Pound’s turbulence could drive pension pots worth hundreds of millions into QROPS

There has been a significant surge in the number of people considering moving their British pensions out of the UK, triggered by the Brexit-battered pound.

Since the historic referendum in June this year, when the UK voted to leave the EU, the pound has fallen by as much as 14.5 per cent against the euro, and 18 per cent against the US dollar.

Following Brexit, sterling has encountered immense volatility.  This is likely to remain, as there have, to date, been no conclusive answers to the significant questions regarding Britain’s future with the EU, and indeed the rest of the world.

As I was recently quoted in International Adviser, International Finance Magazine and Financial Planning Today, amongst other media, the plummeting pound has a key negative impact on the millions of British expats living off a fixed income from the UK, such as a UK pension.  Naturally, the cost of living increases, cutting into a significant amount of their disposable income.

Indeed, of the reported 1.3 million Brits residing in the United States, approximately 25 per cent are retirees.  The majority of these people, up to 312,000, will have suffered an 18 per cent hit on their UK pension incomes post-referendum.

As such, as Brexit is battering British-pension holding expats, a rising number are seeking advice and looking into their options on how to Brexit-proof their retirement funds.

Since the Leave campaign victory, deVere has experienced a 21 per cent rise in enquiries from across the globe, regarding moving British pensions out of the UK.  These enquiries have come from people already residing out of Britain, as well as those still in the UK with plans to retire overseas.

This substantial rise in enquiries potentially represents hundreds of millions of pounds leaving the country, as more people are focused on protecting their retirement incomes by moving them into a secure, regulated jurisdiction outside the UK.

One established way to circumvent currency fluctuation problems, which can cause a considerable dent in retirement income, is, of course, to transfer a British pension into a QROPS, or Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme.

One of the principal advantages of a QROPS is that holders can select the currency they wish their pension to be paid out in, thereby removing exchange rate instabilities, and making for a secure, consistent financial situation.

As the Brexit fallout continues, we at deVere fully anticipate the number of people seeking advice on QROPS to increase considerably over the next couple of years and further into the future.

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