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REVIEW SUMMARY

IVCM (previously known as Brooklands Pensions)

Established in March 2006, at the start of QROPS and pensions simplification, IVCM has provided SIPP and QROPS retirement products from around the world through its various companies.

A global retirement solutions provider with a local touch, IVCM claims to make it easy for you to transport your retirement savings to the country you are living or retiring in.

IVCM currently offers SIPPs and QROPS from the UK, New Zealand, Gibraltar and Australia and has had experience in most of the main QROPS jurisdictions.

IVCM previously offered QROPS from Guernsey and Isle of Man, but stopped offering these when HMRC regulations changed in 2012, and the benefits of these jurisdictions were no longer available. IVCM also previously offered Malta QROPS, but no longer does so.

Our Verdict
A Closer Look
FAQs
Customer Reviews

IVCM (previously known as Brooklands Pensions) is a global retirement solutions provider with a local touch. IVCM says that it makes it easy for you to transport your retirement savings to the country you are living or retiring in.

All IVCM products are licensed and regulated in the jurisdictions in which they operate.

IVCM offers retirement savings plans in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Gibraltar.

Here is a summary of the products offered by IVCM in their key jurisdictions:

Jurisdiction Product
   
Australia Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund (AESF)
  International Expat SIPP
   
New Zealand IVCM (NZ) PIE Superannuation Fund
  IVCM NZ PIE Superannuation Fund (QNUPS)
   
United Kingdom International Expat SIPP
  IVCM Heritage SIPP (closed to new business now)
  Brooklands SIPP (closed to new business now)
   
Gibraltar IVCM Gibraltar QROPS
  IVCM Gibraltar QNUPS
   

 

1. QROPS (A Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme):

  • A QROPS is an HMRC registered scheme which can accept a transfer of UK pension funds.
  • They were introduced in 2006 specifically for the benefit of former UK residents who have accrued pension funds in the UK, and who intend to remain outside the UK permanently

IVCM Gibraltar QROPS: 

The IVCM Gibraltar QROPS is a ‘Defined Contribution’ pension scheme which is regulated and registered in Gibraltar. It has been specifically designed by IVCM to help save for retirement, whether you are living or retiring in Gibraltar or overseas.

IVCM Trustees (Gibraltar) Limited are the trustees of the scheme who are based in Gibraltar and registered and regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (FSC). Gibraltar is an Overseas British Territory and the local currency is Pound Sterling.

Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund: 

There are various types of Superannuation options in Australia, such as:

  • Self-Managed Super Funds,
  • Corporate Super Funds,
  • Industry Super Funds,
  • Public Sector Super Funds and
  • Retail Super Funds.

You can find more information in the documents attached below.

IVCM (NZ) PIE Superannuation Fund:

Retirement planning for most of Kiwi residents consists predominantly of the State Pension, known as New Zealand Superannuation. As it is often not sufficient for a basic standard of living in retirement, many residents make their own retirement provision using Kiwi Saver Schemes and personal superannuation.

The IVCM (NZ) PIE Superannuation Fund is a personal superannuation fund. You can find it's product disclosure statement in the documents section below.

2. QNUPS (Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme):

A Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is a pension that exempts certain overseas pension schemes from UK inheritance tax (IHT). They provide a method of saving for retirement outside of the UK and are not normally restricted to the UK annual or lifetime allowance. When used correctly, this can be a great way to allow for overseas pension consolidation.

The two types offered by IVCM include:

  • IVCM NZ PIE Superannuation Fund (QNUPS)
  • IVCM Gibraltar QNUPS

3. SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension):

A SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) is a UK registered Personal Pension Scheme. It provides you with a platform to save for a better retirement lifestyle, whether you are living or retiring in the UK or overseas.

IVCM used to offer:

  • IVCM Heritage SIPP
  • IVCM Heritage Emirates NBD SIPP
  • IVCM Brooklands SIPP

These products are now closed to new business.

IVCM now offers a product called 'International Expat SIPP'.

The International Expat SIPP is operated and administered by Heritage Pensions Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registration number 475096. The asset trustee for the International Expat SIPP is International SIPP Trustees Limited.

You can find it's key features and learn more about it in the documents section of this review.

We would recommend reading the expert verdict section of this review before making a decision. Additionally, you may also find this blog about the difference between QROPS, QNUPS and SIPPs interesting.

NOTE:

We would highly recommend reading the 'expert verdict' section of this independent review.

Additionally, here's a free guide that can help you achieve better results. In this guide, you'll learn:

  • Academic evidence only shared with a select few firms across the world
  • A real-life example of why you should never try to outguess the market
  • Why a fund's past performance is not enough to predict future returns
  • Why you need to focus on what you can control and why this leads to a better investment experience
  • Why you should accept the markets for what they are
  • What can impact behaviour and make people seek instant gratification

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The Pros

> Has QNUPS, QROPS and SIPP offerings

The Cons

> Previous background of being owned by Brooklands
What tax would I have to pay on my Gibraltar Expat Retirement Annuity?
The tax you would have to pay can be summarised below:
  • IVCM says that 2.5% tax is payable at source on any annuity or drawdown income payment
  • Further tax may be payable in your country of residence
  • However, they say that the value of the plan can be paid out to beneficiaries on death without any Gibraltar tax being deducted.
What are IVCM's Pension Plan charges like?

IVCM's Pension Plan charges can be summarised below:

  • The IVCM Pension Plan has three simplified charging structures, the ‘Lite’ and the ‘Lite Plus’ for plans under £100,000 and £200,000 respectively.
  • The IVCM Pension Plan has a GibFull charging structure for plan values in excess of £200,000.
  • Additional charges will apply for purchasing nonstandard assets directly, such as unlisted shares or unregulated collectives.
  • The IVCM QROPS has a ‘Specially Designated Charging Structure’. This is a dedicated charging structure previously agreed by IVCM pensions in relation to a particular investment strategy.
  • The IVCM Pension Plan has charges for transferring out in-specie (exit penalties on certain investments may also apply).
What are the benefits of IVCM's (NZ) PIE Superannuation Fund?

The benefits of IVCM (NZ) PIE Superannuation Fund, as stated in their own words, are as follows:

  1. Low cost, transparent fees
  2. Zero tax within the first 4 years of residency
  3. Flexible access to your funds at retirement
  4. Tax benefits for non-NZ residents
  5. Quick and simple transfer process

We would however, recommend reading the expert verdict section of this review before making a decision.

Under IVCM's NZ PIE Superannuation Fund (QNUPS), what exactly will my money be invested in?

IVCM (NZ) PIE Superannuation Fund (Scheme) offers three investment options:

1.

Fund IVCM Vanguard LifeStrategy 40% Equity Fund
Description and investment strategy Great British Pounds (GBP) denominated fund employing a passive management strategy invested 40% in growth assets (international fixed interest), with a 60% exposure to income assets (international fixed interest).
Investment objectives 40% MSCI World Index net div (GBP) and 60% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index (GBP hedged).
Risk indicator 4/7
Estimated annual fund charge 1.31%

 

2.

Fund IVCM Vanguard
LifeStrategy
60% Equity Fund
Description and investment strategy Great British Pounds (GBP) denominated fund employing a passive management strategy invested 60% in growth assets (international equities), with a 40% exposure to income assets (international fixed interest)
Investment objectives 60% MSCI World Index net div (GBP) and 40% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Index (GBP hedged).
Risk indicator 4/7
Estimated annual fund charge 1.31%

 

3.

Fund IVCM Vanguard
Conservative
Index Fund
Description and investment strategy Australian Dollars (AUD) denominated fund employing a passive management strategy invested 30% in growth assets (International equities) and 70% in income assets (international fixed interest and cash and cash equivalents)
Investment objectives 12% S&P/ASX 300 (AUD), 18% MSCI World ex-Aus net div (AUD), 60% Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Float Adjusted Index (NZD hedged), and 10% Bloomberg AusBond Bank Bill Index.
Risk indicator 3/7
Estimated annual fund charge 1.38%
What charges are applicable on IVCM's International Expat SIPP?
  1. Financial Advice:
    This will be between you and your Financial Adviser. Heritage Pensions do not provide advice.
  2. SIPP Administration:
    There is an annual fee. The only other fees are transaction based, ensuring that you only pay for the services you need. All these charges are set out in our SIPP fee schedule. You should read this before completing the application forms.
  3. Investment charges:
    There will be charges associated with the underlying investments held within your SIPP. Your Financial Adviser or investment provider will be able to provide you with full details.

There are better options out there

I almost went ahead with IVCM - then I read the expert verdict of this review by AES and did my due diligence...

Let's just say that what you will find, will make you think twice and seek professional financial advice.

Expert assessment IVCM (previously known as Brooklands Pensions)

Having looked at the current offering from IVCM we do not believe that it is competitively priced compared to what else is available on the market.

Smaller providers seem to have charges that can’t be justified, and with pension charges getting more and more competitive we can’t see how smaller providers can make it work without the volume larger providers have.

We are also extremely concerned with the legacy issues as a result of the failure of Brooklands.

There are far better alternatives.

We suspect many investors have received poor quality investment advice regarding their pension transfers, and recommend all existing Brooklands & IVCM clients seek professional fee-based independent financial advice.

Read the UK regulator’s advice on pension transfers.

Never deal with a firm that isn’t authorised as a UK pension transfer specialist. (AES International is authorised as a UK pension transfer specialist on the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) register).

If you already hold a pension plan with IVCM, our advice would be to seek professional, fee-based and independent advice. For pensions worth £250,000 or more, we recommend contacting us for a Second Opinion.

GET A SECOND OPINION

IVCM - Product Disclosure Statement for Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund

IVCM - Investment Guide for Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund

IVCM - Fee Summary for Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund

IVCM - NZ PIE Superannuation Fund Product Disclosure Statement

IVCM - Gibraltar QROPS Application Form

IVCM - Gibraltar QROPS Key Features

IVCM - Gibraltar QROPS Terms and Conditions

IVCM - Gibraltar QROPS Fees Schedule

IVCM - GIB QROPS Investment Policy Guide

IVCM - International Expat SIPP Application Form

IVCM - International Expat SIPP Key Features

IVCM - International Expat SIPP Terms and Conditions

IVCM - International Expat SIPP Fee Schedule

IVCM - International Expat SIPP Due Diligence Form

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