The UK government is completely overhauling the system so you can take your private and employer pensions how you like, rather than be restricted to smaller annual withdrawals as was previously the case.
This applies to all private and employer pensions as long as you haven’t already bought an annuity or started to draw an income from a final salary scheme.
For the vast majority of people, accessing their full pension fund in one go would be an extremely bad idea and leave them short in later years. However, retaining the option at least, to access more from their pensions in the event of an emergency would be comforting for many. For example those who need long term care often struggle to meet the costs, and at this point being able to draw more from your pension could be a huge help.
The rule changes are undoubtedly positive news but there remains a huge catch with UK pensions. Depending on what sort of pension you have, at least a large proportion of the benefits you hold, and often all of the benefits, cannot be passed onto your loved ones when you pass away. This seems unfair as most people have worked hard to build a pension and being able to pass the value of your pension on could really make a difference to your spouse or children.
Many of our clients are extremely surprised when they discover that the cash equivalent value of their pensions often makes pensions their biggest asset. It is for this reason that expats in Malta should consider transferring their UK pension to Malta, but only with a scheme that has been approved by the UK HMRC. The most important thing to realise is that under Malta rules, 100% of your pension can be passed on to your spouse or children free of tax. In addition, it has also been confirmed that those who move their pensions to Malta will benefit from the same freedoms now afforded to UK pensions.
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