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I have been working for a few years in the UK and my employers created personal pensions and contributed to them. Now I'm moving out of the UK and I'm not sure what to do with these.
As far as I know, if I retrieve the money now, I will pay 50% tax on it (I'm 32 years old).
I have checked something called QROPS, but I'm moving to Portugal and there's no QROPS there.
So what are my options here?

2 Answers 2

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There's always the option of doing nothing. Just leave the pension in the fund to grow (with any luck) until you retire. Then decide what to do with it.

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You could have a QROPS in one country within EU/EEA and still take pension from it in another EU/EEA country. But take independent advice on that as:

  1. The tax situation may depend on the combination of the countries involved - ideally you would only pay tax on the QROPS income in the country you are retiring in.

  2. Such a QROPS will likely incur more fees than the UK pension - some of them to the point that it could almost be considered mis-selling. They may now only give very limited benefits for those extra fees.

However please see my comment below.

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  • There are also "international" self-invested pension plans (SIPPs), which may allow the investments to be denominated in another currency than GBP (although not so important if investments can be spread over equities denominated in GBP, USD, EUR, JPY, ..) anyway. And on that point some may allow less UK-focused investments. However they often have higher fees than non-international SIPPs or require an advisor to open them for you, who will take a one-off fee. Both are subject to UK regulations. I am currently looking into these latter two options and will update when I know more.
    – nsandersen
    Commented Jan 30 at 22:35

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