The Bank of England’s latest round of Quantitative Easing (QE) is encouraging a growing number of UK pension savers who live, or who are planning to live, outside the UK to move their funds out of Britain.
“Expatriate retirees, and expats who will retire imminently, are increasingly waking up to the fact that QE is damaging their incomes,” says Nigel Green, the CEO of the world’s largest financial advisory firm, the deVere Group.
“Respected pensions experts, including the likes of Dr Ros Altman, have spoken out in the media against the policy and this is prompting people, including more and more expats, to look for alternative solutions to protect and maximise their pension incomes against the adverse effects of QE.” He continues.
In fact, Dr Altman, the Director General of the Saga Group, has recently criticised The Times for praising QE. She wrote in a letter to it: “QE has permanently impoverished more than a million pensioners and thousands more purchasers will receive reduced pensions each week.”
She, like many people, thinks that QE could prove costly for pensioners and those approaching retirement as it can fuel inflation, a third whammy on top of the double whammy of high living costs and record low interest rates.
And if you are about to retire you could find that your future income is adversely affected by QE as the value of any annuities you purchase at retirement is based on return from government debt (gilts), the higher the yield the better the pension payout. But demand for these gilts may soar as the Bank of England buys them in the QE process, which would push the price up but the yield will reduce so pushing pension payouts down.
With this gloomy forecast in mind, expats – who have significantly more opportunities to safeguard their wealth from such UK policies – are “increasingly likely” to move their pensions out of the UK.
“For instance, expat pensioners are fortunate in that they can transfer into an HMRC-approved Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). QROPS do not force you to buy an annuity and such a scheme is also significantly more efficient than a SIPP; on your death your funds will not be subject to UK taxes of up to 55 per cent; you can drawdown 25 per cent as a tax-free cash sum; and there’s a greater number investment and currency options,” Mr. Green said.