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Old 04.08.2011, 11:53
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Having left Switzerland

Well left Switzerland on saturday (past), I have been contacted by my contracting agency, Harvey Nash about my Swiss pension fund.

Now I am back in the UK I need to decide on what to do with it.

The odd bit is that I don't pay into a pension here in the UK. I work as a contractor, so have no pension fund. I also do not believe in pension funds!! Have worked for pension annuities and don't like them.

Am I able to get the cash out? Could be very tempted to put the money into a small apartment (either UK or France) as part of my pension plan. Anyone have experience with doing this?
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Old 04.08.2011, 11:54
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Re: Having left Switzerland

Your pillar 2 pension will likely have two parts to it
- mandatory (in accordance with BVG)
- supplementary (not in accordance with BVG)

These will be identified on your pension statement.

You may have only the first part, it will depend on how much you contributed. If you have 'supplementary' and you have 'finally left' switzerland, you will be able to cash this in and do whatever you like with it, however, you may need to leave 3 years since your last 'additional purchase', otherwise there could be tax implications. There will be an amount of taxation to pay anyway (or did you plan ahead and move your pension to a stiftung in a non/low tax jurisdiction before you left..).

As for the pillar 2 mandatory BVG element, this I think can only be transferred to an approved pension scheme according to the current treaty, or left in a blocked account in switzerland. There was a link to an excellent detailed PDF posted quite recently on here, but I cannot find the posting at the moment and do not have the PDF to hand.

As far as taking cash out to purchase your own main residence, this is allowed - including i believe the mandatory element, but i'm not sure.

Last edited by jaudi; 04.08.2011 at 12:35.
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Old 04.08.2011, 11:58
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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Your pension will likely have two parts to it
No idea... I worked as a contractor, so all came out of my "earnings".
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Old 04.08.2011, 11:59
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Re: Having left Switzerland

have a search, there are loads of posts about what you can and can't do with your pension, if your a uk citizen living in the uk then you can't cash it in
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:05
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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have a search, there are loads of posts about what you can and can't do with your pension, if your a uk citizen living in the uk then you can't cash it in
Ok, will do.

I am also a south african citizen, if that could help
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:06
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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Ok, will do.

I am also a south african citizen, if that could help

well if you can give the swiss an address in SA then iirc you can cash it in
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:08
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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Am I able to get the cash out? Could be very tempted to put the money into a small apartment (either UK or France) as part of my pension plan. Anyone have experience with doing this?
Apartments in both these areas will get cheaper in the next 2 years (Spain as well) so take your time and do it right. Dont be in too big of a rush.
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:17
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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well if you can give the swiss an address in SA then iirc you can cash it in
Yes, relatively easy

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Apartments in both these areas will get cheaper in the next 2 years (Spain as well) so take your time and do it right. Dont be in too big of a rush.
I realise that is there a time limit in which I have to do this, or can I take my time?
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:36
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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I realise that is there a time limit in which I have to do this, or can I take my time?
Its like catching a feather, let it fall into your hand. Id say go down there and see whats on the market (lots for sale but not much is selling) and keep an eye on it until you think its good value. If you get exactly what you want then timing isnt that big of an issue

But if this is an "Investment" of sorts then I would wait till one of the large banks in that particular country go bust and has to dump property to raise cash. Thats typically a good time.

i.e. 3 months after Lehman went bust we bought a 2 bed/2bath in Miami for my folks in a gated community for $35k..... Europe has yet to see that kind of value, but it will eventually.
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Old 04.08.2011, 12:51
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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Its like catching a feather, let it fall into your hand. Id say go down there and see whats on the market (lots for sale but not much is selling) and keep an eye on it until you think its good value. If you get exactly what you want then timing isnt that big of an issue

But if this is an "Investment" of sorts then I would wait till one of the large banks in that particular country go bust and has to dump property to raise cash. Thats typically a good time.

i.e. 3 months after Lehman went bust we bought a 2 bed/2bath in Miami for my folks in a gated community for $35k..... Europe has yet to see that kind of value, but it will eventually.
We have been watching the markets and most are pretty dead. Lots of room to negotiate and yes have been on a while.

It's all going to be long term investment...

Not a bad buy, I don't know the US market... But do know the south African and some europes.
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Old 04.08.2011, 13:25
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We have been watching the markets and most are pretty dead. Lots of room to negotiate and yes have been on a while.

It's all going to be long term investment...

Not a bad buy, I don't know the US market... But do know the south African and some europes.
What do you think of SA? We do lots of investment in Africa but normally stay away from South Africa and Botswana as the land values were always expensive compared with the rest of Africa. Any thoughts on that market?
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Old 04.08.2011, 17:23
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Re: Having left Switzerland

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What do you think of SA? We do lots of investment in Africa but normally stay away from South Africa and Botswana as the land values were always expensive compared with the rest of Africa. Any thoughts on that market?
South Africa is more expensive, but I believe it's one of the least corrupt. Relativey easy to buy, has gotten expensive ov time, compared to the UK or Switzerland it's still cheap. Easy buying process, an accepted offer is legally binding (unlike the UK). Interest rates are high though. Rentals are a little low.

However only reason I would buy there again, is that I already have 2 places there and they are half way through the mortgages, so the tax efficiency is not so good anymore.

Where else do you look? I'm looking at Kenya or Mozambique as well. Or maybe morocco in a few years time
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Old 04.08.2011, 17:58
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South Africa is more expensive, but I believe it's one of the least corrupt. Relativey easy to buy, has gotten expensive ov time, compared to the UK or Switzerland it's still cheap. Easy buying process, an accepted offer is legally binding (unlike the UK). Interest rates are high though. Rentals are a little low.

However only reason I would buy there again, is that I already have 2 places there and they are half way through the mortgages, so the tax efficiency is not so good anymore.

Where else do you look? I'm looking at Kenya or Mozambique as well. Or maybe morocco in a few years time
Thanks Mate...

Yes, it is less corrupt. But I dont mind petty corruption. $1 here and $3 there isnt that bad. I think Victorian homes in Kinshasa (on the water) are cheap. Mainly though we look at farm land and mining concessions etc. Morocco is a great market. I would buy now. We have seen lots of Spanish money run in there and starting to see money from other North African countries come in with the instability. Its turning into Egypt (ten years ago). We own some stuff and wish we would have bought more to be honest.

Guinea Conakry is also priced cheaply. The old government people dumped their assets to leave the country and its kept prices down.

The big money though is in flower and greenhouse farming in Ethiopia, believe it or not. The return on investment is amazing! We set up a large project there for a client. They fly the flowers to Amsterdam and the veggies from the greenhouse go straight to Qatar and Mauritius. Farm land in SA is way over valued, mainly because its the least corrupt place to do business. But Iowa is a better investment at this time. Rands collapsing today though! Maybe that will all change when ZAR goes to 12?

But for civilization, Mozambique and Kenya are probably your best bet. Tanzania isnt bad, but a bit in the bush.
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