Friday, 17 September 2010

QROPS Week - Feedback

Week commencing 6th September was QROPS Week on Financial Pages in Spain.  The feedback has been excellent (thank you all) so now I’m letting all readers have a flavour of this. I’m still happy to receive more comments too

  • ‘Financial Pages in Spain' spreads far and wide

  • High charges was a common theme

  • New Zealand QROPS got the highest readership

‘Financial Pages in Spain’ was started since I had extensive knowledge of UK financial services but especially pensions and retirement planning. My knowledge of financial issues in Spain came from being unable to find reliable independent advice in Spain, when my wife and I bought our first Spanish house In 2002. I therefore did my own research.

But ‘Financial Pages in Spain’ has received contacts from other countries other than Spain and the UK ;

  *   Canada                                              *  France
  *   Portugal                                             *  Cyprus
  *   Ireland                                                *  USA

In most cases I have been able to find contacts in these countries and also have former colleagues working in territories where expats live. Please email me for a recommendation

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The most common feedback that I have received is on high charges. In many cases, it has been the difference between the individual effecting the transfer to QROPS and doing nothing.

One reader brought his experience to me in some detail. The potential transfer from three pension funds came to £174,495. In the report from the adviser the charges were not listed in a table format, to make them clear, but were hidden in the detail. However he put them all together and did his own calculation.

The proposed investment in the QROPS was a life assurance investment bond. The initial charges amounted to more than £5,000 and the on-going annual charges were over £3,500 and he would be locked into this investment for 10 years! They did not get his QROPS business and he walked away from them.

The UK does tend to have lower charges than most of Europe and QROPS is a complex concept which needs professional advice. I will be happy to recommend an adviser if you email me.

On a related subject, one reader told me that he had gone to a UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) because he expected disclosure of commission, as he would have got in the UK. The adviser said that there was no requirement to disclose commission because he was in Spain. I believe that is technically correct but if advisers advertise that they are FSA registered they should give clients UK rules.

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Based on the readership figures that I get weekly from my service provider, there was a clear winner as the most popular article.

Day four of QROPS Week dealt with New Zealand QROPS. Over time this has been a contentious subject and much misinformation has been given in the Expat Press. If you didn’t get to read my blog that day, here is another chance.

NZ does stand out amongst the territories which have approved QROPS. However, I cannot, as requested, recommend a particular NZ trustee. However, I can recommend an adviser who specialises in New Zealand QROPS, if you email me

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If you have your own question, I’d be delighted to answer it. Those of you who live in Spain or intend to live in Spain should be very careful when choosing an adviser. Any adviser can advertise on the internet or in a newspaper but that does not guarantee that they are properly authorised and regulated.

You can write to me with your personal experiences or to be put in touch with my recommended adviser by sending me an email