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Five questions to ask about your UK pension in France

By Rob Kay, Senior Partner, Blevins Franks

  1. How much tax will I pay?

If you have not accessed your UK pension and then takeit all as a lump sum,you could pay just 7.5% in French taxes (other conditions apply). Otherwise, taking cash or income from UK pensions attracts income tax rates up to 45% plus 9.1% social charges.

However, you will avoid social charges if you hold the EU form S1 (available once you reach UK State Pension age) or have not joined the French healthcare system. Taking private health insurance could therefore reduce your pensions tax bill by 9.1%.

  1. Will the lifetime pension allowance (LTA) affect me?

Combined UK pension benefits (excluding the State Pension) over £1.03 million invite LTA tax penalties of 55% for lump sums or 25% for income and transfers, even if French resident. Once transferred overseas, funds are out of LTA range.

  1. Are there more tax-efficient opportunities in France?

Transferring UK pensions to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) or reinvesting funds into an ‘assurance-vie’ can unlock tax benefits, estate planning advantages and currency flexibility. But benefits can vary greatly, so take personalised, professional advice for the best results.

  1. Will Brexit change things?

Today, French residents can transfer UK pensions to an EU/EEA-based QROPS tax-free (a 25% charge applies outside the bloc). Post-Brexit, the UK government may widen the net to capture transfers within the EU, and it may become harder to access UK pension funds tax-efficiently.

  1. Do I need regulated advice?

Talking to an adviser who is regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority is compulsory when transferring ‘final-salary’ benefits worth £30,000+, but sensible for anyone considering their pension options. At worst, making the wrong decision could mean losing everything through unsuitable investments or pension scams.

With Brexit only months away, now is the time to review your pension arrangements. A locally-based adviser can tailor a suitable strategy for your unique circumstances and goals to help secure the retirement you want in France.

The tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

Blevins Franks Pensions Focus Week

3-7 September

How will Brexit affect your pensions?

 Brexit and various legislative changes could have a dramatic impact on UK pensions. From      3-7 September the experts in our France offices will be available to assess how all this could affect you and discuss potential solutions.

Contact us with your pension questions and arrange a chat with our pension specialists.

 The tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

You can find other financial advisory articles by visiting our website here

 

 

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