International SIPPs for UK pensions?

Not sure if there are any Brits or former UK residents on here who have gotten their pensions out of the UK ?? I am looking for any advice on International SIPPs (based Malta or Gibraltar). Does anybody have any knowledge or resources on these? I want to know what options i have as a Swiss resident for getting my pension out. thanks!

I’m interested to follow but haven’t done this. I have a UK pension that I’m just leaving where it is at the moment as it seems to be doing quite well, despite the relatively high fees. What’s the rationale for moving it? Are you trying to get access to the money now or trying to move it to a better place?

I haven’t found any way to move a SIPP into a Swiss pension fund unless you are with one of the very few employers that offer a QROPS but the authoritative information is at https://www.gov.uk/transferring-your-pension/transferring-to-an-overseas-pension-scheme

Even if you could move it to Switzerland it might not be in your best interest to. Specifically:
(a) the UK broker and fund market is fairly competitive, especially compared to Switzerland so you are more likely to minimise fees there;
(b) you get more investment flexibility with a SIPP as they don’t have the arbitrary restrictions that Pillar 2 and 3a have;
© from my understanding the Swiss authorities recognise SIPP as pension funds for tax purpose (no wealth tax,…).

I had a brief look at moving it into Malta but the admin overhead there seems like a pain (IIRC you have to go through a Financial Advisor for everything) and the benefits are unclear. It might make sense if you are worried about hitting the SIPP Lifetime Allowance though.

I am not sure about moving to a different SIPP provider while residing outside the UK but if anybody has experience about that I am interested to hear it.

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thanks for getting this conversation going!

I have just completed the research process and talked to a number of advisors about an International SIPP which seems to be the recommended option for non UK residents who are not planning to retire in the UK. I am not planning to retire in Switzerland either so did not choose a portable option to move it here so don’t know much about that.

Benefits of the ISIPP are: more flexible investments on offer (if you’re restricted to just certain funds in your current UK pension) which sometimes can be bought at institutional fees (Vanguard is an example); any stock or fund on any exchange globally can be bought, could move currency away from the pound now or later, could move to QROPS before age 75, NT tax code so no British tax liability - pay tax where you draw the pension, ability to pass down to beneficiaries without death tax.

Fees are both fixed (approx 700-800 GBP annually) + variable (close to 1% per year for 10 years and then 0.2% per year on the transfer-in value) which are really fixed I guess (pot grows and fees stay the same but then when you’re drawing down the pension, you still pay the 0.2%). Expensive so if you don’t have a sizable pot (i would say greater than 200k), then this may not be worth it - depends on what fees you pay in the UK currently. I have been told a QROPS is more expensive to hold so not to do that until just before turning 75.

You must go through licensed UK financial advisor although can self direct everything. They get their commissions on the fees above. In Europe, many of these guys seem to be here in Switzerland, in Malta, Spain, Gibraltar, Isle of Man. They go where the ex-pats are. I have talked to 3 different ones and have settled with Alexander Peter in Spain (good reputation) who works with Old Mutual and some differnt SIPP trustees which are UK based.

The two main reasons i went for it are: I know i won’t be retiring in the UK or returning there for work and i am worried about the UK govt putting more pension restrictions on non-residents as more money starts to flow out of the country. They did this already in April this year and more things could come - not sure. My two cents . . .

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