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    • Tassie Devil
    • By Tassie Devil 7th Aug 18, 3:54 AM
    • 2Posts
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    Tassie Devil
    Expat needing an IFA?
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:54 AM
    Expat needing an IFA? 7th Aug 18 at 3:54 AM
    Hi-looking for advice please. I am an Australian expat, 62, not yet retired, wanting to access my UK pension fund.


    Earlier this year I found out (out of the blue) that I had a pension fund with Royal London dating back 28 years. Having never known/forgotten about it, it has played no part in my retirement planning, which is on track with mine and my wife's Aus super funds and some other investments. We have no plans to return to the UK.


    I know what I want to do, which is to convert it into a flexi access drawdown plan (only after the GAR review and possible value uplift), and bring it across to Aus using a combination of the 25% tax free sum initially, then the rest using my annual tax-free allowance for as many years as it takes.


    Royal London have told me that I can only take out a drawdown plan after having consulted an IFA. What is the process here? Do Royal London need some kind of evidence that I have taken advice, even though I know what I would like to do? If so, how do I find an IFA to deal with this expediently?


    Any advice gratefully received.


    edit: RL's requirement that I use an IFA is nothing to do with my vote, they said I needed to use an IFA to convert my pot into a flexi drawdown.
    Last edited by Tassie Devil; 07-08-2018 at 9:46 AM.
Page 1
    • HappyHarry
    • By HappyHarry 7th Aug 18, 6:52 AM
    • 690 Posts
    • 1,011 Thanks
    HappyHarry
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 6:52 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 6:52 AM
    An IFA isn't obligatory for what you want to do. However, Royal London don't retail their products directly to consumers, they only retail via advisers. You can transfer your pension to another provider that retails directly to consumers, and start your drawdown plan then.

    The GARs being bought out are quite substantial, and I would suggest you look very closely at what GAR is being offered, before deciding on a move to drawdown.

    Edit: sandsy below is quite right; if the value of the pension is above 30,000, and you are giving up the GAR, then you will need to take advice from a suitably qualified adviser.
    Last edited by HappyHarry; 07-08-2018 at 9:38 AM.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser. Any comments I make here are intended for information / discussion only. Nothing I post here should be construed as advice. If you are looking for individual financial advice, please contact a local Independent Financial Adviser.
    • sandsy
    • By sandsy 7th Aug 18, 9:19 AM
    • 1,358 Posts
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    sandsy
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:19 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:19 AM
    You've had an offer from RL to vote in favour of giving up your GAR for an uplift to the value of the pot and your pot is over 30,000? And RL have told you you can only vote if you take advice from an adviser first?

    If so, then yes, it's a legal requirement to take advice from a UK adviser. Make sure that you will be provided with a written confirmation that advice has been given as RL will need that before you can vote.

    If RL proceed with the uplift, you can then do what you want without any further advice. It's just giving up the guaranteed income that requires advice.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 7th Aug 18, 9:31 AM
    • 26,107 Posts
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    xylophone
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:31 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:31 AM
    If RL proceed with the uplift, you can then do what you want without any further advice. It's just giving up the guaranteed income that requires advice.
    I saw this


    https://www.professionaladviser.com/professional-adviser/news/3035701/royal-londons-guaranteed-annuity-conversion-plan


    A free guidance line is also being set up to answer policyholder's questions about the process and the provider will also contribute towards costs of financial advice to help people choose the option that is right for them.

    Those who do not choose to keep their guaranteed annuity rate will be able to vote on these proposals before a final court hearing in November to sign off the process. Affected policies will be uplifted in December.
    • Tassie Devil
    • By Tassie Devil 7th Aug 18, 9:44 AM
    • 2 Posts
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    Tassie Devil
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:44 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:44 AM
    No, RL told me I didn't have to take advice before I voted.


    My question is about converting my fund to a flexi access drawdown plan.


    HappyHarry, how do I go about finding a provider that retails direct to consumers?
    Last edited by Tassie Devil; 07-08-2018 at 10:06 AM.
    • HappyHarry
    • By HappyHarry 7th Aug 18, 10:08 AM
    • 690 Posts
    • 1,011 Thanks
    HappyHarry
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:08 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:08 AM
    No, RL told me I didn't have to take advice before I voted.


    My question is about converting my fund to a flexi access drawdown plan.


    HappyHarry, how do I go about finding a provider that retails direct to consumers?
    Originally posted by Tassie Devil
    I'm sure some on this board will respond to that.

    You'll forgive me, but I can't make suggestions.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser. Any comments I make here are intended for information / discussion only. Nothing I post here should be construed as advice. If you are looking for individual financial advice, please contact a local Independent Financial Adviser.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 7th Aug 18, 10:20 AM
    • 26,107 Posts
    • 15,465 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:20 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:20 AM
    My question is about converting my fund to a flexi access drawdown plan.
    You might consider a transfer to a SIPP?

    https://www.youinvest.co.uk/faq/am-i-eligible-sipp

    Or you might try Hargreaves Lansdown.

    https://www.hl.co.uk/pensions/sipp/apply-now
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