Post Brexit Pensions and Investments – Understanding the Rules
After several years of uncertainty, the UK has now fully left the EU and whilst many of us understand exactly what that mean in terms of French residency requirements, the impact on the financial services world is only just starting to unfold.
We asked Andrea Glover, International Financial Adviser at The Spectrum IFA Group, for her thoughts on the matter and to provide guidance to those of us who are affected.
Andrea explained “Brexit ended automatic ‘passporting’ rights for UK financial services in the EU. So, if you either live in France or are looking to move to France, it is important to check, if you have a UK financial adviser and/or UK insurer, that they can still support you.
“For those of you living in France”, she added, “contact your UK financial adviser, if they have not already been in touch, and ask if they are still able to provide financial advice to you as a French resident. Also, ask your UK insurer if they have put in place measures to ensure that your policy or pension can continue to be serviced. Your insurer or financial adviser should always act in your best interests. It is also important to note that in the case of a dispute with your insurer or financial adviser that you might not be able to refer the problem to an ombudsman or court in France.”
Andrea continued “My advice would always be to seek guidance on the rules, from a French tax perspective, for any pensions and investments held in the UK and check that anyone offering you advice, or financial services, is authorised to do so in France. Further, a suitably qualified financial adviser who is based in France will undoubtedly have first-hand experience of living in France and, therefore, have greater empathy with their clients.”
Post Brexit Pensions and Investments
She went on to say “Giving advice on UK held investments and pensions is only one component of comprehensive financial planning. A qualified financial adviser will also be able to provide guidance on matters such as Inheritance Tax planning in France and look at alternative tax efficient investment vehicles such as an Assurance Vie.”
For those of you looking to move to France Andrea explained further “Moving to France as a UK citizen is obviously more onerous than previously in terms of residency. I believe this places even greater importance on seeking suitable financial advice before any firm plans to move are finalised.”
From her own experience, Andrea commented “We are receiving a number of enquiries from people looking to move to France, which is firstly encouraging but secondly it means that we can really help clients structure their financial affairs efficiently before they move. We quite often work in partnership with international tax lawyers to assist clients who, for example, have a business in the UK but want to run it from France. Having a clear and defined plan, after seeking advice from the suitable experts prior to any move to France, is undoubtedly beneficial and avoids any nasty surprises further down the line.”
The above article on Post Brexit Pensions and Investments is provided for information purposes only. It does not constitute advice or a recommendation from The Spectrum IFA Group.
First published in the Feb to Apr 2021 issue of The Local Buzz
Images: Shutterstock and Spectrum IFA Group