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FAQs

Please read our frequently asked questions and get in touch with us if you can't find the answers you're looking for.

Eligibility

Yes, you can open an account with MyExpatSIPP and transfer an existing pension, regardless of your country of residence.

There may be some restrictions on making new personal contributions (payments) to your account, but this will depend on your individual circumstances. Contact the support team for further information.

Yes, US Persons (i.e. US citizens and/or US residents) will be able to open a SIPP account and transfer a pension. You will usually need to report the value of your pension to the IRS on your annual return and you will be responsible for ensuring you comply with any local tax rules and regulations. Transferring an existing UK pension to a SIPP account is not classed as a distribution.

In the application, you must provide us with your National Insurance Number (NINO). This is your individual UK tax identification number and consists of two letters, six numbers then a letter e.g. AB123456C.

You will also need to upload a copy of your passport and a utility bill or bank statement so that we can verify your identity.

You must be aged 18 or over to open a SIPP account with MyExpatSIPP.

Transferring a pension

Very! Most pension providers now use an electronic system called 'Origo' which cuts out all the unnecessary paperwork so transfers are completed in a matter of days rather than weeks.

When you set up your SIPP account, you just need to tell us the name of your existing pension provider and your policy number and we'll do the rest.

Yes, the SIPP is ideal for combining multiple pensions into one easy to manage online plan. When you sign up you can include multiple pensions and we will transfer all of these into your new plan.

When transferring a pension containing safeguarded benefits, such as a Final Salary pension, with a transfer value of £30,000 or more, you must obtain appropriate independent advice from an FCA authorised and regulated Financial Adviser. As we do not provide financial advice, you will need to arrange this advice separately. You can find a register of advisers on the Government's Money Advice Service website.

Once you have obtained this advice and have the confirmation of advice certificate, we can assist you with transferring to a SIPP but only if you have a registered address in the UK.

Alternatively, the financial adviser can arrange the transfer to a SIPP that they recommend. Once that initial transfer is complete, if you want to self-manage your pension without having to pay an ongoing advice fee, you can then transfer into our SIPP. There is no requirement to have ongoing advice for your pension and a SIPP to SIPP transfer is straightforward and doesn't require advice.

Please contact us for more information.

Yes, we have helped many people who have previously transferred their pensions to an often expensive and unnecessary QROPS. In most instances, you will be able to transfer your money from the QROPS into our SIPP, but it will depend on who your QROPS is with. Contact us and we can let you know if it's possible. 

If you have been awarded a percentage of your ex Spouse's pension as part of a pension sharing order, you will be able to transfer this to a new SIPP with us. Get in touch and we'll let you know how to arrange this.

Making contributions

Yes. It must be a limited company that is registered in England & Wales. Contributions from the company are usually allowed as a business expense.

Only personal contributions that are eligible for UK pension tax relief at source can be paid into your SIPP. To obtain UK tax relief at source you must be classed as a relevant UK individual.

You are a relevant UK individual for a given tax year if you:

  1. have relevant UK earnings chargeable to income tax for that tax year; or
  2. are resident in the United Kingdom at some time during that tax year; or
  3. were resident in the UK at some time during the five tax years immediately before the tax year in question and were also resident in the UK when you joined the pension plan; or
  4. you or your spouse have, for that tax year, general earnings from overseas Crown employment subject to UK tax (as defined by section 28 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA).

If you fall within category b), c) or d) above and you do not have relevant UK earnings, the maximum member contribution is the basic amount (currently £3,600 including tax relief).

As a general rule, most income that is earned and assessable for income tax in the UK counts as relevant UK earnings.

Income that generally does NOT count includes:

  • Pension income.
  • Dividends.
  • Most property rental income.
  • The first £30,000 of a redundancy payment.
  • Income earned in the UK but not subject to UK income tax due to a double taxation agreement with another country where you are liable for tax.

Examples of earnings that count as relevant UK earnings can be found on the HMRC website here: https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/pensions-tax-manual/ptm044100#earnings

A summary of some types of relevant earnings is provided below:

  • Employment income such as salary, wages, bonus, overtime and commission providing it is chargeable to tax under Section 7 (2) Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA).
  • Income derived from the carrying on or exercise of a trade, profession or vocation (whether individually or as a partner acting personally in a partnership) chargeable under Part 2 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005.
  • Rental income is generally not relevant earnings. Some rental income may be included if it relates to UK or EEA furnished holiday lettings under Part 3 of Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005 (ITTOIA 2005).
  • Patent income, where the individual alone or jointly devised the invention for which the patent in question is granted, but only if it falls under specific tax categories.
  • General earnings from an overseas Crown employment which are subject to tax in accordance with section 28 of ITEPA 2003.

The above is not a complete list of relevant earnings. If you are in any doubt as to whether earnings, on which you are reliant to justify the amount of contribution being paid, are relevant UK earnings, then you should seek professional advice.

The investments

You can invest in a wide range of Shares and Funds from the world's leading investment managers including:

  • Shares listed in the UK, US and other major markets
  • Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)
  • Open Ended Investment Companies (OEICs)
  • Unit Trusts
  • Investment Trusts

You can ask us for a full list of available investments.

You can place dealing instructions for all investments through your online account. You can also send dealing instructions via email if required.

You are ultimately responsible for managing the investments in your account. We don't provide any investment advice so it is important that you understand the risks involved.

We will provide you with guidance and information so that you can make informed decisions regarding your account.

The ready-made portfolios invest into funds that are managed by BlackRock and Vanguard - two of the worlds largest money managers. They invest and manage the money in the funds on a day to day basis.

Yes, you are able to change your investment portfolio selection at any time. This can often be useful when approaching retirement and you want to reduce some the risk with your investments and protect what you have already built up.

Due to regulations in the UK, you will not be able to hold Mutual Funds or Exchange Traded Funds that are registered in the US. Most of the major Investment Managers (iShares, Vanguard, Fidelity etc.) have equivalent funds that are available in the UK. Check the list of available funds here.

Making withdrawals

Under UK pension rules, you are allowed to start taking withdrawals from your pension once you reach age 55. Provided you're aged 55 or over, as soon as we receive a transfer we will be able to pay a withdrawal, there is no waiting period.

MyExpatSIPP allows you to take withdrawals using flexi-access drawdown rules. This means you have complete control and flexibility over how you withdraw the money from your pension.

Find out more on the Withdrawals page.

Yes, we can pay the tax free lump sum with the rest left invested in your plan which you can access later on at any time. You don't have to take your full 25% all in one go, you can take this in stages so you can benefit from any growth in your pension.

Once we receive all the money from your existing pensions, we can usually pay the tax free lump sum within 5-10 working days. Income payments and UFPLS payments must be processed through PAYE and our payroll is run on the first of each month.

No, we can pay your withdrawals to a bank account anywhere in the world. The payments will always be made in pounds sterling so any currency conversion will take place at your receiving bank.

The charges

You can find the details of the charges for our service on the charges page here.

The charges are automatically deducted from your SIPP account and you can see these under the cash account transactions on your online account.

The charges will be deducted from your Account at the end of each month in arrears. Where your Account does not have sufficient funds to pay the charges, the platform reserves the right to sell any investments held as part of your portfolio to cover the charges.

We suggest you maintain a minimum balance in the cash account to cover the ongoing charges.

The MyExpatSIPP service

MyExpatSIPP combines modern technology with personal service and expert knowledge to help you stay in control of your pension in the UK. We transfer your old pensions into a new online self invested personal pension plan that allows you to manage your UK pension savings from anywhere in the world.

You will be in complete control of your new pension plan and will get your own Account Manager who will handle the initial transfer process and will then be on hand to answer any questions about your pension. When you want to start making withdrawals, they will be able to guide you through the whole process, letting you know your options and any implications of being a non-UK resident.

MyExpatSIPP are specialists in helping non-UK residents to gain control of their money held in a pension in the UK. We understand the issues it creates when you no longer live in the UK but still have money left in a UK pension scheme. We help you to understand your options as a non-UK resident and what the tax implications will be when drawing your pension from overseas.

The SIPP is designed for the modern day with the ability to manage your pension through your secure online account together with the benefit of personal service from a company who understands the rules when you are no longer resident in the UK.

Many people started a pension 10, 20 or even 30 years ago and these were normally set up through an old employer so you didn't really get much choice in the type of pension you wanted.

Billions of pounds is still held in these old pension contracts that are administered using old paper based systems with little flexibility or choice of investment. The charges on pensions are now significantly less than they used to be, however, old pension plans may still be using old charging structures and paying commission to a financial adviser who you haven't spoken to for decades.

Added to that, once you tell these pension providers that you're now resident overseas, they become puzzled about how things are going to work.

MyExpatSIPP is different. Our team have many years of experience helping expats and non-UK residents with their pension in the UK. We understand the concerns people have about the tax treatment of withdrawals in their country of residence. The modern online pension plan has simple low ongoing charges and doesn't require you to complete reams of paperwork whenever you want to change anything.

None! We've embraced modern technology (unlike many dinosaur pension providers) so you won't need to fill in any paperwork to open a SIPP account as the whole process is completed online. We can even transfer your old pensions without you having to complete any paperwork. We're helping to save trees through pensions!

You will be provided with a secure online account that you can login to whenever you want to see the value of your pension and track the performance of your investments. You'll also be able to see any transactions in or out of your plan, and all correspondence will be stored online so won't need to worry about keeping any paperwork.

Yes, MyExpatSIPP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, reference number 805568. You can find us on the FCA register.

SIPP stands for self invested personal pension plan and is a type of pension plan in the UK that gives you greater control and flexibility over the money in your pension. It is not linked to any employer or insurance company so you have complete control over how your pension is managed.

At MyExpatSIPP you can rest assured that your money is held securely. We use a separate custodian to hold your assets, this means they are completely segregated from the assets of MyExpatSIPP. The sole task of the custodian is to administer and safeguard your investments, By law, it cannot perform any commercial activities. In the unlikely event that something happens to MyExpatSIPP, your assets will not be treated as recoverable assets to MyExpatSIPP's creditors, but will remain in the safeguarding of the custodian.

Other questions

On your death, 100% your pension is usually passed onto your nominated beneficiaries. You can nominate your beneficiaries when you complete the application and these can be changed at any time.

If you die before the age of 75, your beneficiaries will be able to draw money from the pension tax free. If you die after age 75, then the withdrawals will be taxed at the beneficiary's marginal rate.

Pensions in the UK are not usually subject to UK inheritance tax so they can be a useful way of passing on wealth to future generations.

Yes, we can help you to find a lost pension. We'll just need you to provide a few details about you and your old employer and then we can start the search for your old pension.

Yes. As we're authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, you would be protected by the FSCS if we became insolvent.

No there is no fixed minimum, however, we suggest you transfer or invest at least £10,000.

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