Recent research by the Prudential financial services group suggests that the average UK pension brings in £15,800 per annum.
At present, the most popular countries amongst UK retirees are Spain which ranks top, followed by France, with Cyprus and the USA coming joint fifth. Australia is third, New Zealand eighth and Canada ninth.
The better weather and cheaper living costs may be a major factor for choosing to retire abroad, but it’s certainly worth considering more than the sunshine, and obtaining a state pension is just one thing to bear in mind.
Most people who retire abroad generally have two sources of pension income; a UK state pension and a private pension from an employer’s scheme or personal fund. They may also have income from other savings and investments.
The basic state pension for 2014/15 is £113.10 a week for a single person but to get this you need to have made a minimum of 30 years’ National Insurance contributions during your working life. Once you qualify for the UK state pension, you can then claim it no matter where in the world you decide to move. The money can be paid into a UK bank account or directly into an overseas account in the local currency, sidestepping additional transfer fees and bank charges. Furthermore, you can choose to be paid every four or thirteen weeks, but if your state pension is under £5 per week, you’ll be paid once a year each December.
Should you decide to move abroad before retirement and work in a new country for several years, it may be possible to receive your state pension from more than one country. However, you will not be entitled to any increases that people living in the UK receive, unless you are moving to a country in the European Economic Area or one with which the UK has a reciprocal agreement.
The UK has these agreements with various countries but not with popular expat destinations such as Australia, New Zealand or Canada – so do remember that your state pension will not increase in these countries.
Private pensions are usually paid in sterling into a UK bank account but you can transfer this to a foreign bank account or arrange for a currency broker to convert it before the transfer. This is often cheaper than paying bank fees. Another way of avoiding transfer charges is to set up an international account. By using a currency specialist it can be possible to agree a fixed exchange rate, where rates are set up to a year in advance. This can be particularly useful should you wish to avoid any sudden fluctuation in your purchasing power.
Due to the complex nature of UK pensions, it is imperative that you get the correct advice. PSS International Removals have been working with specialist pension providers worldwide for many years that can advise you at each stage of the migration process to ensure that you make the right decisions for your own security and future. If you would like one of our pension partners to contact you or if you would like further information, please visit our website.