PENSIONS

UNDERSTANDING UK PENSIONS

Welcome to the UK Pensions section of our website, where we demystify the world of pension planning and empower you to make informed decisions about your financial future. Whether you're just starting your career, approaching retirement, or already enjoying your golden years, understanding your pension options is crucial for securing a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.

In the United Kingdom, pensions are a cornerstone of retirement planning, providing individuals with a source of income to support their lifestyle after they stop working. There are several types of pensions available, each with its own features and benefits.

STANDARD TYPES OF UK PENSIONS:

State Pension:

The State Pension is provided by the government and serves as a foundation for retirement income. Eligibility for the State Pension is based on National Insurance contributions, and the amount received is determined by the individual’s contribution history. It’s important to note that there is limited flexibility with State Pensions in the UK, with few options for enhancement. However, individuals can make additional payments to increase their final pension at retirement by paying missing years of National Insurance contributions.

Workplace Pension:

Workplace pensions are offered by employers as a way to help employees save for retirement. These pensions can take various forms, including defined benefit (final salary) and defined contribution schemes. In defined benefit schemes, the pension amount is based on factors such as salary and length of service, while defined contribution schemes depend on contributions and investment performance.

Personal Pensions:

Personal pensions are individual retirement savings plans that are not tied to any specific employer. These pensions offer flexibility in terms of contributions and investment options, allowing individuals to tailor their pension strategy to their unique needs and circumstances.

ALTERNATIVE PENSION OPTIONS FOR EXPATRIATES:

For individuals who have worked in the UK but now reside abroad, there are additional options available to enhance and optimise their Workplace or Personal Pensions. Expatriates may have already reached their lifetime allowance or may be seeking alternative ways to increase contributions to their existing pensions. Exploring enhancements to these provisions can open up additional avenues for retirement savings and financial security.

To explore alternative pension options or learn more about maximising the value of your UK pension, click on your area of interest:

Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs):

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Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS/ROPS):

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Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes (QNUPS):

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At Horizon Associates we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of UK pensions and develop a tailored retirement plan that aligns with your financial aspirations. Our team of experienced advisors is here to provide personalised guidance and support every step of the way.

Explore our UK Pensions section to learn more about your pension options and how we can assist you in achieving your retirement goals.

“WHAT IS A SIPP?”

A Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a Registered Pension scheme under the terms of the Finance Act 2004.

SIPPs are designed for investors who want control over their pension without being dependent on any one fund manager or insurance company. As such, a SIPP requires active management and a degree of investment expertise. Furthermore, the charges (levied by the SIPP manager) may be higher than for a personal pension or stakeholder plan.

Unlike a standard personal pension, a SIPP member has a much wider choice of assets to invest in, each of which can be selected to meet the individual’s personal circumstances and requirements.

INVESTMENTS WHICH CAN BE HELD IN A SIPP INCLUDE:

UK and overseas equities

OEICs and unit trusts

Investment trusts

Commercial Property

It’s possible to use a SIPP to raise a mortgage to fund the purchase of commercial property, where the rental income paid into the SIPP either completely, or partially covers, the mortgage repayments and/or the property’s running costs.

Please note SIPPs are not suitable for everyone investing into a pension, and your Horizon will need to assess your situation to determine suitability.

“QUALIFYING RECOGNISED OVERSEAS PENSION SCHEME”

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is an overseas scheme that meets local tax rules, is recognised by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and offers varied retirement planning opportunities for mainly non-residents of the UK.
 This type of pension scheme is based outside the UK and is available to individuals who have UK based pension funds but who primarily living outside the UK. HMRC defined the legislation in April 2006 allowing the transfer of UK pension funds to other schemes which meet their requirements.

It is particularly valuable to individuals who have left company pension funds in the UK but who reside abroad and have little intention of returning to the UK in the near future. For any individual who has entered into a pension scheme in the UK (regardless of Citizenship) there is a possible advantage in moving the fund into an environment where the proceeds of the pension may be treated more favourably.

Through FSN Horizon has agreements with several pension scheme providers so our Business Partners clients can choose from a wide range of schemes, in their chosen jurisdiction, at their preferred price.

Issues such as currency, residency, and tax status of the country of retirement are paramount in making sure an investor has chosen wisely when transferring a pension fund from a UK scheme into a QROPS and using such a scheme allows freedom of movement, whilst ensuring the pension is in the best possible environment for the investor’s future.

At Horizon we are dedicated to making sure you receive the best, most professional advice concerning your pension and your retirement. Please contact Horizon for comprehensive advice.

WHAT IS A QNUPS?

The term Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is used to describe a non-UK scheme that meets the conditions in UK tax rules to be free from UK Inheritance Tax (IHT).

A QNUPS could provide you with a structured pension scheme that conforms with legislation and rules in the jurisdiction in which it is set up. For example if the QNUPS is set up in Malta, the Maltese legislation and rules apply. These rules give you clarity over when you can take income from your pension fund and how it will be paid.

A QNUPS is portable and flexible, particularly with regards to currencies, making it ideal if you work freelance abroad, regularly change jobs, or move to different countries and are concerned about the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on your investments.

INVESTMENTS WHICH CAN BE HELD IN A SIPP INCLUDE:

If you are a UK resident wishing to supplement your UK pension fund, but you already contribute the maximum annual allowance for UK pension contributions (currently £40,000 if no allowance restrictions are in force) and have used up any unused annual allowance from the three previous tax years. Your financial adviser can help you understand whether or not this would apply to you; and/or
You are a UK resident and your total UK pension fund is already close to, or with growth may exceed, the lifetime allowance and you want to add to your pension fund without incurring a tax charge (lifetime allowance charge) when you take your UK pension; and/or
You want to supplement your UK pension but cannot contribute to it because you have insufficient relevant UK earnings; and/or
You live and work outside the UK and you and/or your employer wish to contribute to a pension – particularly if you’re working in a country that does not offer formal pension arrangements.

TRANSFERRED UK PENSIONS

If you have transferred your UK pension, it’s crucial to assess whether your decision aligns with the evolving landscape of pension options. The pension industry has undergone significant changes in recent years, with the emergence of new products offering improved efficiency and lower costs compared to older QROPS schemes.

How Long Ago Did You Transfer Your UK Pension?

Understanding the timing of your pension transfer is essential, especially given the recent industry transformation. If you transferred your pension some time ago, you may be missing out on the benefits of newer, more cost-effective pension options available today.

Are You Satisfied With The Outcome?

Your pension transfer should ideally align with your financial objectives and provide the flexibility and returns you anticipated.

Do You Still Have Confidence In Your Advisor?

Effective communication and trust between you and your financial advisor are paramount. If you’re experiencing doubts or concerns about the guidance you’ve received, it may be time to reassess your advisory relationship.

Are You Receiving The Returns You Had Hoped For?

The performance of your pension investments is crucial for securing your financial future. If your returns fall short of expectations, it’s essential to understand why and explore potential solutions.

Are Your Charges Fair And Efficient?

Transparent and reasonable fees are essential for maximsing the value of your pension investments. If you feel that your charges are excessive or unclear, it’s worth seeking clarification to ensure you’re getting the most out of your pension funds.
You answered “NO” to any of these questions
You answered Yes to all these questions

You answered “NO” to one or more of these questions, it may be time for a comprehensive assessment of your pension strategy. Contact Horizon for a free pension health check, where our experts can provide personalised insights and guidance tailored to your financial needs and aspirations.

If you answered ‘No’ To ‘any’ of these questions fill out the form bellow

If you’ve contributed to a UK pension during your career, it’s prudent to periodically review its performance and suitability for your current circumstances. Even if you only made minimal contributions, a UK pension review could unveil opportunities to enhance your retirement prospects.
You transferred your UK pension, which of the following applies to you:
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If you’ve responded positively to all the questions regarding your UK pension transfer, congratulations on your satisfaction with the outcome of your pension decisions. At Horizon, we understand the importance of proactive pension management and ensuring that your retirement plans align with your financial goals.

HERE’S WHY HAVING A CHAT WITH HORIZON MAY STILL BE OF BENEFIT TO YOU:

Optimizing Your Strategy:

Even if your current pension arrangements are meeting your expectations, it’s always prudent to periodically review your strategy. Our team at Horizon can assess your current pension setup and provide insights on potential optimisation opportunities to further enhance your retirement prospects.

Future Planning:

Retirement planning is a dynamic process, and circumstances can change over time. By engaging in regular discussions with Horizon, you can stay ahead of any shifts in the financial landscape or personal circumstances that may impact your retirement goals. We’ll work with you to ensure your pension strategy remains robust and adaptable to evolving needs.

Access To Expertise:

Our experienced advisors offer in-depth knowledge and expertise in pension planning. By scheduling a consultation with Horizon, you’ll have the opportunity to tap into our wealth of experience and receive personalised advice tailored to your unique situation.

Maximising Benefits:

Through proactive monitoring and strategic adjustments, we can help you maximize the benefits of your pension investments. Whether it’s exploring additional growth opportunities, optimising tax efficiency, or mitigating risks, Horizon are committed to helping you achieve the most from your pension assets.

Comprehensive Financial Planning:

Beyond pensions, Horizon offers a range of financial planning services to address all aspects of your financial life. From investments and savings to insurance and estate planning, our holistic approach ensures that your entire financial picture is considered when crafting a customised plan tailored to your goals.

Wealth Management:

Our wealth management services are designed to help you build and preserve your wealth over the long term. Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for a major purchase, or creating a legacy for future generations, our team will work closely with you to develop a personalised wealth management strategy aligned with your objectives.

Insurance Solutions:

Horizon offers a comprehensive suite of insurance solutions to protect you and your loved ones against life’s uncertainties. From life insurance and critical illness cover to income protection and long-term care insurance, we’ll help you secure the peace of mind knowing that you’re adequately protected.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to secure your financial future with confidence. Schedule a consultation with Horizon today and let us help you navigate the path to a fulfilling retirement and beyond.

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