The world has become a more complex place as people are more mobile – being born in one country, working in another and then potentially retiring in another. The upshot of all this movement is that people have more complicated financial needs with assets often scattered around the world. Furthermore, the tax consequences of moving or drawing on these assets can often depend on a multiplicity of tax regulations and double tax treaties. For many the pension assets that they have accrued while working are their largest assets (outside of their homes) with the more financially savvy having discovered benefits of moving their pensions to different jurisdictions that offer better investment options and tax efficiency.
So now independent financials advisors are having to become experts in pensions jurisdictions all over the world, be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of these jurisdictions to their clients, then advice on the best scheme within the jurisdictions, then complete forms and manage the pension transfer process as well as managing client expectations through the entire process. This is all in addition to managing the clients other domestic and international assets. Charter Square enables independent financial advisors, we aggregate offerings from alternate pension fund providers, so that you can provide your clients with choice.
Financial advisors and their clients are often unsure about exactly what a pension transfer entails and what the benefits might be. Typically the benefits of transferring a pension can include: greater benefit flexibility, potential for an immediate lump sum, elimination of inheritance tax issues, greater investment growth and wider investment choice in a currency of the client’s choice.
Each year there are major shifts in regulations in the international pension transfer market (such as the changes to the QROPS market in 2012, the proposed tax legislation in New Zealand in 2013 and so on). Changes in regulations have an impact on financial advisors current and potential clients and therefore present the opportunity to cement client relationships through the provision of quality advice. Where the regulatory changes would effect past clients transfers it is essential that they know about these immediately (such as the New Zealand 2014 tax regulations) other regulatory changes could be the galvanising factor in the getting a client to transfer their pensions immediately (such as the announcement of the 2012 QROPS changes).
Within each jurisdiction there are different rules that schemes must abide by and not all schemes are the same – such as the fact that zero-rate PIE superannuation schemes in New Zealand limit the tax liability for non-resident members. Therefore, the selection of the appropriate scheme for a client can be the function of a number of variables including: fund choices; tax strategy; retirement age; and the quality of the trustees, scheme administrators and fund managers – this is a significant amount of research and needs to be overlaid against the clients needs.
Charter Square helps financial advisors by:
• Providing thorough legislation updates and analysis (written in plain English) that explains the impacts on clients of regulatory changes
• Delivering roadmaps for client decision making which ensure that all the clients needs are met by relevant receiving pension schemes for any pension transfer
• Giving access to a 24/7 web portal of frequently asked questions and answers on pension transfers and other pension related issues
• Quickly introducing new scheme into your portfolio which has been pre-vetted and is designed to meet the inherent requirements of your clients
When a financial advisers clients are transferring their pensions they need reassurance at every step as well as updates (as these are significant assets for the client). Charter Square has developed an excellent technology infrastructure and guides that allow financial advisors to:
• Walk a client through the entire pension process ensuring they are aware of their responsibilities at each point
• Access any of your client documents online at anytime
• Log new clients onto your own web portal at any time
• Easily check on the progress of each client with reporting on a daily, weekly or monthly basis (as per the financial advisors requirements)
• Invest your clients funds with fund providers which allow you to manage them actively online
Over the years we have dealt with all the leading UK pension providers transferring hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pensions to with an almost 100% success rate. We understand most provider requirements and in fact often circumvent delays by providing additional documentation and evidence before it is required from the transferring provider. This means that when you deal with Charter Square your clients get their pension transfers done quicker and more efficiently – saving time and effort for everyone involved. This is particularly important as it often avoids costly recalculation fees from transferring providers.