Travel restrictions drive Brits to retire abroad

The pandemic has motivated more than half of Brits in a new poll to retire abroad, says online pension provider, Pension Bee. Surveying UK citizens, the online pension provider, reveals almost half (47%) of respondents feel inspired to retire overseas during their retirement as a result of the travel restrictions that were implemented in the pandemic. For the majority of those polled, the biggest reason for retiring overseas is to have a better standard of living (65%) and to experience a different culture and country (65%). Other factors include better weather (64%), property being more affordable (55%), lower taxes (35%) and better healthcare services (31%). However, the respondents also cited concerns regarding pension savings from abroad. Each generation registered doubts. Of millennials (24-40-year-olds), 75% worry they won’t be able to access their retirement funds in another country without incurring extra fees or delays; 72% of Generation X (41-54-year-olds), and 65% of Generation Z (18-23-year-olds) also share the same worries. Romi Savova, CEO at PensionBee, commented: “Moving abroad and managing a UK personal or workplace pension can seem like a daunting prospect, so it’s encouraging to see that future expats are already thinking about how they need to prepare financially. Circumstances such as pension drawdown fees, fluctuations in exchange rates and living in a post-Brexit world perpetuate the need for savers to thoroughly research their dream retirement destination before making any firm decisions. This can help ease concerns around the cost of living abroad and the accessibility of a UK pension once a saver has started their retirement outside the UK.”

Pension tips when living abroad

State pension

You can claim State Pension abroad if you’ve paid enough UK National Insurance contributions to qualify. Get a State Pension forecast if you need to find out how much State Pension you may get. You must be within four months of your State Pension age to claim. To claim your pension, you can either:

If you live part of the year abroad

You must choose which country you want your pension to be paid in. You cannot be paid in one country for part of the year and another for the rest of the year. Your State Pension can be paid into a bank in the country you’re living in or bank or building society in the UK.

Personal pensions

Personal pensions can continue to have their savings managed by a UK pension provider or choose an overseas scheme. Overseas pension providers might be able to offer significant advantages for expats, including lower tax liabilities and greater convenience and flexibility. As a pension is likely to be one of your most valuable assets, it is also worth speaking to an independent financial adviser who has the relevant cross border experience before taking any major steps.

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