International SIPPs, Best International SIPP, International SIPP Reviews

Contact us today for a fee-free initial discovery call with a UK Qualified, Chartered (the highest level of qualification) Financial Planner. We look forward to speaking with you.

We all know that pension planning is complicated, but it’s something we all have to face as we expect to live for longer and longer and we all try to eke out our savings to give us the best quality of life in retirement.

Pensions can be particularly problematic if you are living outside of the UK, therefore have local currency considerations, or have individual assets that you wish to package up as part of your pension scheme in order to maximise the tax-benefits available to you.

Getting the best advice is crucial and an International SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension) may just be the answer that you need.  However, you’re naturally going to want to make sure that you’re availing yourself of the Best International SIPP available.

International SIPP schemes are specifically designed for individuals who wish to manage and keep control over their pension investments and who wish to access their pension money flexibly. As an International SIPP holder you are able to amend, adjust, change your investments / currencies at any time – potentially moving from high risk to low risk or vice versa, capital growth to income – depending on your circumstances.   This allows you to make the most of the benefits available and maximising your retirement income.


What Makes an International SIPP Different to a UK-based One?

 There is much debate about whether the ‘International SIPPs’ are indeed anything other than a cleverly packaged UK-based SIPP with a bit of expat marketing ‘thrown’ in.  To put it bluntly, there are very few differences between an International SIPP and a UK based one. In fact, technically, they are identical.

The main difference is that an International SIPP is marketed to non-UK residents and will often allow you to hold assets and other investments in other currencies while still maintaining the security of knowing that the pension is Qualified from within the UK (FCA), so therefore subject to strict financial rules.  This gives many investors greater peace of mind as the UK is recognised by many as a ‘Gold Standard’ regulator.

Beware of unscrupulous salespeople trying to sell you expensive products that offer little advantage over similar UK-based SIPPs.  Sometimes the word ‘International’ is simply added to make ex-pats think they are getting something radically different, to a standard UK SIPP, and some kind of special deal when, in reality, the product they are being sold is simply a repackaged UK SIPP.

As is the case when embarking upon any UK pension transfer exercise, you would be advised to make sure that your advisor is suitably Qualified (preferably Chartered) and appropriately Qualified (by a tough regulator such as FCA) before proceeding.


SIPPs and UK Regulation

SIPPs are UK-based pension schemes.   SIPPs are Qualified from within the UK and subject to FCA compliance in terms of financial selling regulations assuming, of course, that your advisor is UK based.  If they are based elsewhere, then you are unlikely to have recourse (to the UK FOS) for the advice you’ve receive should you discover any mismanagement or hidden fees or charges that you weren’t aware of.  You may find that your complaint could fall on deaf ears to your local regulator leaving you with little in the way of remedy for any complaint made.


Choose your Advisor Wisely

Take care to choose your financial advisor wisely and make sure that they have the necessary qualifications, experience, and registrations to advise you appropriately.  It is worth spending some time researching their background and qualifications (LinkedIn is as good a place to start as any). This is to make sure that they are not taking advantage of the complexities that exist surrounding international pension provision and pension transfers for UK pension funds, by way of charging unnecessary, or excessive, management fees and costs. 

If you have chosen to use a non-UK based advisor to arrange your SIPP, you will need to have done some homework to ensure that they are legitimate and that they are appropriately Qualified, You may find that non-UK non-Qualified advisors are not up to date with financial changes affecting UK based SIPPS such as recent changes to the Lifetime Pension Allowance and other important tax matters.


‘International’ SIPPS, Currency Fluctuations, and the Need for Good Advice

If you are an ex-pat and wish to draw down a retirement income from your SIPP, your funds will be subject to currency variations if you have chosen to switch from GBP to an alternative currency.  Great if your chosen currency is doing well against the pound, but not so great if Sterling is riding high on international markets.

If you have any plans to retire overseas you would be well advised to factor in the potential fluctuations in any investments (and currencies) that you make into your SIPP.  If security from your pension is important to you, then proceed with caution and consider using your adviser’s Cash Flow Modelling service to chart a more reliable future course for your future drawdown pension income.

A good advisor will always offer you a range of tried and tested options for your pension investments and make recommendations as to which one is the best for your particular circumstances.

A good, internationally experienced, UK-based advisor is even better.  He or she should guide you through the minefield of international regulation operating on a ‘fee only’ basis not taking commission from the providers he or she may recommend.

Take independent advice, and make sure that you see all the figures upfront – especially all the costs, commissions and fees involved – so you can make comparisons with other products that may be more suitable for your needs.

If you’re interested in setting up an international SIPP or curious as to what is the best international SIPP, speak to us. As award winning ‘fee only’ (no commissions at any time) UK based International Financial Advisers, you can rest assured that we’ll work in your best interests at all times.


Contact us today for a fee-free initial discovery call with a UK Qualified, Chartered (the highest level of qualification) Financial Planner. We look forward to speaking with you.








About AES Adviser

AES Adviser advises expatriate clients worldwide on all financial planning matters including wealth management, estate planning, offshore bank accounts, savings and investment, insurance, multi-generational wealth transfer and generating income, from wealth accumulated, to support retirement.

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