Brexit impact on British pensions?

What impact will Brexit have on British pensions?

If you are an expat you are probably concerned about the Brexit impact on British pensions?

You might have read about passporting rights, the inability for pension companies to pay pensions post Brexit into the EU, or State pensions being frozen, or the tax position being worse. You may have been recommended to transfer to a QROPS for currency or other reasons, all because of future issues. However, is it right to be concerned about the Brexit impact on British pensions for those expats now living in the rest of the EU?

Some facts about the Brexit impact on British Pensions

  • The actual tax position on pensions will not change post Brexit as these have never been determined by the EU. The tax position has always been dealt with individually by national governments with respect to any Double Tax Treaty.
  • Private registered pension schemes do not require passporting rights in order to pay out to EU states anymore that they do to pay out to people living in the Unities States or other third countries.
  • State pensions are determined by the respective governments, whereas the taxation is determined by where you live with respect to any Double Tax Treaty.
  • You are able to choose the currency you invest in irrespective of whether you hold a SIPP or a QROPS and it is down to the individual pension firms to decide what currencies are available for investment, and nothing to do with legislation.

Are there real areas of concern for British pensions after Brexit?

There are three main areas of concerns connected with pensions for expats after Brexit. They are state pensions, private registered pension schemes and insured pensions and payments. Private registered pension schemes include pension schemes in the UK and, while not technically registered, qualifying overseas pension schemes (QROPS).


How could Brexit affect your registered pension scheme?

Current law and practice means the EU have very little to do with private pension regulation. Indeed, MiFID rules specifically exclude pensions, and IDD rules only apply to insured funds (of which for example a Self-Invested Personal Pension – SIPP – is not). Therefore, for most expats, Brexit will have no impact on your pension schemes.

However, for more in-depth information visit Pensions For Expats

How could Brexit affect your insurance based pensions such as annuities?

This is the basis of most scaremongering. However, whilst it is an area of concern with pensions for expats after Brexit, the concern over spills to scaremongering. This ill-conceived comment is then applied to all kinds of other areas of financial planning as supposed fact, which it is not.

However, for more in-depth information visit Pensions For Expats

How could Brexit affect your state pension?

In January 2019, the government confirmed it will continue to inflation-proof the state pension for expats who retired to the EU for a year post-Brexit. Inflation proofing allows for an annual increase to state pensions ensuring that the payments do not lose their spending power for expats (notwithstanding any currency issues). The state pension is currently uprated each year by the higher of either wage growth, inflation or 2.5 per cent.

However, for more in-depth information visit Pensions For Expats

Forensic Review


We offer a forensic review of your current offshore pension or SIPP and investments they hold. The fact is that increased investment reviews combined with lower charges may make a significant difference at retirement by boosting potential returns according to research published in the New York Times.

Have you been caught out? Some offshore salesmen promoting QROPS as an investment solution live in a parallel universe where they claim to make world stock markets behave differently by transferring pension funds offshore, than if the same funds are used from and within UK pension funds. Think and behave logically, if promises of bigger returns can only be achieved by moving to a QROPS or International SIPP then why hasn’t the entire UK pension industry moved offshore? It hasn’t!

End of article: Brexit impact on British pensions?

The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. You should contact a qualified and ideally regulated adviser in order to obtain up to date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. If you do not then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not accept any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.

This article was published on 22nd August 2019


James Pearcy-Caldwell

I have lived in various countries, but always remained firmly attached to the good old UK. My only goal is to take the experience and insider knowledge that I have, and be transparent with people so they understand the impact of their decisions.

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