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Andrew from Vista Financial

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Andrew from Vista Financial last won the day on January 20 2017

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About Andrew from Vista Financial

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  1. Andrew from Vista Financial

    UK SIPP/ISA - Okay to re-invest divided? Switch holdings?

    Hi PrisonMike Regards SIPPs/foreign super funds (so long as they meet the definition of a foreign super fund (by default UK Pensions should)) then the tax treatment of these in Australia is essentially deferred until such time as either or a lump sum or income is taken at retirement and assessed accordingly at that time. Regards ISA's, Australia does not recognise UK ISA's (tax wrappers) and therefore as I understand it these investments would be treated like any investment portfolio is treated for tax purposes in Australia. Regards Andy
  2. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Superannuation transfer

    Hi Tim From what I understand Holborn are not Australian regulated and so I am not sure how they would be able to recommend an Australian Super (unless they have recently gained Authorised Rep status with an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL)), they may work in conjunction with an Aussie Adviser. I thought that Finsec were Adelaide based, as are we, I wasn't aware they had offices in Brisbane but you seem to have found one? Is your situation complex or reasonable straight forward. Straight forward would be that you are over age 55, have a defined contribution scheme and your pension balance/s is/are under $300,000 (excluding any applicable fund earnings). Complex starts from anything that doesn't fit in the above and those complexity levels differ depending on other factors (larger balances probably the biggest factor). In terms of impartial if your case is straight forward there really should not be too much to worry about when it comes to being impartial as there are not many alternatives if a transfer to Australia is going to occur, it would have to go to either the only Retail (QROPS) Super Fund in Australia or a Self-Managed Super Fund and if your balance is under $300,000 it's unlikely a SMSF is going to be appropriate anyway. The other thing regards being impartial, Australian Financial Planners are not permitted to take commissions from Super/Investment products so this will be good for peace of mind, they are also not able to act for you if there is any danger of a conflict. There are a few Advisers in Australia that do offer advice in this area, way more than the two you have named but in the grand scheme of things they are quite limited in proportion to the amount of Advisers in Australia, obviously if you are looking to deal with a local firm that will cut numbers down again. Hope this helps. Andy
  3. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Amalgamating UK superfunds

    Hi plato You should start by contacting each organisation to update them with your current details. You could then request up to date statements, this will be a start. Regards amalgamating it may not be possible to get them into one for one reason and another but the start on this would be to make initial contact. For NHS try here: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-pensions USS: https://www.uss.co.uk/members/members-home/deferred-members Perhaps this one for the Scottish Scheme: https://pensions.gov.scot/teachers Give that a go. ATB Andy
  4. Andrew from Vista Financial

    'trivial commutation and aged pension

    Hello Ena Take a look here regards lump sum benefit payments (to one's self) from foreign super fund (ie UK Pension Funds), it should help: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/international-tax-for-individuals/in-detail/super/tax-treatment-of-transfers-from-foreign-super-funds/?page=5#Transferring_amounts_to_yourself Regards Andy
  5. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Investment Portfolios - Education Guide

    Building a Portfolio There are a number of steps to follow to build a portfolio that suits your financial goals and preferences. An explanation of these key steps is provided below. Understand the Key Asset classes It is important to understand the main asset classes and how they can affect the returns and risk of your portfolio. The types of asset classes include: · Shares · Property · Bonds (or fixed interest as they are often called) · Cash There may be asset types within each asset class. For example, within shares, there is a choice of Australian and international shares and within international shares, there is choice of specific regions or countries like China or emerging market shares. Generally ‘growth’ assets like shares and property provide the prospect of higher returns over the long term compared to ‘safer’ assets like bonds and cash. However growth assets have a higher level of risk including the risk of capital loss and more ups and downs in returns particularly over the short term. ‘Growth’ assets are only appropriate if you have an investment time horizon of at least five years due to their higher level of inherent risk. Shares: Shares represent part ownership in a company and usually provide income payments through dividends and can produce growth if the share price increases. For Australian companies, these dividends can be franked, which means that you receive a tax credit for the tax already paid by the company so that you are not taxed twice (once at the company tax rate and again at your marginal tax rate). If your tax rate is less than the company tax rate (currently 30%) you will receive a refund for the extra tax paid by the company. If your tax rate is higher you may need to pay some extra tax. Property: An investment in property provides you with ownership in a property or a number of properties through a managed structure. Property investments allow you to benefit from the rent received by the properties as well as the change in the valuation of the property over time. The returns of these properties will depend on the quality of the tenant and the rent paid as well as the location and type of property such as residential, industrial or commercial. Bonds (fixed interest): A bond is a tradeable debt security, usually issued by a government, semi-government or corporate body to raise money. Investors in the bond have effectively lent money, for which they receive a fixed rate of interest over a set period of time. The bond is repaid with interest on the predetermined maturity date. For example, if you invest in a 5 year bond paying 3% coupon you will pay $1,000 to invest in the bond. In return, you will receive $30 (3% of $1,000) each year. At year 5, you receive the coupon of $30 plus the original $1,000 outlay. It is possible to experience capital losses from a bond investment if it is cashed before maturity and interest rates have risen or capital gains if the reverse occurs. They are not as safe as cash. Cash: Cash is one of the safest investments. Cash compared to other assets tends to provide lower variability in returns, high level of security on the capital invested and acts as a more defensive investment. This reduces investment risk so the money is available when you need it, with a minimal potential for capital loss. Income and Growth The returns from the various asset classes are provided in the form of income and/or growth resulting from a change in the price of the investment. Some investments like cash will only provide income returns while the return from other investments may include a mix of income and capital growth. Income returns can include interest from cash and bonds, rental income from property and dividends from shares. Managed fund may also pay realised capital gains as part of the income return. This income is included in your tax return and is taxed at your marginal tax rate. If franking credits have been derived these will be passed onto you and can help to reduce tax payable. If an investment is sold, this may create a capital gain or loss depending on whether the price of the security or unit price of managed funds has changed since investment. If a capital gain has been realised on units held for more than 12 months a 50% capital gains tax discount will apply unless the units were owned by a company. Diversification You can invest in a mix of asset classes or securities as a means of ‘diversifying’ your portfolio. Diversification is a key investment principle used to manage the risks of a portfolio and involves investing in a variety of assets and investments that perform differently to each other over time. It is often described by the proverb “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. It also allows you to have an exposure to a spread of assets and securities including both ‘growth’ and ‘defensive’ assets. It means that you avoid taking big bets in one or a few asset class and/or investments that may adversely affect your returns if it underperforms. Diversification can reduce the risk in your portfolio but it will not eliminate the risks. Your portfolio is likely to experience ups and downs in returns over time but by a lower level of variability. Direct versus Managed Funds You can access assets and/or securities by buying the investment directly or via a managed trust. Direct investments involve buying the security such as a specific share or property such that you are a part or full owner of the security. As an example, you can become an owner in a specific company by buying its shares on the Stock Exchange which entitles you to receive dividends and vote at General Meetings (depending on your share structure). An alternative means of gaining exposure to assets is via a managed fund. A managed fund is a professionally managed investment portfolio that pools the money of multiple investors. A fund manager is appointed to manage the fund including selection of the underlying investments and maintaining client records. By pooling money with other investors you may gain access to investments not normally available if you invested directly or enable you to achieve a greater level of diversification. If you invest money into a managed fund you will receive a number of ‘units’ in that fund. The number of units you receive is calculated as the amount of money you invest divided by the unit price on that day. This is why managed funds are also often called “unit trusts”. The unit price may increase or decrease in line with the value of the underlying investments. Each investment approach has its advantages and disadvantages that you should consider. These will include the implications for fees and investment control. Investing directly in securities may require you to actively review and manage the investments in your portfolio on a regular basis. You may be required to make decisions and changes to account for corporate action events in the case of buying shares directly such as takeovers, rights issues and share purchase plans. This can require you to have the time and inclination to manage your direct investments portfolio. On the flip side, the advantage provided by a managed fund is that you do not need to devote the time to be actively involved in the investment decisions. Risk Profiling There are a number of factors that you need to consider to determine the most appropriate investment for your personal preferences and financial goals. A key driver of this decision is your risk profile which measures your attitude towards risk. Your risk profile will depend on how you feel about a range of different issues such as: · Your comfort and knowledge of investment markets. The higher your knowledge, the more comfortable you may be investing in riskier assets like shares and property · Your preference for capital growth (compared to capital preservation and/or income). The higher your preference for growth may be better suited to investing in riskier assets that offer a higher potential for capital growth. · Your level of concern when markets suffer a loss. If you are likely to sell and feel stressed from this loss, then a lower exposure to risky assets may be suitable · How important it is to you for your investments to keep pace with inflation. If this is important to you, then shares and property are more likely to meet this need · Your investment time horizon. If you are investing for the long term (at least 5-7 years), then you may consider investing in shares and property. Generally, risky assets are not suitable if you are investing for shorter periods of time and a higher level of investment in cash and bonds may be more suitable Structures for Holding Investments There are various ways of owning investments and these can include in your own name, in your spouse or kids’ names, via a family trust, superannuation or private company. There are a number of issues to consider when determining the most appropriate structure to hold the investments and these include the following: · Tax · Fees and costs · Liabilities and responsibilities · Flexibility and complexity · Estate planning Investment Strategies Once you have decided on your portfolio, there are various approaches to investing and withdrawing your money. If you are concerned about the ups and downs in financial markets and are unsure about whether it is a good time to invest in risky assets, you can consider investing using a ‘dollar cost averaging’ approach. This involves investing a set amount regularly over a period of time rather than investing the full amount at a single point in time. In this way, you can avoid trying to time your entry into financial markets. By making regular investments over time you may be able to minimise the risk of investing all your money during a market peak. This can help to minimise investment risk and average the purchase price of your investments by buying more assets when prices are low and fewer assets when prices are high. If you are withdrawing funds from your portfolio, you can use a regular drawdown strategy that has similar benefits to dollar cost averaging (but in reverse). That is, you can withdraw funds over time rather than withdrawing the full amount at a point in time. In this way, you can minimise the risk of withdrawing all your funds from financial markets at the bottom of the market. Your portfolio can benefit from ‘compounding interest’ particularly if you reinvest your income returns. If the interest you receive is added to your initial investment, you can receive interest on the total amount and effectively receive interest on the interest reinvested. This is called ‘compound interest’ and has the effect of increasing your overall returns. The more frequently that interest is calculated, the higher will be the compounded returns.
  6. Andrew from Vista Financial


    Interesting, thanks for sharing.
  7. Andrew from Vista Financial

    QROPS funds for 55+

    No problem. Yes I think we are referring to the same thing, the QROPS recovery (exit) fee (page 5 https://cdn.sargon.cloud/AE/13395aaf-b71c-4826-9938-9ad0839bf2d5/Product Disclosure Statement.pdf ). I too understand that this is why they have levied it (people using them effectively) and actually agree with you in relation to why it is percentage based rather than a flat fee. To answer your question at this stage I do not believe there are any other public offer superannuation funds that are QROPS. However if you do not wish to establish a SMSF and instead use the AESF Super this (exit fee) shouldn't be an issue anyway should it? Regards Andy
  8. Andrew from Vista Financial

    QROPS funds for 55+

    Hi there back When you say high penalty fees.....do you mean the QROPS exit fee levied progressively reducing over 1-3 years etc?
  9. Andrew from Vista Financial

    The Brand New PIO Parents Visa thread

    Thanks so much for this Kate, really appreciate you saying that
  10. Andrew from Vista Financial

    The Brand New PIO Parents Visa thread

    Hi there That question on pensions is not a black and white answer as it will depend on a huge range of things mostly to do with your current position and future goals and objectives (predominantly around retirement). Just some background though, a UK pension cannot be transferred to an Australian QROPS Super Fund (since 2005) until a person reaches age 55. From that point it may be possible to transfer a pension (depending on the type) as some cannot be transferred (government defined benefit unfunded schemes) however whether it is the right thing to do or not is a different matter and if the balance is quite large then usually a straight transfer is not possible due to Australian contribution limits therefore phased/staggered transfers would be required. See here for a bit more info https://vistafs.com.au/main/page_uk_pensions_age_55.html. There may also be options for people under age 55 to consider around transferring their pension, again though this would need to analysed at an individual level but moving say to an SIPP could be a consideration given then the ability to invest in currency and funds that are Aus Dollar denominated. See more here https://vistafs.com.au/main/page_uk_pensions__age_55.html. Happy for you to reach out via PM or email ( andrew@vistafs.com.au ) to create initial contact and then possibly move to advice if necessary and at an appropriate time. Regards Andy
  11. Andrew from Vista Financial

    UK Pensions/QROPS 5 year+ rule to become 10 year+ rule

    Hi Acb This post was about transfers (rollovers) of UK pensions to Australian Super Funds and the HMRC rules surrounding this when accessing any of those transferred monies under the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions (QROPS) regime. This does not relate to the NHS Pension payments or QSuper Fund. So essentially no implications to you in this regard. ATB Andy
  12. Andrew from Vista Financial


    Yes I hadn't come across it for a while (pretty sure it is still current as have not heard to the contrary) but it certainly is interesting particularly if someone doesn't realise and makes additional contributions to super and is not looking at becoming a permanent resident.
  13. Andrew from Vista Financial


    Hello What you are referring to is known as the Departing Australia Superannuation Payment (DASP) and yes unfortunately release does carry quite a tax burden: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/International-tax-for-individuals/In-detail/Super/Super-information-for-temporary-residents-departing-Australia/ However I understand that from April 2009 temporary residents are not subject to the same conditions of release as permanent/citizens which means retirement is not classified as a condition of release: https://superoracle.firststatesuper.com.au/getting-money-out-of-super/temporary-residents-and-conditions-of-release and https://www.moneymanagement.com.au/features/editorial/guide-superannuation-strategies-non-residents Hope this helps Regards Andy
  14. Andrew from Vista Financial

    any legal way to get UK pension tax free?

    Thanks Alan. Hi Bolus SIPP rules allow monies to be accessed from age 55 and this would now also be the minimum age for all QROPS otherwise they would not be able to be a QROPS under the 'Pensions Age Test' introduced by HMRC in 2015. I am not across the tax rules of pensions/super outside of the UK and Australia (also Gibraltar, Malta and to a certain extent New Zealand for Australian residents) so cannot comment on (pension) tax regimes of other countries. However one major factor that's likely to work against what you are considering is the new tax charge that HMRC introduced in 2017 for QROPS transfers, being the 'Overseas Transfer Charge', this essentially means if a person transfers a UK pension into a QROPS and the QROPS destination is not the country that the person resides in, it will attract a 25% tax charge on the whole pot of money (some exceptions apply, for instance living in the EEA and the QROPS being in the EEA), see here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/qualifying-recognised-overseas-pension-schemes-charge-on-transfers/the-overseas-transfer-charge-guidance#eel-chapt2 Of course a lot of this will come down to where you want to retire but assuming it is Australia then a very real opportunity exists in transferring a SIPP to an Australian Super Fund which would then allow tax free withdrawals form age 60+, as Alan points out however there are some Australian tax implications to consider when transferring foreign super funds (UK Pension) to Australia but typically any tax can be paid concessionally at 15% (and it is generally only on the growth of the pot since arrival). Regards Andy