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  #21  
Old 15.09.2011, 14:35
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

New Catch 22: the Swiss ruling on releasing the funds to buy a house stipulate that the money transfer is direct to the seller, whereas UK law apparently stipulates that the money transfer goes through a solicitor. At least, this is what I read here amongst the questions:

http://www.finanzmonitor.com/2-saule...pensionskasse/

Sorry to those whose German isn't good, the website is DE only, but the questions and responses are interesting reading if you can understand them (or have someone to help you)

I have now finally contacted the UK office which deals with the form sent by the BVG, and incredibly, it seems to be really so that if you are unemployed when they get the form 120 days after leaving Switzerland, they classify you as not subject to an obligatory pension scheme. BTW, the 120 day rule comes from the BVG, not from the UK (the lady in the office doesn't understand it either)

So basically I seem to have two options:

- Open a vested account where the administration feel able to release the money for buying a house despite UK law (assuming that's so), or know a way round it
- No work for 120 days and then I get the money anyway, hopefully


I think the best plan is maybe to go for option one, and if that doesn't work out fairly quickly, option two is still there, assuming I'm not working

Next things are:
- Find out if the solicitor thing is really so (anyone here know)?
- See if I can get my pension money transferred a Liberty account (http://www.liberty-pension.ch) because I would pay massively less tax on withdrawal (check out their handy online calculator), and see if they know a way to release the money to buy a UK property.
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  #22  
Old 11.10.2011, 17:51
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

Thanks so much Araj for all this information. It's massively appreciated. I am desperate to gain access to my pillar 2 pension and return to the UK. Yes I will buy a house but can't see if they'd get the money to me in time for the exchange in monies. It sounds complicated.

I am currently looking at the possibility of declaring myself and my wife self employed and trying to apply through that route. The only problem with this is I can't see how I'd convince them that I'd make much money. However the Chomage/RAV I am currently working under supplementing my income offer a scheme when you are given 3 months to set up your own business. I assume they'd keep making payments so you could eat etc. Then in these 3 months I would hope to register as self employed and gain access to my pension, then as soon as it came through just pack up and leave.

Ahh, why is life never simple eh?
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  #23  
Old 11.10.2011, 18:03
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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I'm leaving Switz after 26 years and returning to the UK at the end of the year. I'm 56, so I've a good while until I reach retirement age. I've read through reams of stuff concerning pension funds, consulted a legal advisor and despite sometimes conflicting information, have come to the following conclusion and question:

I can withdraw the non-obligatory part of the pension when I leave, but the obligatory part is blocked in CH until retirement age unless HM Revenue and Customs report back to the BVG, 120 days after I officially leave CH, that I do not have a compulsory pension fund ("nicht obligatorisch rentenversichert") in the UK. So far, I have been unable to discover what this means exactly. Does this mean that if I am employed in the UK, the obligatory part of my pension stays blocked in CH, while if I am self-employed, it doesn't?

I intend to buy property in the UK, but as far as I have found out so far, this is irrelevant.
What's interesting in your case is your age. At 55 under current law you can retire early in the UK (even from CH). You're not entitled to any early retirement benefits in UK yet from the state, but you are entitled in the UK to be regarded as not needing to be compulsorily occupationally insured in a UK pension plan as you are over 55.

This could be a basis for a full CH payout of the BVG part. (The over-obligatory and Pillar 3 get paid anyhow).

What is your occupational status in the UK as someone who can be "retired-early" under UK law?

Secondly have you moved your BVG to a Freizügigkeitskonto? Consider a canton with a low rate, like SZ as it takes little if/when you get to cash out. (check finanzmonitor.com/liberty stiftung for details, I have no affiliation). http://www.liberty-pension.ch/en/

Thirdly are you a Swiss citizen?

You can cash out for a UK property, however this can be limited as you are over 50 to half your remaining 2nd Pillar. There's also a small tax hit.

http://www.finanzmonitor.com/2-saule...pensionskasse/
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  #24  
Old 11.10.2011, 18:10
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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New Catch 22: the Swiss ruling on releasing the funds to buy a house stipulate that the money transfer is direct to the seller, whereas UK law apparently stipulates that the money transfer goes through a solicitor. At least, this is what I read here amongst the questions:

http://www.finanzmonitor.com/2-saule...pensionskasse/

Sorry to those whose German isn't good, the website is DE only, but the questions and responses are interesting reading if you can understand them (or have someone to help you)

I have now finally contacted the UK office which deals with the form sent by the BVG, and incredibly, it seems to be really so that if you are unemployed when they get the form 120 days after leaving Switzerland, they classify you as not subject to an obligatory pension scheme. BTW, the 120 day rule comes from the BVG, not from the UK (the lady in the office doesn't understand it either)

So basically I seem to have two options:

- Open a vested account where the administration feel able to release the money for buying a house despite UK law (assuming that's so), or know a way round it
- No work for 120 days and then I get the money anyway, hopefully

I think the best plan is maybe to go for option one, and if that doesn't work out fairly quickly, option two is still there, assuming I'm not working

Next things are:
- Find out if the solicitor thing is really so (anyone here know)?
- See if I can get my pension money transferred a Liberty account (http://www.liberty-pension.ch) because I would pay massively less tax on withdrawal (check out their handy online calculator), and see if they know a way to release the money to buy a UK property.
The solicitor thing shouldn't be a problem as the money can be handled via the seller's agent the solicitor. The same thing can happen in Switzerland where the Notär has a similar function. Just clarify to all that the solicitor in UK is like a CH Notär acting on behalf of one or both parties.
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Old 11.10.2011, 18:14
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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The worst of it is that most of the people who pick up phones or e-mail and are supposed to help you can't, and to get anywhere useful you have to reach the stage of knowing more than they do and cite chapter and verse so that they finally admit they aren't in the picture and pass you on to a "Technical Officer" or similar who actually knows anything apart from the minimum required to answer everyday questions.

It's taken weeks of doggedness to get this far - the words "terrier" and "bulldog" come to mind ;-)

My bank (ZKB) got back to me - well sort of. The lady I had spoken to on the phone sent me two little factsheets explaining all the stuff I already knew and had told her, and completely ignored my question about how they handle things when someone buys a home in the UK... sigh
What else did you expect. Most state employees only understand when you can quote the corresponding law to them, where they have a clear obligation to act.

So your goal is to clarify what you need that is recognized to both countries. Not easy as this is an evolving area of administrative law that only came into effect in July 2007. No-one has much experience of it.
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Old 11.10.2011, 18:17
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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Thanks so much Araj for all this information. It's massively appreciated. I am desperate to gain access to my pillar 2 pension and return to the UK. Yes I will buy a house but can't see if they'd get the money to me in time for the exchange in monies. It sounds complicated.

I am currently looking at the possibility of declaring myself and my wife self employed and trying to apply through that route. The only problem with this is I can't see how I'd convince them that I'd make much money. However the Chomage/RAV I am currently working under supplementing my income offer a scheme when you are given 3 months to set up your own business. I assume they'd keep making payments so you could eat etc. Then in these 3 months I would hope to register as self employed and gain access to my pension, then as soon as it came through just pack up and leave.

Ahh, why is life never simple eh?
This is an interesting approach. Have you spoken to a Swiss accountant?
Your intent may be important here. I would get counsel to ensure I got the sequence right. There may be a delay in getting access to the freed up funds as they may technically be owned by the business, and it may take time to liquidate the business.

I doubt the scheme is intended by the RAV/Chamber of commerce as a ruse for foreigners to access their pension funds after a period on (insured) welfare/state help.

Also your spouse will need to countersign everything.
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Old 11.10.2011, 18:30
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

I just had a call from Zurich who currently hold our pensions. He said yes he'd pay out if we were self employed no problem. However becoming self employed seems that I do need more business from the private tutoring than I am getting at the moment. However I could use my current part time job in my application claiming I'd be freelancing.

Finally he mentioned releasing the second pillar if I was buying property in the UK but was unclear on the specifics. I see this point has already been made. I think I will continue to try find out the specifics of this more later in the week.

No I haven't spoke to an accountant. Thanks for that piece of advice. I don't want to end up liable in the future so it seems like a good idea.
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Old 11.10.2011, 18:33
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

I have just cashed my Credit Swiss Swiss pension in . The form to fill in was pretty simple and in English . You send back with a copy of your de registration attest and copy of passport. They keep the BVG (retirement assets) total and pay the remainder over minus in my case around 6% tax. This money will not be paid over until de registration leaving date.

As for using the BVG balance for a deposit for a house in the UK. I have a CS form that of course states there are restrictions for usage. I was also under the impression if the property is sold you have to pay the money back to the fund. Not sure how feasible that is though, but seem to remember hearing that from an adviser.

Last edited by Cosmicgirl; 11.10.2011 at 19:32. Reason: spelling
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Old 11.10.2011, 19:03
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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I have just cashed my Credit Swiss Swiss pension in . The form to fill in was pretty simple and in English . You send back with a copy of your de registration attest and copy of passport. They keep the BVG (retirement assets) total and pay the remainder over minus in my case around 6% tax. This money will not be paid over until de registration leaving date.

As for using the BVG balance for a deposit for a house in the UK. I have a CS form that of course states there are restrictions for usage. I was also was under the impression if the property is sold you have to pay the money back to the fund. Not sure how feasible that is though, but seem to remember hearing from an adviser.

So you got all your second pillar? And the penalty was 6% tax. Which country are you heading to? Where did you get the form about purchasing a house in the UK. As for paying the money back I assume most people would only sell their house to buy another anyway. I'd be interested to know at what point of the purchase of a house they pay out. I'd want to use the pension money for a deposit but would worry the HSBC etc would not count it when they saw I had to fill in forms for a foreign country lol and especially if there's stipulations as you mention

Do you just deregister at the local canton office before you leave?

Also you mention the money wont be paid until deregistration day. Didn't someone else say that the UK government must also sign the form?
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Old 11.10.2011, 19:43
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

Also I just had a thought. The form that the Swiss send to the UK govt (120 day form) to see if you're paying into a compulsory pension, how early can it be sent. I was wondering whether or not I could apply for my pension now to be released but give a departure date say 3 months away. Accepting I'd have the cash payment released on my day of departure.Then when they sent the form I'd still be here so they'd tick "no" I wasn't part of a compulsory pension scheme.

Obviously this all falls down if the form is not sent to the UK authorities until after my date of departure.
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Old 11.10.2011, 20:22
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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So you got all your second pillar? And the penalty was 6% tax. Which country are you heading to? Where did you get the form about purchasing a house in the UK. As for paying the money back I assume most people would only sell their house to buy another anyway. I'd be interested to know at what point of the purchase of a house they pay out. I'd want to use the pension money for a deposit but would worry the HSBC etc would not count it when they saw I had to fill in forms for a foreign country lol and especially if there's stipulations as you mention

Do you just deregister at the local canton office before you leave?

Also you mention the money wont be paid until deregistration day. Didn't someone else say that the UK government must also sign the form?
I'm going back to the UK. As my pension was held at Credit Suisse then the application for withdrawal of cash and promotion of home ownership benefits form I received from them , perhaps they may have slightly different rules to other funds not sure.

I don't think it would be too difficult to get the BVG part of the pension as a deposit for a house, but in my case the cash amount is too small I don't think its worth it. On my CS form it states that you are obliged to 'register a sales restriction with the land register'. Personally I wouldn't want to have restrictions impossed by Switzerland for any property I owned in the UK! but then it depends on the restrictions that may be applicable in your case and if you feel its worth the hassle of this then go for it.

I had to deregister at the local town hall in Zurich not the kreisburo where i got my permit. It cost me 30chf and could ONLY be done 30 days before departure date ( that was the date i told them i was leaving and ceased to be a B resident) and that is when they paid me my cash for my pension and I happily stopped paying my extremley expensive health insurance.

I am still here at the moment no longer as a foreigner but as a
Tourist for a few weeks until i can tie up loose ends. I'll be back for Guy fawkes
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Old 11.10.2011, 20:46
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

I'm so pleased for you. Hopefully I wont be far behind. I am planning to leave mid December and be home for Christmas. I am going to carrying trying to gain access to my second pillar. It'd make a great Christmas present Wish my pension had been with credit Swiss. Mine is Zurich lol.
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Old 11.10.2011, 20:53
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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I'm so pleased for you. Hopefully I wont be far behind. I am planning to leave mid December and be home for Christmas. I am going to carrying trying to gain access to my second pillar. It'd make a great Christmas present Wish my pension had been with credit Swiss. Mine is Zurich lol.
Good Luck with the pension ! and a very merry Christmas to you !
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  #34  
Old 11.10.2011, 21:18
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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I just had a call from Zurich who currently hold our pensions. He said yes he'd pay out if we were self employed no problem.
That's interesting but contradicts the information I have. Self-employed people in the UK are also liable to pay Class 2 NI contributions, and are thus part of an "obligatory state scheme" which the whole 2007 agreement hinges on. The only thing I did hear was that if you earn extremely little, you are also not liable to pay NI contributions.
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Old 11.10.2011, 21:20
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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That's interesting but contradicts the information I have. Self-employed people in the UK are also liable to pay Class 2 NI contributions, and are thus part of an "obligatory state scheme" which the whole 2007 agreement hinges on. The only thing I did hear was that if you earn extremely little, you are also not liable to pay NI contributions.

No I meant he pay out if we were self employed in CH. But looking at the rules for gaining self employed status I'd struggle to get it.
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Old 11.10.2011, 21:21
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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No I meant he pay out if we were self employed in CH. But looking at the rules for gaining self employed status I'd struggle to get it.
Yes I remember not paying as a student but think you have to earn some crazy small amount like under £70 a week or something
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Old 12.10.2011, 12:54
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Re: cashing in part of pension returning to UK

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I'm going back to the UK. As my pension was held at Credit Suisse then the application for withdrawal of cash and promotion of home ownership benefits form I received from them , perhaps they may have slightly different rules to other funds not sure.

I don't think it would be too difficult to get the BVG part of the pension as a deposit for a house, but in my case the cash amount is too small I don't think its worth it. On my CS form it states that you are obliged to 'register a sales restriction with the land register'. Personally I wouldn't want to have restrictions impossed by Switzerland for any property I owned in the UK! but then it depends on the restrictions that may be applicable in your case and if you feel its worth the hassle of this then go for it.

I had to deregister at the local town hall in Zurich not the kreisburo where i got my permit. It cost me 30chf and could ONLY be done 30 days before departure date ( that was the date i told them i was leaving and ceased to be a B resident) and that is when they paid me my cash for my pension and I happily stopped paying my extremley expensive health insurance.

I am still here at the moment no longer as a foreigner but as a
Tourist for a few weeks until i can tie up loose ends. I'll be back for Guy fawkes
Technically of course you can wait until the day you leave to advise them. You'll get a letter about a week later, but can ask for a Bestätigung right away. Of course you'll pay at least another month's health insurance....
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