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Expat Pensions Advice
Upon permanent relocation to set up a new life anywhere overseas there are obviously innumerable things to deal with, both immediately and moving forward. Not least of these is establishing financial wellbeing and clarity, in most instances including the transfer of monies from an expat’s country of origin to the new country of residence. Certain procedures to undertake this may be complex and long-winded, perhaps with limitations. Others may not be so demanding, and some may even be prohibited, but in any instance it is always strongly advisable to seek guidance and advice from UK pension experts.
While every nation may have similarly structured procedures in place for the transference of funds of varying kinds, there are inevitably unique features and complications therein. For British expats moving to the United States of America, transferring a UK pension to the US is a potentially abstruse scenario with regulatory obstacles, but as with all financial matters there are expert services able and fully qualified to help.
Regardless of how knowledgeable and au fait a British expat in the US may be concerning financial practices and policy in the UK, such are the procedural and regulatory differences in the US that employing the services of pension advisers to simplify matters is definitely the way forward. So many questions arise when seeking to transfer a UK pension to the US, as well as inquiries relating to taxation, property sales and purchases, investments and much more, but they can be answered by pension and financial advisers in the US that specialize in dealing with such matters for British expats.
Among the subjects about which questions are commonly asked by expats concern the feasibility of transferring a UK pension into either a US 401(k) - being an employer-sponsored plan – or an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). Other common questions from British expats are how mortgages are obtainable in the US for new US residents; what the tax implications are when selling a UK property, and concerning such as UK ISAs, savings accounts, mutual funds and so forth. With a move to the USA, such seemingly previously simple matters can take on a whole raft of considerable contrasts to, and inconsistencies with, British practices. While the language may (generally) be shared between both nations, in so many ways – including setting up the financial aspect of life - a move to the US can be like a move to another world.
Unsurprisingly, there are special pension schemes designed for British expats (and, of course, other nationalities), the principal option for transfer of a UK-registered pension scheme being a QROPS (Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme). As with any such pension plan there are strict qualification/eligibility criteria for investors to meet in order for a transfer into a QROPS to occur. This process, too, is not without its complications, so would also need the advice and assistance of a UK pension adviser in the US.
While there will be many more scenarios to fathom out when starting a new life in the US, as the few outlined or touched upon above illustrate, there will be differences, complications and obstacles involved in the realm of transferring UK pensions to the US, as well as other personal financial matters - but why should an expat use the services of a pensions adviser, rather than go it alone?
The answer is simple in that an adviser is fully cognizant of the territory, the potential problems that may be encountered, and will boast a network of equally knowledgeable specialist contacts. Pension regulations are ever-changing in the US as they are in the UK, so it is both vital and common sense to speak with a fully regulated and experienced UK pension adviser in the US that can offer up-to-the-minute information, and guidance through what could realistically be a complex process.
A pension adviser will explain everything of importance in great detail, and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of every pension transfer scenario that can be explored in an individual’s unique circumstances.
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