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Old 29.08.2020, 10:46
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Planning to retire to the UK

Good morning all !

I'm trying to get to grips with everything I need to know to optimise my retirement / return to the UK in 5 - 7 years from now.

I've been reading through your hundreds of posts which are a fantastic wealth of information, many thanks to all who have contributed. However the more I read the more I feel like I'm going down the rabbit hole and clearly I need some professional advice. My financial knowledge is lacking and if anyone has the name of a good pension advisor in Geneva or Vaud for someone planning to move back to and retire in the UK, I'd be very grateful.

My situation :

UK State pension, about 20 years of contributions
Swiss AVS
Swiss LPP pension, with a large non-mandatory part and about 23 years of contributions by the time I reach 58.
Some years of French and Dutch pension contributions but prob no pension
Currently working in Geneva, living in France

No clear ideas whether to stay to 58 and receive a pension, or bog off early and take the lot out of Switzerland and invest it back in the UK.

If this question has already been answered, sorry. I couldn't find what I was looking for.

And if anyone has a suggestion for what they'd do in my situation I'd be very happy to learn

Thanks a mill.
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Old 29.08.2020, 11:36
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

Hello again. I realised after posting my message that maybe I should have posted it in one of the sticky threads. Sorry about that. Maybe an admin could move it? Thanks
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  #3  
Old 29.08.2020, 12:13
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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Good morning all !

I'm trying to get to grips with everything I need to know to optimise my retirement / return to the UK in 5 - 7 years from now.

I've been reading through your hundreds of posts which are a fantastic wealth of information, many thanks to all who have contributed. However the more I read the more I feel like I'm going down the rabbit hole and clearly I need some professional advice. My financial knowledge is lacking and if anyone has the name of a good pension advisor in Geneva or Vaud for someone planning to move back to and retire in the UK, I'd be very grateful.

My situation :

UK State pension, about 20 years of contributions
Swiss AVS
Swiss LPP pension, with a large non-mandatory part and about 23 years of contributions by the time I reach 58.
Some years of French and Dutch pension contributions but prob no pension
Currently working in Geneva, living in France

No clear ideas whether to stay to 58 and receive a pension, or bog off early and take the lot out of Switzerland and invest it back in the UK.

If this question has already been answered, sorry. I couldn't find what I was looking for.

And if anyone has a suggestion for what they'd do in my situation I'd be very happy to learn

Thanks a mill.
You want to buy as many UK back years as possible, I think you can go back 5 years & pay until UK retirement. You will get close to a full UK pension if you do as 35 years are required for max pension.
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Old 29.08.2020, 12:25
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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You want to buy as many UK back years as possible, I think you can go back 5 years & pay until UK retirement. You will get close to a full UK pension if you do as 35 years are required for max pension.
Thanks ! I will contact HMRC and do that.

The more I read the more I wonder whether I should just stop working at 56, cash in all my LPP (mandatory and non-mandatory parts) and reinvest back in the UK and live of it.

Projected LPP plus some other liquid assets at 56 will allow me to invest £750k, withholding tax deducted. As far as I've read so far, getting the LPP over the UK is subject to witholding tax and not taxed in the UK.

Would just need to have the courage to do it. Huge decision
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Old 29.08.2020, 12:57
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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Thanks ! I will contact HMRC and do that.

The more I read the more I wonder whether I should just stop working at 56, cash in all my LPP (mandatory and non-mandatory parts) and reinvest back in the UK and live of it.

Projected LPP plus some other liquid assets at 56 will allow me to invest £750k, withholding tax deducted. As far as I've read so far, getting the LPP over the UK is subject to witholding tax and not taxed in the UK.

Would just need to have the courage to do it. Huge decision
Make sure you can pay class 2 rather than class 3, far cheaper.

I retired at 52, 6 years ago & invested my Swiss pension fund in www.fundsmith.co.uk it's up almost 200% in GBP & + 154% in CHF so £100k became £297k or 100k CHF became 254k in CHF. Clearly after living I have doubled my assets owning defensive companies.
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Old 29.08.2020, 13:29
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

agree with fmf. close to retirement, it would be worthwhile paying class 2 nics while you can and paying back earlier years.

i'd be interested to know whether it is possible to claim pension here and paid to UK (would it be at full rates? would there be any swiss health insurance implications? are there any changes post-brexit?)
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Old 29.08.2020, 13:43
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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Make sure you can pay class 2 rather than class 3, far cheaper.

I retired at 52, 6 years ago & invested my Swiss pension fund in www.fundsmith.co.uk it's up almost 200% in GBP & + 154% in CHF so £100k became £297k or 100k CHF became 254k in CHF. Clearly after living I have doubled my assets owning defensive companies.
Thanks very much for that info. I will contact them. At the end of the day I need to find a fund that will provide me with my required level of income which is relatively modest in the UK, and I suppose mostly based on natural earnings as much as possible rather than having to cash in assets, especially if the fund loses value.

If I may ask, do you have all your assets in 1 fund ? Wouldn't it be better to invest in multiple funds to spread the risk, albeit with less return ? fundsmith have performed brilliantly but it could have been different.
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Old 29.08.2020, 13:45
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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agree with fmf. close to retirement, it would be worthwhile paying class 2 nics while you can and paying back earlier years.

i'd be interested to know whether it is possible to claim pension here and paid to UK (would it be at full rates? would there be any swiss health insurance implications? are there any changes post-brexit?)
The UK and Switzerland (and many other countries) have reciprocal pension arrangements. I receive my UK state pension paid in CHF (which goes up and down each month, but mainly down). This is paid to my ZKB account. The opposite direction is also possible.

It would be total nonsense and administrative nightmare if this changed after Brexit...
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Old 29.08.2020, 13:49
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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agree with fmf. close to retirement, it would be worthwhile paying class 2 nics while you can and paying back earlier years.

i'd be interested to know whether it is possible to claim pension here and paid to UK (would it be at full rates? would there be any swiss health insurance implications? are there any changes post-brexit?)
Hi. Thanks, I will do a check up on my NICs and apply to pay class 2 contributions as much as possible.

No problem to claim a pension here and paid to the UK, and no change of the rates because of being in the UK.

Health-wise, if you have a UK pension then no need to pay Swiss health contributions. If I cash in my LPP before getting to 58, then I would just need to pay LAMal contributions between 65 when the AVS starts start of my AVS) and
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Old 29.08.2020, 13:52
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

Bloomin' keyboard... wasn't finished typing.

Health-wise, if you have a UK pension then no need to pay Swiss health contributions. If you cash in the LPP before getting to 58, then you need to pay LAMal contributions between 65, when the AVS starts, and 67, when the UK state pension starts.
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Old 29.08.2020, 14:22
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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Thanks very much for that info. I will contact them. At the end of the day I need to find a fund that will provide me with my required level of income which is relatively modest in the UK, and I suppose mostly based on natural earnings as much as possible rather than having to cash in assets, especially if the fund loses value.

If I may ask, do you have all your assets in 1 fund ? Wouldn't it be better to invest in multiple funds to spread the risk, albeit with less return ? fundsmith have performed brilliantly but it could have been different.
I have most of my assets in Fundsmith & now split with Smithson, been invested from early on as I liked the concept of high returns & low risks. My previous strategy was 70% in Apple, however I had to reduce my risk with retirement. Of course Apple has done way better but much higher volatility.

There are not that many good investment opportunities, so huge diversification becomes a bad idea in my opinion. Once you pass 20 stocks, the benefit of diversification is minimal both Fundsmith & Smithson have roughly 30 stocks so amply diversified.
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Old 29.08.2020, 14:38
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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I have most of my assets in Fundsmith & now split with Smithson, been invested from early on as I liked the concept of high returns & low risks. My previous strategy was 70% in Apple, however I had to reduce my risk with retirement. Of course Apple has done way better but much higher volatility.

There are not that many good investment opportunities, so huge diversification becomes a bad idea in my opinion. Once you pass 20 stocks, the benefit of diversification is minimal both Fundsmith & Smithson have roughly 30 stocks so amply diversified.
Thanks for all your advice. Much appreciated. If I can retire at 56 I'll be nice and happy. Between then and now, let's see what happens with the world.

Time to contact Fundsmith and discuss my options. 30 years of investment protected against inflation, low risk, given sufficient, tax-efficient (if possible) income.
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Old 29.08.2020, 15:08
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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Thanks for all your advice. Much appreciated. If I can retire at 56 I'll be nice and happy. Between then and now, let's see what happens with the world.

Time to contact Fundsmith and discuss my options. 30 years of investment protected against inflation, low risk, given sufficient, tax-efficient (if possible) income.
It's usually more tax efficient to live off capital, rather than chase income.

High income producing equities are generally poor quality companies, both the dividends & share prices of said companies have collapsed this year V Fundsmith that hit it's all time high in £ last week.

UK has a max rate of CGT of 20% v 45% for income.
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Old 29.08.2020, 17:17
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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It's usually more tax efficient to live off capital, rather than chase income.

High income producing equities are generally poor quality companies, both the dividends & share prices of said companies have collapsed this year V Fundsmith that hit it's all time high in £ last week.

UK has a max rate of CGT of 20% v 45% for income.
I set up a sipp earlier this year with 8 funds in it. Amusingly FS has performed comfortably the worst at about +10%. Next worst is about +16%, best to worst:

Polar Capital Technology (+30%)
BG Positive change
BG Global Stewardship
BG Global Alpha Growth
Fidelity Global Technology
Rathbone Global Opportunities
LF Blue Whale
Fundsmith

Think index is about +9%.

I fully expect FS to be off the bottom by Xmas.

Last edited by HickvonFrick; 29.08.2020 at 17:31.
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Old 29.08.2020, 18:14
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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I set up a sipp earlier this year with 8 funds in it. Amusingly FS has performed comfortably the worst at about +10%. Next worst is about +16%, best to worst:

Polar Capital Technology (+30%)
BG Positive change
BG Global Stewardship
BG Global Alpha Growth
Fidelity Global Technology
Rathbone Global Opportunities
LF Blue Whale
Fundsmith

Think index is about +9%.

I fully expect FS to be off the bottom by Xmas.
That is over a very short period, 10 year performance which will be available from FS is a couple of months will be much more interesting. You need to look at the risk you are taking, time will tell Tech is hot at the moment.
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Old 29.08.2020, 18:32
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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It's usually more tax efficient to live off capital, rather than chase income.

High income producing equities are generally poor quality companies, both the dividends & share prices of said companies have collapsed this year V Fundsmith that hit it's all time high in £ last week.

UK has a max rate of CGT of 20% v 45% for income.
Good point. Some combination of income and capital gains is more interesting. Being married, we will both have capital gains allowances and personal allowances for income.
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Old 29.08.2020, 18:47
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

Interested in the NI aspect of things. I have 3 years missing from 1993-96 as that was when I was a mature student, I had a p/t job during term which was f/t in the holidays but students were exempt from NI.
I looked into the gap during my last visit to Scotland earlier in the year and used the online calculator, it told me I'd have to pay 8k to get an extra £5 a week state pension so I decided it wasn't worth it.

I have 2 state pension forecast letters from HMRC with different amounts on them, one says I was contracted out of SERPs and the other says I wasn't. When I was self employed I had a 2 year long wrangle with HMRC because they claimed i hadn't paid NI for a 12 month period, turned out the payments were lost somewhere in a suspense account. I've also had someone fraudulently claim a 3.5k tax rebate using my name, NI number and a fictitious job title back in 2011. After i reported it to the police HMRC admitted to me that their systems would pay out with just those 3 pieces of info. The pension system in Britain is a total shambles along with tax.
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Old 29.08.2020, 19:02
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

Been sitting on my hands, and wondering, why would anyone go back to UK at the moment? No need to reply of course- but just wondering.
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Old 29.08.2020, 19:12
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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Been sitting on my hands, and wondering, why would anyone go back to UK at the moment? No need to reply of course- but just wondering.
Hm, because it's home and also somewhere where I can actually talk to my neighbours in a language we both understand.
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Old 29.08.2020, 20:20
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Re: Planning to retire to the UK

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That is over a very short period, 10 year performance which will be available from FS is a couple of months will be much more interesting. You need to look at the risk you are taking, time will tell Tech is hot at the moment.
Oh I know - just a bit of fun. This months investment will be in Smithson.
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