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The best expat pension advice

Major changes to international pension legislation over recent years, means more choice when it comes to retirement. 

A wider range of options brings greater complexity however, making it more important than ever to get the advice that’s right for you - before, at and during your retirement.


A financial planning professional providing international pension advice.
A Senior Wealth Advice Associate at AES International providing personalised pension advice.

Personalised pension advice

As life expectancy increases, planning for a retirement that could last a third of your lifetime raises a number of important questions. 

In a complex and rapidly changing landscape, getting advice tailored to your circumstances and your attitude to risk is key.

Expert assistance will help you understand and explore your many options.

Planning for retirement, no matter your age or income

Your financial planning goal is a secure and comfortable retirement...

Our objective is to get you there, no matter where you are already.

Whether you've yet to begin investing, or you're hoping to retire early with what you've already saved, getting personalised advice can make all the difference to your retirement outcome.


Chartered financial planning experts helping with retirement planning through personalised advice.

“I'd put off getting a pension for so long I thought it was too late. I contacted AES to talk about investing and ended up having a complete financial plan created because of their valuable advice. The pension solution I now have is just part of my overall plan - it's working really well for me.”

Karen Jones

“Having left behind a number of pensions with multiple overseas relocations, AES has consolidated the lot and sorted out my retirement plan”

Marcus Haines

“Having accrued substantial pension assets I approached AES for a tax efficient estate plan - sorting my pensions was one element of it...I am really impressed with the service and the solutions from AES. Good job.”

Chris Cathcart

Financial planning experts help create the most tax-efficient way to distribute a clients pension fund after his death.

What is the most tax-efficient way to distribute my pension fund after my death?

Discover how to access your pension tax efficiently, and how to distribute funds after your death.

The order you access various pension and investment funds may have an impact on your tax position, and that of your heirs and beneficiaries - therefore, getting the right advice now could make a significant financial difference to you and your family.



Asked Questions

Do I need a pension?

You need your own pension to fund your lifestyle after you stop working.

As an expat, you cannot rely on the state to provide for you in retirement.  Even if you lived in the UK and had made full National Insurance contributions all your working life, the state pension today is just under £6,500 a year – it’s unlikely to ever rise in real terms. 

Compare this amount to your salary now, and the income you hope to live on when you retire...does it come close? 


So, this is why you need your own pension.  And the good news is, as an expat you have a number of options to consider when it comes to saving for retirement.

What is a personal pension policy?

In the UK, a personal pension policy is an HMRC approved contract set up to save specifically for retirement.  

It may attract tax benefits, depending on your residency and earnings status, and cannot usually be accessed before the age of 55 because pension solutions are designed to provide an income, and potentially a lump sum, in retirement.

Employers sometimes provide pension savings schemes for employees.  In the UK workplace pensions are now mandatory for example.

However, even if your employer does provide a workplace pension scheme, you may need to make additional savings to ensure you can enjoy the lifestyle you require in retirement.

Can I transfer my pension abroad - to an overseas scheme like a QROPS (qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme)?

Yes, it may be possible, depending on the type of pension scheme you have.

However, there are lots of things to consider, mainly the benefits your current scheme offers versus the potential advantages of transferring.  

This can be a complex decision to make, and one you must take advice on.  The advice you take must be from an individual who is a qualified pension transfer specialist, and in turn, they must work for an organisation that’s regulated to offer pension transfer advice.

The advantages of a pension transfer are often heavily over-sold by unqualified advisers who may stand to profit substantially from a transfer via commissions and hidden fees.

Tread with caution; the value of your pension must be preserved so your future retirement plans are not scuppered.

How much can I contribute to a pension and should I keep contributing now I live abroad?

There are now strict limits to the maximum pension contribution you can make in the UK that can attract tax relief.

However, if you start an appropriate pensions savings scheme whilst living outside the UK as an expat, there is no limit to the contributions you can make.

You can request an illustration from us showing the effect of increasing, reducing or stopping your pension payments to see how this might affect your income in retirement.

What happens to my pension if I die before I retire?

The full value of your pension plan will normally be used to provide a cash lump sum for your dependants or beneficiaries, although it can be used to provide an income for one or more dependants or beneficiaries using an income drawdown plan.

How do I take money from my pension pot?

If you are under 55, it’s unlikely that you will be able to cash in your pension pot because pensions are a specific type of savings scheme designed to provide you with an income in retirement.

Once you reach the age of retirement and want to access your pension, you have many options depending on the scheme.  You may be able to take a lump sum, you can certainly take an income. 

It’s critical you take advice about how to access your investments in retirement so that you’re tax efficient, and your entire portfolio provides you with sufficient income for the rest of your life.

Even if you’ve never spoken to a financial adviser before, when it comes to retirement income planning, you’re likely to derive great value from speaking to a chartered financial adviser.

Please talk to us to find out more about your options for accessing and utilising your pension savings.

Ready to start the conversation?

We'll call, learn about you and help you decide if we're a good fit. It's that easy.