The standard minimum age to be able to withdraw money from a pension in the UK is age 55 and there is no longer any restrictions on the amount you can withdraw. In this article we are referring to personal and company pensions, not the state pension.
Once you move overseas and become a non-UK resident, lots of UK pension providers can make it difficult to access the money in your pension and don't offer the same options as they do to UK residents.
Most UK pension providers will only offer non-UK residents two options to access their money; 1) withdraw the pension in full as one lump sum or 2) purchase an annuity with your fund.
If you have to withdraw your pension in full, this could result in a substantial tax bill both in the UK and potentially in your country of residence. 25% of the lump sum will be paid tax free with the other 75% treated as income and taxed at source in the UK. You may also have to pay local tax on the payment in your country of residence.
With the alternative annuity option, it is also incredibly difficult for non-UK residents to find an annuity provider who will allow them to purchase an annuity with their UK pension fund.
The solution: flexi-access drawdown
Transferring your pension to a SIPP (self-invested personal pension) with MyExpatSIPP allows you to use flexi access drawdown rules to access your pension. This means you can keep your pension invested whilst still being able to take withdrawals as and when required.
It also enables you to manage the withdrawals from your pension alongside your other income to minimise your tax liabilities. Staggering the withdrawals over a number of years may mean you stay in a lower tax bracket. You can arrange withdrawals whenever you like to suit your circumstances.
MyExpatSIPP can also assist you with completing the necessary form so that the withdrawals from your pension are not taxed in the UK and only in your country of residence, however this depends on the tax treaty between the UK and your country of residence.
Contact us to see if we could help you access your pension in the UK.