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Moving Abroad – What Happens to Your Pension?

Whether retirement seems a lifetime away or you are nearing retirement and looking to move abroad, you will naturally have questions about your pension. Understanding what to do with your pension is a step in the right direction as it can help you to save money in the long run.

First and foremost, your pension is safe if you move abroad and it will remain that way until you begin claiming it. However, when that time comes, there are a few ways in which you can obtain your money.

If you are moving abroad permanently, then you can transfer your UK pension to an overseas plan. This requires some expert advice and guidance because it will need to be a recognised overseas plan that is recognised by the government.


If you have many different pensions, keeping a track of them can prove difficult, especially if you move abroad and so, bringing them all together into one place can make things easier. However, in general this can only be achieved with Defined Contribution pensions and not Defined Benefit pensions.

There is more good news because while you are living abroad, you can continue to pay into your UK pension and there is no limit as to how much you can pay in. Despite this, there is a slight downside as you might not be able to obtain the same amount of tax relief that you would have had if you had remained in the UK.

When you do make the move abroad, you can have your UK pension paid to you wherever you might be but it is worth remembering that providers, in many cases, won’t pay money into an overseas account while some will charge a fee to do so. There is a way around this, as you can have your pension paid into a UK bank account from which you can then access your money to transfer it to your local account. There will be exchange rates to think about and many other potential issues that might arise and that is why it is always worth seeking expert advice. This will enable you to consider your options and look at the schemes in the country that you are moving to, ensuring that you continue to make your pension pay, even if your retirement is way off in the distance.

Lewis Samuel / CI-ASSOCIATES


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