No more private pension options for non-UK residents?
I have had a long-standing pension plan with one of the large UK providers that has been dormant for many years. All communication regarding the investment in recent years gave the impression that all the options for annuity or draw down would be available to me.
However, as it gets closer to my intended retirement I have realized and been told that because I live now in Germany that none of these options are in fact available to me any more and that all I can do is "cash in" the full amount (or make eg a QROPS transfer out).A quick phone around several of the other UK big names confirmed that none of them either would accept a transfer of my pension into any of their UK funds.
This situation leaves me with several questions:
- Is this now a general situation for everyone in my situation living outside the UK or have I just not called the right provider willing to offer something?
- Has this been caused by Brexit or was it always so?
- How was my provider able to unilaterally withdraw these options from an existing contract? - Presumably I gather by saying that all such options involve a transfer into another product and that these products are only available to UK residents, and that therefore nothing about my investment product itself has changed (sophistry?)
In fact the fund involved is relatively small and the German tax implications of taking it all out at once probably not too bad. However, it is my guess that many others are in the same situation and may not yet realise it untl they come to actually crystallise their pension fund and find that their options as non-UK residents are extremely limited.
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