How do I take advantage of the new UK pension flexibilities?

On 6 April 2015, the UK government introduced new UK pension freedoms which are revolutionizing how people are now able to access their UK personal and occupational pensions. Examples include the ability from age 55 to draw as much or as little from your pension as desired with no upper limit (or the need to purchase an annuity) and the ability to pass on your pension to the beneficiaries of your choice.

All these freedoms now offer great opportunities for UK pensions and general wealth planning. However, for the British expatriate living in the US, there are two important questions to consider:

  • Will your existing UK pension provider afford you all of these freedoms – many do not as there is no legal obligation to do so; and
  • If your provider does offer these freedoms, how can you best utilize them?

By undertaking a review of your UK pension with a financial adviser, you can determine what retirement options you have under your existing UK pension(s) and whether these options are flexible and/or meet your retirement objectives. If your existing pension does not offer the types of flexibilities that you desire this could be a reason to seek a pension transfer.