Expats to be hit with additional pension access charges post-Brexit

Pedro Gonçalves
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Expats to be hit with additional pension access charges post-Brexit

Pension savers living abroad could face additional charges and significant delays when accessing their retirement savings once the UK leaves the EU, PensionBee has warned.

The provider has warned that pensioners may be forced to re-route their retirement funds through accounts held by European banks, leaving them exposed to hidden fees and poor exchange rates, after some of Britain's biggest banks said that they would close expats' accounts at the end of the transition period on December 31.

In addition, savers may also be forced to confront low interest rates - likely to have an effect on the amount retirees ultimately receive. Administrative delays are also likely due to the documentation needed to make switches to bank account details. 

Expats already withdrawing from their pensions should investigate whether receiving pension payments from the UK will have tax implications in their country of residence"

The organisation also noted that providers are on high alert regarding overseas pension scams and may refuse to transfer a pension abroad or take up to six months to complete the necessary due diligence to release the funds.

PensionBee chief executive, Romi Savova, said: "Pension providers must work quickly to adapt their systems and provide cost-effective solutions for their customers, in order to avoid leaving overseas pensioners in limbo without access to their retirement savings.

"In the meantime, we urge pensioners living abroad to plan ahead and ensure they have sufficient funds in place to cover their living expenses for several months.

"Expats already withdrawing from their pensions should investigate whether receiving pension payments from the UK will have tax implications in their country of residence, and may wish to seek advice from a local tax adviser."

 

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