Huge elation was felt by Montfort last week as the U.K.’s Department of Work and Pensions announced overseas pension transfers will maintain the mandatory advice requirement for overseas pension transfers following a government consultation notably incorporating opinion from Montfort’s head of financial planning, Eugen Neagu.

The DWP’s original enquiry explored whether existing advice requirements ensue difficulties for overseas residents seeking to transfer their pension pots from the U.K. to overseas, and how a feasible easement for cross-border residents may work.
 

Introduced in 2015, the ruling requirements applicable to both U.K. and non-U.K. pension schemes with safeguarded pension benefits obliged members to get financial advice from a regulated U.K. IFA with the required permissions prior to the transfer of their pensions worth in excess of £30,000.
 
Released on Tuesday 27th March 2018, the DWP’s statement confirmed the current advice requirement “is working as intended for overseas transfer by offering an effective level of protection for members.”

With over 52 responses received from a range of adviser firms based in the UK and internationally, and those with a overseas representation, Montfort’s head of financial planning, Eugen Neagu, was one of the industry figures to submit opinion to support the retainment of the current requirements and particularly so within a good regulated environment, such as the U.K.

“The main advantage is that the member receives advice from a financial adviser based in a good regulated environment. He benefits from the access to the Financial Ombudsman if the client believes the advice was wrong and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the firm that gave the advice cannot meet its liabilities”, stated Eugen Neagu.

In all, results revealed over half of the respondents supported maintaining the current requirements with an acknowledgement of the additional challenges that may be faced by overseas pension scheme members while approximately one quarter declared they would welcome an easement should advisors be based outside of the U.K. or operate within multi-national firms.

The report also declared there no evidence to suggest the requirement to seek financial advice may be averting members residing overseas from transferring their pensions. Findings did imply, however, a plausible requirement for overseas residents to engage two financial advisors – one based in their country of residence and one in the U.K. Furthermore, the consultation addresses the time it may take to source a sufficiently qualified advisor to result in some scheme members unable to ensure this within the three-month transfer value validity period.

As major advocates of ethical advising, it was Montfort’s regard that any easement of the current advice requirements could potentially lead to a rise in mis-selling, scams and ill financial advice, with the complexities surrounding cross-border pension transfers ever prevailing and a key facet of Montfort’s niche solution offering.

The consultation outcome can be further viewed via the U.K. Government’s website here


As the leading IFA specialising in overseas pension transfers, Montfort boasts a team of expert pension transfer specialists who are at hand to advise on your overseas pension transfer requirements while also answer any concerns. Keen to find out more? Simply call Montfort’s office on +44 (0)1483 202072; email info@montfort-intl.com or visit montfort-intl.com

 

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