full costs etc. In Germany under consumer protection laws the advisor will have to show the costs with his/her quote in full EUR and if he/she fails to do so, you have an excellent liablity case later going for you.

Cheerio
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Old 03.07.2012, 18:39
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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...Malta also seems to become a new hub for the location of QROPS funds but because of this I would also recommend to be very cautious and always look at the full costs etc...
Recent complaint:
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2012-07-02
I wish I could have found this site before letting those lying cheating scumbags anywhere near my pension. I have since found out that I was fed a pack of lies by the D*vere salesman. I have seen my pension plummet in value because it's been put in investments that N*gel Green has a hand. To top that off they've put my pension in N*gel Green's Malta company STM where I will be liable to pay considerable tax when I start taking my benefits, this is because the country I am retiring to doesn't have a double taxation agreement with Malta. This and many other important things I have since found out, the salesman forgot to mention.
source
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Old 03.07.2012, 18:47
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

I would say Malta is going to be the more favourable place at the moment due to the number of double taxation treaties and the number of trustees that will be there, someone must be crazy if they use STM has the beers written all over it.

In next few months can see Gibraltar becoming one of the most used QROPS place.

New Zeland could be good yes because of the low fees, but then you a restricted to investment funds.

Using MOVENTUM as a trustee with an SEB open architecture investment could be a a better option
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Old 03.07.2012, 18:52
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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contact your work pension provider. they may be able to transfer it to your work pension. this is what i have done and has the simplicity of everything being in the same place.
Yes this is an option, but then you are restricted to Investments options, also they perform badly on growth
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Old 04.07.2012, 11:57
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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Using MOVENTUM as a trustee with an SEB open architecture investment could be a a better option
Moventum/Boston Funds Direct apparently used by The beers.

Platform providers seek to navigate tricky offshore waters
Quote:
...excess costs that come into play with such bonds when they are held on a platform...

Few in the platform industry have as good a view of its workings as John Pauly, the founder and chief executive of Luxembourg-based Moventum. ...his company...provides the platform technology and infrastructure used by some of the best-known financial services platforms, while also running its own no-frills platform business for financial advisers....
What is more, proposed Financial Services Authority regulations that would oblige platform providers, working through their adviser clients, to provide investors with what Pauly says would be “every scrap of news about every fund they hold”, as part of its insistence upon transparency.
It is more than just a hassle, there are very substantial costs associated with [this plan], and the FSA is saying that the investor should not be the one to bear the cost,” Pauly says.
Shame the costs can't be transferred to the investor...

Quote:
Moventum radar picks up small distributors
Mr Pauly concedes that “the idea of an IFA using a platform is relatively new and there are questions over whether it will work”.
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Old 04.07.2012, 23:08
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

I did it all myself to a Pictet account that offers a variety of underlying funds. Zero costs, very easy. No affiliation apart from being a happy customer.

D
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Old 05.07.2012, 10:26
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

Sorry guys i ment Momentum Pensions Malta Ltd not Moventum.

Yes its easy to do yourself but then you dont have the benefits of a Qrops which there are many, im surprised that people are not even mentioning QNUPS
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Old 05.07.2012, 10:35
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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Sorry guys i ment Momentum Pensions Malta Ltd not Moventum.

Yes its easy to do yourself but then you dont have the benefits of a Qrops which there are many, im surprised that people are not even mentioning QNUPS
Please explain this statement.

As I understand QROPS does not offer any benefits per se: it's just an HMRC qualification for the overseas destination fund that allows your UK pension provider to make the transfer. There are some ongoing reporting requirements back to the HMRC, which as of the April this year last (retroactively) for 10 years from the date of transfer (before it was from date of leaving the UK), that are there for anti-avoidance reasons.

So really you've got to look at i) the quality/offering of the destination fund and ii) the treatment of the fund at pensionable age in the destination country.

As a long terms Swiss resident (and this is a Swiss focused forum), I was interested in consolidating small defined contributions pots in the UK into my Swiss pension arrangements and safe income yielding investment categories (why chase capital gains in a tax wrapper when gains are tax free hear anyway?).

Daniel
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Old 05.07.2012, 10:39
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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Yes this is an option, but then you are restricted to Investments options, also they perform badly on growth
Swans, the typical Swiss company pension fund is offering 2%+ tax free guaranteed annual returns and offers full capital preservation except in some fairly extreme circumstances. For CHF denominated investments that is pretty damned good return.

If people have enough savings and pensions savings to risk investing their their pension pots in high risk products in jurisdictions with significant regulatory or country risk like Malta or Spain, then probably they are wise enough with their money not to do so...
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Old 05.07.2012, 10:44
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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Please explain this statement.

As I understand QROPS does not offer any benefits per se: it's just an HMRC qualification for the overseas destination fund that allows your UK pension provider to make the transfer. There are some ongoing reporting requirements back to the HMRC, which as of the April this year last (retroactively) for 10 years from the date of transfer (before it was from date of leaving the UK), that are there for anti-avoidance reasons.

So really you've got to look at i) the quality/offering of the destination fund and ii) the treatment of the fund at pensionable age in the destination country.

As a long terms Swiss resident (and this is a Swiss focused forum), I was interested in consolidating small defined contributions pots in the UK into my Swiss pension arrangements and safe income yielding investment categories (why chase capital gains in a tax wrapper when gains are tax free hear anyway?).

Daniel
They are some of the benefits

Flexibility Benefits

Deferral: British pension plans are notoriously inflexible. Once you reach 75 you can no-longer delay taking an income from a UK based pension, so you must either purchase an annuity or take an ASP (Alternatively Secured Pension). It is worth noting that in the UK, pension annuity rates are currently at their lowest for 15 years, having declined by over 45% since 1994.
Almost all offshore pension plans are fully flexible, allowing you to retain ownership of the asset.
Inheritance: There are severe restrictions when passing a UK pension fund on to heirs. Depending on which plan you have, and how money has been drawn from it, leaving it to your heirs can result in a plethora of tax issues. Lump sums can be liable for inheritance tax at 40%. Worse still, payments can result in scheme sanction charges and unauthorised payment surcharges which often result in tax liabilities of 80% or more. QROPS offer a wide variety of options; including passing assets on directly, investing assets for beneficiaries later in life and more.
Currency
UK pension schemes are held and paid in Sterling. For a non-resident this will translate to extra exchange rate costs. This also leaves them open to currency fluctuation risks which have dramatically and negatively affected the lives of many retirees abroad. A QROPS pension can be held in many denominations, income payments can thus be in the local currency.
Investment
In UK schemes the ‘Lifetime Allowance Charge’ is a restriction on the total permissible value of an individual’s pension fund. Currently this is £1.8 million and you may be liable for a tax of 55% on anything above this. Non-UK schemes are unlikely to have a top ceiling. Indeed many offshore schemes encourage further investment. Most QROPS schemes have many of the features of an offshore portfolio bond, from the ability to create a bespoke investment strategy with your IFA, to the freedom to add lump sums to your plan at will.
Clearly, QROPS has a number of benefits; a competent financial adviser will be able to tell you which, if any, of the features of QROPS you will be able to benefit from.
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Old 05.07.2012, 10:49
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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Swans, the typical Swiss company pension fund is offering 2%+ tax free guaranteed annual returns and offers full capital preservation except in some fairly extreme circumstances. For CHF denominated investments that is pretty damned good return.

If people have enough savings and pensions savings to risk investing their their pension pots in high risk products in jurisdictions with significant regulatory or country risk like Malta or Spain, then probably they are wise enough with their money not to do so...
but if your fund are invested correctly in a QROPS, you can achieve 6 to 9 percent.

Spain why would you even mention them, Spain dont have any QROPS schemes and by the way its going never will so crazy to mention them,
Malta was just one place, soon there will be Gibraltar.
A QROP is nto a high risk product if done properly, as the investment should be done client specific to their risk factor of investing, IE Secure, Cautious, Balanced, Adventurous, Speculative
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Old 05.07.2012, 10:56
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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but if your fund are invested correctly in a QROPS, you can achieve 6 to 9 percent.

Spain why would you even mention them, Spain dont have any QROPS schemes and by the way its going never will so crazy to mention them,
Malta was just one place, soon there will be Gibraltar.
A QROP is nto a high risk product if done properly, as the investment should be done client specific to their risk factor of investing, IE Secure, Cautious, Balanced, Adventurous, Speculative
6-9 percent. Maybe just perhaps, but no such thing as a free lunch. In the current market that is going to be HIGH risk. What is absolutely certain is that the fund manager who is peddling such pipe dreams with be taking a guaranteed couple of % fees.

There are in fact a number of QROPS approved schemes in Spain: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/qrops.pdf

Again a QROPS is just a fund that HMRC will allow overseas transfers to. I agree that its the underlying product that matters.
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Old 05.07.2012, 11:02
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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They are some of the benefits
I dont disagree that moving your pension pot out of the UK pensions net has a number of advantages.

My point is that even if you do want to invest your pension pot in a "growth" type portfolio, you dont need to pay a broker expensive fees to do that. Just go look at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/qrops.pdf list. Weed out the QROPS which are corporate funds and contact the providers of the public funds, and make your choice.
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Old 05.07.2012, 11:41
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield


Well the companies who invest in Carbon Credits and take that amount of commission are unregulated to say the least. So people would be stupid to invest in them in the 1st place.

I dont understand why people would do business with unregulated companies
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Old 05.07.2012, 11:43
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Re: QROPS & offshore investment minefield

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6-9 percent. Maybe just perhaps, but no such thing as a free lunch. In the current market that is going to be HIGH risk. What is absolutely certain is that the fund manager who is peddling such pipe dreams with be taking a guaranteed couple of % fees.

There are in fact a number of QROPS approved schemes in Spain: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/qrops.pdf

Again a QROPS is just a fund that HMRC will allow overseas transfers to. I agree that its the underlying product that matters.
Well that list is not of approved schemes really is it, its all Registered schemes
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