NHS Staff running out of time to move pensions abroad

Many NHS staff both former and current are now looking to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (Qrops) as their best option for long term financial security and a comfortable retirement, before new legislation banning transfers for unfunded schemes overseas comes into effect from April 2015.

As from April 2015, The Armed Forces, civil service, NHS, firefighters, police and teachers will be banned from transferring their pensions to a scheme developed initially to allow expats living in another country to be closer to their savings and thus avoid UK tax and currency fluctuations.

With the uncertainty of more changes looming like a dark cloud over the UK pension market, combined with the fact that pensions are set to be locked into the UK permanently as of April 2015, it is understandable that expats are looking at QROPS as a way out of the UK.

Benefits of QROPS include:

-Tax free lump sums of up to 30% of your entire Pension Pot;

– Greater flexibility in the investing of your pension;

– Protected funds that are not subject to inheritance tax (currently 55%) or divorce judgements;

– Tailor-made schemes to fit with your circumstances;

– Potential for early retirement.

There is only five months before QROPS are no longer an option for NHS employees. Call us here at Pennick Blackwell, we will come to you for a free, no obligation fact find in order to establish your pension pot value and give you the options on how you can get the best out of it.

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)

Saving your Money – Is the Mattress the best option…

If not an age old image, then hiding money under the mattress is at least a common idea that we have all come across, and many people do, in an effort to keep our money safe and secure.  While we always have access to it easily enough, is it the best option for you?

In current times, and after all the recent bad press for Banks, investor confidence is at a very shaky level.  Here is Spain, 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon has been changed to 3 degrees of “preferentes” such is the level of people who were caught in this scandal a few years ago, and are still looking for their lost savings.

However, you work hard for your money, shouldn’t it work for you as well?  There are many ways to invest your money to have it grow for you and a few careful, well informed choices can increase what you have while you are busy earning more, surely an attractive prospect.

Life savings, inheritances, continual saving, short-term, long-term, risk free, calculated risk investments, property investments….the list goes on and on but, depending on where you go, you could be steered into something that is not best for you, but better for the person taking your hard earned cash from you.

By speaking to an independent financial advisor, you can explain what you want from your money, realistically speaking!, and then you can have your options explained to you in a way you understand and can decide on.  Do you want a guaranteed return on your funds, something small but secure?  Would you like to enter the Stock Market and are not sure how or what the advantages are?  Investment funds are all the rage in banks at present, do you know how they work?  Are you having the options explained to you?  Or do you just want to set aside some money every month so that in a few years that dream holiday won’t be such a financial burden?

If you have any questions or are not sure what you want to do with your hard earned money, call into Pennick Blackwell for a free, no obligations chat and let’s see how we can get it working for you!

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)

Spanish Banking – We feel your pain

Banks, are they a necessary evil or just one of those things we have to put up with like Death, Taxes and Facebook!  However you feel about them, if you have had an account in Spain, chances are that your feelings swiftly started either turning bad or got worse!

Many people I have come in contact with still have the image in their mind of Spanish Banking being routed in the 70’s.  While they no longer smoke at the desk while talking to you, many people have felt the pain of queuing in a bank only for the cashier to decide that is the time to down tools and go for their morning coffee!

However, being from another country, once you get over the initial culture shock, you may find that you do in fact need a bank account in Spain.  For many people, there will be rent payments, utilities expenses, having a pension changed to this country, changing money after or before a trip, savings and investments.  Where do you start looking for a bank?  In this day and age, the first place seems to be social media or word of mouth.  Start a thread and see how many people will add their 2 pennies worth of advice (better than the bank having it no?) but many people, while knowing exactly their situation, won’t know yours.

If you are looking at moving to Spain, buying or renting a property, changing your pension payments to an overseas account, setting up Direct Debits etc.  Do you know what the bank will want from you in return?  Are you willing to settle for the first bank you come across?  A bit of searching and talking to people who know will allow you to see what bank will charge you, how to avoid their charges and what tricks not to fall for.  We have seen all too often life savings been wasted away in Bank Shares or locked away for long term investments because it was what the bank wanted at the time, not the customer.

Forewarned is forearmed so if you are looking at opening an account and are not sure which bank to go for, call people who know, ask the questions, explain what you want the account for and we can help you find the right bank for you.

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)

Pennick Blackwell – Advice in your language

In any country, if there is a different language, for many people there is a definite barrier to overcome. Some try, some fail, some look for ways to circumvent the problem.

Even if you do get to grips with the language of a new country, there are specialist vocabularies that can be even harder to digest for people. Financial terminology can be in league with medical and legal terminology when in another country with another language. Not understanding what you are being told or asked to sign can have drastic implications for the unwary. There are scores of people who have found their life savings mis-invested due to lack of knowledge, confusion over terminology or, unfortunately, less than scrupulous employees of financial institutions who are just after their next bonus.

Here at Pennick Blackwell, we treat you as you wish to be treated in your own language. If you are interested in any information, advice or guidance on any financial matter, don’t hesitate to call, email or pop into our offices in Albir to discuss whatever you need. We are happy to offer a free, no obligation advice to any customer who is worries or stuck when it comes to financial matters.

If you are looking to open a bank account, we can advise you on what to look for as well as what to avoid. Many banks will not want customers who, in the bank’s eyes, are not of value to them and we can explain these circumstances to you in order to save you time. Do you want a resident or non-resident account in Spain? Not sure which, we can explain both to you and what you will need to open the account with the bank.
Interested in investing money then we can advise you on the different options the banks will present to you and what they mean for your money.

Don’t just be sold on the interest being provided, some of the best offers mean that you will not be seeing your capital for quite some time, years in many cases.

Prepare with Pennick Blackwell and minimise the risks to your money (and health!)