PENSION TRANSFERS FOR EXPATS
Thinking of transferring your UK pension?
The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) requires firms advising on pension transfers to have specific permission for advising on pension transfers and opt-outs.
If you are an expat based in Dubai or the UAE and you are considering transferring out of your defined contribution or your final salary scheme, you should take regulated advice.
If the value of your pension assets is in a defined benefit scheme (final salary) is valued at more than £30,000, the Government rules require your pension provider to ensure that you have taken regulated financial advice before allowing the transfer to proceed. This regulated advice must come from a pension transfer specialist, who has the requisite permissions to be able to give advice in this complex area.
A pension transfer specialist must follow the FCA’s training and competence rules, have the appropriate pension transfer specialist qualification and, with that, the permission to perform the function.
There are over 4,000 financial advisers in the UAE and only a very small proportion have the right qualifications to give advice in this area – so it is imperative to check.
Your suitability to transfer your pension will be based on your own set of personal circumstances and your financial objectives for retirement.
IS TRANSFERRING YOUR PENSION SUITABLE FOR YOU?
There are situations where it does make financial sense to transfer your pension to a new or different scheme – here are a few possible examples:
Your existing company scheme is being wound up
You feel that flexibly accessing benefits would be more beneficial to you than a guaranteed income for life.
You are worried your scheme will fall into the PPF and you are at risk of receiving a lower annual income in retirement
You have a personal pension that has high fees
You are at risk of exceeding the lifetime allowance
You have been offered an enhanced transfer value
If considering transfefreing away from a final salary scheme you are confident your income needs can be met via other sources
Leaving residual funds to your spouse or chosen beneficary is important to you.
You are a deferred memeber of a final salary scheme and reductions are being made to future benenfits or an increase in your normal retirment date
You have a number of small pensions, perhaps from a variety of employers, periods of self employment and/or various Additional Voluntary Contributions plans and you would like to amalgamate them all – perhaps in a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension)
You would like to add your existing personal pension to an occupational pension scheme to benefit from lower fees/employer contributions.