Wednesday, 19 March 2014

The UK Government wants the Elderly to Emigrate!

There are clear indications that they do. Changes to ISA’s & Pension Annuities will be welcome in the UK, to working people and the retired but overall it suits the Government if the elderly emigrate

I realise that it sounds unlikely but there are reasons behind my view. Spain has many lifestyle advantages and those retired or near retirement might be encouraged to emigrate for the following reasons;

·       QROPS

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes are for the BENEFIT of people emigrating or planning to emigrate from the UK.

After the recent reviews it was thought that the Government was discouraging transfers of pensions out of the UK. In reality, the changes announced in the last two Budgets are a warning shot to those who would seek to ‘misuse’ UK pension funds.

Whilst the new rules which, effectively, abolishes annuities will be welcome in the UK, QROPS which follow UK rules will also provide a benefit to UK expats too!

There is nothing which discourages retiring abroad. Please email me for more personal information

·       QNUPS

Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes benefit those who emigrate but would otherwise have a UK Inheritance Tax liability. It is necessary because UK IHT is based on ‘Domicile’ not ‘Residency’. Domicile is much more difficult to shake off!

This is a classic case of ENCOURAGING emigration. For more details please email me.

·       Taxation policy

I was somewhat shocked by George Osborne’s statement in Budget 2012 that there would be a review of age-related tax allowances. In reality the budget made the following two changes which negatively affect the over-65’s

1.     Those already in receipt of the Over 65 Age Allowance will see this ‘frozen’ for the following 3 years. In the past this allowance has been index-linked to counter the effects of inflation

2.     From 6th April 2013, for people reaching the age of 65, the age allowance is scrapped! This means that anyone born after 5th April 1948, will NOT receive the Age Allowance

Taking away age-related tax allowances might just be the ‘final straw’ for some people!

Readers should also be aware that this policy contrasts greatly with Spanish taxation policy. It’s too complex to explain here but individuals and couples can get professional advice by sending me an email and I can put you in touch with the right person. However, the Spanish system assumes that part of the retirement income is ‘capital’ which is untaxed and the minority is ‘interest’ which is taxed. This means the effective tax rate in Spain is MUCH LOWER than the UK when income is based on a pension or annuity.

  • National Health Service (NHS)

The cost of treating elderly people is MUCH higher than that of younger citizens. That has been clear for many years but as the population lives longer, the cost will grow substantially. I cannot verify this but I was told that the cost of Healthcare for the over 60’s is TEN TIMES HIGHER than the under 60’s.

  • Net Migration

The UK Government made pledges that it would reduce net migration, that is the difference between people leaving and immigrants.

This is important to the Conservatives under pressure from UKIP.

It suits the Governments statistics if more people emigrate.

It is very important that anyone contemplating moving to Spain should seek professional advice. I can give this guarantee that any professional that I refer you to WILL NOT charge an upfront fee.

Professional advice will have a cost but no advice could cost you everything

You might like also to read these posts from my Blog;

Please enjoy Spain and remember if you are in the UK and elderly, your Government wants you to emigrate!

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain