The Pensioneer Trustee Company (Guernsey) Limited
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There is no question that the UK’s pensions industry was caught by surprise by Chancellor George Osborne’s announcement, of major changes to the UK’s pensions rules, in his Budget speech on 19 March.
In a sentence or two, Osborne all but ended the decades-long requirements for enforced annuities, and rules which prevented most UK pension scheme members from accessing more than 25% of the funds from their UK pensions as a lump sum.
The ramifications of the planned changes, though, are in fact global, due to the widespread use of qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) by expatriates keen to avail themselves of this type of international pension product’s advantages.
Thus the shock waves continue to reverberate, as advisers and their QROP scheme member clients strive to determine exactly how the proposed changes will affect them.
That the changes will affect QROPS schemes was not immediately obvious, as the Chancellor didn’t mention the “Q word” specifically in his speech.
Thus it falls to pension experts and advisers, on behalf of their clients, to work out whether the proposed changes to UK pensions will change – and possibly diminish or even eliminate – some of the reasons for transferring one’s existing UK pension scheme into a QROPS.