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  1. I would encourage anyone with a private UK Defined Benefit Pension Scheme (sometimes referred to as a final salary pension) to obtain a transfer value. Values have been increasing steadily over the years and it is believed that they have now perhaps peaked. We are seeing values on average standing around 25x the current annual pension benefits. This means that if you have a UK pension and the current benefit gives you a yearly pension of £10,000 the transfer value could be £250,000. So if you are a deferred member of a Defined Benefit (final salary) UK Pension Scheme and live in Australia we strongly believe that you should be proactive in this area and we (Vista Financial Services) can request the relevant transfer values and information for you. We can then if required provide advice around whether these benefits are best placed where they are OR whether they are going to work better for you in retirement elsewhere we can then if appropriate carry out a transfer for you. Our solutions include being able to transfer to an Australian Super Fund (QROPS) where applicable which is a solution only open to people above age 55 currently (due to HMRC legislation). We are also able to provide advice on transferring into an International SIPP (perhaps as an interim measure if under age 55 until it can be transferred to an Australia Super Fund) where the money can be appropriately invested as advised by us into UK and Australian currency dominated investments (I will expand more on this solution in another post). Please note that government pensions such a NHS and Police Pension cannot be transferred neither can the UK State Pension.
  2. Andrew from Vista Financial

    Retirement Planning

    You (like many others) may be feeling unsure about how your retirement is looking financially and how far your superannuation/investments will extend throughout retirement. You might be wondering what to do with your superannuation when you get to retirement……do you take it all out and put in the bank or do you move it to an Account Based Pension? What about a Lifetime Annuity, you may have heard these mentioned before but how do they work? You may be uncertain about your entitlements (if any) in relation to the Australian Age Pension and how the Assets and Income Test works and whether anything you receive is taxable? If you are a UK Expat you might also be wondering what happens to any private UK Pensions you might have and what options are available and when you can access them. Also have you considered the UK State Pension? Are you eligible to receive anything, what about buying extra years as you may have heard this is possible but is it worth it and will it affect your Australian Age Pension entitlements? What about in the time leading up to retirement? Is there anything you can or should be doing to prepare? Should you make extra contributions to Super and if so, how much and how should these be contributed? What about salary sacrifice? What are the limits? Can I use previous years allowances? If these are questions that you have and you wish to speak to someone that can help you answer them you should think about contacting us. We can provide answers to these questions and build you a solid Retirement Plan so you have a clear path mapped out for the lead up to retirement and ensure you are maximising strategies that may be available to you. Vista Financial Services are highly trusted, professional, experienced and transparent Financial Advice Practice who specialise in Superannuation and Retirement Planning. You may never have taken financial advice or no longer have an Adviser available to you or indeed have had advice but did not feel you received value. You can be rest assured that we only provide advice to clients where we firmly believe we can add value and be of benefit and we are able to advise on all of the major Industry Superannuation Funds as well as all of the major Retail Superannuation Funds. We do this by offering an initial consultation with no charge which helps both us and you understand if we can assist you and whether there is merit in working together to plan your future. You can reach here on PomsinOZ (simply drop us a message) or: Phone: 08 8381 7177 Email: info@vistafs.com.au
  3. Andrew from Vista Financial

    What Vista Financial Services can do for you

    This thread is just to give a bit of an overview of the services provided by us here at Vista Financial Service and how we might be able to assist you in these areas. UK Pension Transfers You can currently only transfer your UK Pensions directly to Australia if you are aged 55 years or over. It this is the case and you engage Vista in relation to a Pension Transfer we will see the whole process through from start to finish including: Obtaining relevant UK Pension information and overseas transfer paperwork; Providing a comprehensive Statement of Advice in relation to: whether a transfer is in your interests; recommending an appropriate Super Fund in Australia to receive your UK Monies; detailing rules and legislation around UK Pension Transfers and what you can and cannot do going forward; the advantages and disadvantages of a UK Pension Transfer; Completion of the necessary new QROPS Super Fund Application and Pension Transfer documents; Administering the transfer including follow up calls with your UK Pension Transfer Company to chase payments and/or other required documents; Placement of the monies into the appropriate recommended investments; Dealing with the calculation of any relevant tax payable on the transfer of the Fund and the options available in relation to this tax. We of course also take care of any other issues that arise throughout the whole Pension Transfer process and the above is the simplified version of the process as it happens but be rest assured we take care of the whole transfer. Superannuation Advice We consider client Super Funds and what clients want from a Super Fund and determine whether the Super Fund they currently have is appropriate for their needs at that particular time; We also consider consolidation of Super Funds if clients have more than one Super Fund (but this is a case by case basis as it may in some cases be appropriate for clients to have more than one Super Fund for example if one of the Funds contains Insurance); We look at how the monies are invested within the Super Funds and whether they are invested in accordance with a client’s Risk Profile. For example most people are in the default Balanced Options in their Super Funds but this wouldn’t be appropriate for say a Conservative or Defensive Investor as there would be too much risk to their monies (in the markets). In actual fact the word Balanced is rarely what it would seem to be as most of the time around 80% of monies in the default Balanced Fund are invested in the markets and as much as 90% in some cases. We assess a client’s attitude to the risk they want to take with their monies and then recommend investments that align to that Risk Profile; We consider the beneficiaries nominated on a client’s Super Fund. Some clients have no-one nominated, others have non-binding nominations, others binding nominations. We check what is currently in place and ensure it continues to remain in line with the client’s wishes in the event of their passing; Life (Risk) Insurance We consider four types of Insurances being Life Insurance, Total and Permanent Disability Insurance, Trauma Insurance and Income Protection. We carry out what is called a Needs Analysis for a client to determine how much of each insurance they require (for example cover to clear the mortgage, cover for children’s education costs etc) and then we make recommendations in relation to how to structure this insurance and indeed the Insurance Provider; Risk Insurance has evolved greatly over recent years and you can now have Life, TPD and Income Protection Cover with a retail provider (comprehensive insurance) with the premiums funded from a nominated Super Fund. This can assist with cash-flow and also make it tax efficient to fund the premiums. You can also hold all of these insurances outside of Super and fund the premiums yourself or a combination of the above. We look at what a client needs, the costs involved and then tailor an Insurance Package to best suit the client’s needs and budgets; We assist our clients with insurance claims as the last thing someone wants/needs to contend with is dealing with an insurance company to try and get money paid while they are sick or grieving. Pension Advice When a person reaches a certain age/retires they are able to transfer their Super monies into a Pension. We advise on this transition which can often result in a client receiving a tax free income generally or at the very least a tax free eligibility on earnings within the Pension (that are taxed in Super) which in turn increases a client’s retirement monies and in turn retirement income; We also as with Super advise on the Investment Portfolio within the Fund (namely the appropriate investment of the monies in accordance with a client’s Risk Profile); Again we also consider a client’s beneficiary details and in Pension you can also have what is known as a Reversionary Pension Arrangement whereby in the event of the passing of one Spouse the other will continue to receive the income without the need to close the Fund; There is a requirement by law to take a certain percentage of income from a pension each year and we advise clients in relation to how much income should be taken in conjunction with the Retirement Planning Projections we carry out (more details below). Retirement Planning We consider a client’s Retirement Goals and Objectives namely how much income does a client want annually in retirement. We then consider whether a client is on track to receive that level of income taking into account all the income they will be eligible to receive such as monies from their Super Funds, UK Private Pensions (if applicable), Australian Aged Pension Income, UK State Pension Income (if applicable), Rental Income and any other sources of income a client might have. If the client is on track to achieve their Retirement Income Goal that is great and we then may start to consider whether early retirement is an option. However if they fall short we look at ways we may be able to make up the shortfall and get the client where they need to be using various strategies (detailed below) or alternatively discuss with them the reality and what the negotiables may be for example working longer or taking less income and the like. We provide detailed Projections which show the income likely to be achieved in retirement and indeed at what age this income is likely to run out and when a client would be solely reliant on the State for income (which is of course not ideal in the very least early retirement). Investments If a person has money to invest we consider a client’s goals for this money including their investment time horizon as well as their attitude to Risk (namely how much risk they want to take with their monies) and then make recommendations in relation to appropriate investments such as: Direct Shares (including ETFs, LICs); Managed Funds; Managed Accounts; Short and Long Term Annuities; Cash and Term Deposits; Property (through Funds or directly). When you invest money the appropriate ownership structure of that investment is important for a number of reasons and so we will also consider that structure for you which will include structures such as: Direct Ownership (Solely or Jointly); Through a Trust Structure (Family Trust for example); Investment Bond; Education Bond; Superannuation Estate Planning We consider whether a client has a Will, Powers Of Attorney as well as Guardianship for their dependents, if not then we make a firm recommendation to seek Professional Advice in relation to these areas (in SA we refer them to a Solicitor who specialises in this area). We will then work with the Professional to ensure that the client’s Estate Planning is in good health. Strategies We look at client’s disposable income (if they have any) and where this money could be best directed. Again in conjunction with the Retirement Planning sometimes we recommend surplus income is directed to Super by way of a Salary Sacrifice Arrangement or Tax Deductible Contributions (subject to monetary limits), sometimes we recommend in addition that money is contributed to Super as voluntary payments or to an investment vehicle outside of Super if more appropriate (for example access is required before Super is available. We might direct surplus income to a client’s mortgage, loan, credit card or other outstanding debt but we will assess the client’s situation as a whole and determine the most appropriate and tax effective way of increasing a client’s wealth and/or reducing debt. We also consider whether client’s are eligible for any other contribution incentives such as the Government Co-Contribution whereby someone earning below a certain threshold will be able to have the Government match (or at least contribute) an amount to their Super Fund in accordance with an amount they also contribute so effectively you contribute and so does the Government (again increasing retirement wealth); There are also other strategies like Spouse Splitting (whereby one Spouse transfers money to the other Spouse’s Super) which may be beneficial in certain circumstances, Spouse Contributions whereby a Spouse contributes to the other Spouse’s Super and they receive a Tax Offset and again in some circumstances this can be beneficial; All of the above and more are assessed for our clients to assist (if applicable) to create wealth and save tax and each client is assessed accordingly and the relevant strategies recommended. Ongoing Service In most cases when we have advised a client in respect of an issue they become ongoing clients (this is optional) and this service consists of the following: At least an annual review of all of the above including an advice document and any additional recommendations and implementation of those recommendations; We are on call as their Advisers throughout the year to assist if and when needed in relation to any Financial Matter (in existence or new); We are pro-active if something arises throughout the year that could impact our clients such as for example the reduction in the Concessional Contribution limit that came into effect on 1 July 2017. This impacted a lot of our clients and we had to advise them to reduce their then Salary Sacrifice amounts to ensure they did not breach the new limit in place (this required an additional review and advice document for each client impacted). We assist clients administratively throughout the year as and when paperwork is required to be completed for particular matters (such as beneficiary updates, Centrelink assistance). Mortgages We offer a Mortgage Broking service which includes arranging mortgages/home loans for: Residential Purchases; First Time Home Owners; Investment Property Purchases; Re-Finances; Equity Release (may be to invest in shares/managed funds). We have had a freeze on Mortgage business for about a year however we are currently recruiting a new Mortgage Broker so should be offering these services again shortly. Summary We really take a holistic approach to a client’s whole Financial Planning Needs as it is really about getting to retirement and having the income that they require at and during retirement. We look at utilising all the available strategies at their disposal while in the meantime protecting their wealth and income through risk protection strategies (via insurances) and ensuring that in the event of their passing their assets are distributed in accordance with their wishes. Along the way we are ensuring their monies are invested appropriately for their Risk Profiles and that their Super Funds and the investments are performing as they should and if not then considering alternative options. In addition to the extensive approach taken in relation to a client’s Financial Plan we as detailed above cater for an ongoing client’s changing needs as there will of course be road bumps along the way due to life changes such as redundancy, illness, separation, having children and the like so these changes will have to be navigated as indeed will the regulatory changes that occur (which have been extensive over recent years) such as state pension age changes, reductions in contribution caps to super and the like. We are a Financial Advice Firm that you can TRUST and I know that trust is one of the reasons that a lot of people do not take financial advice particularly at the moment with the bad press around Bank Financial Planners and their advice. This is a real shame as a good Planner can add so much value. Vista has been working with forum members for almost 10 years now and we continue to evolve and expand to cater for our client base as we need too. We put the interests of our clients first and foremost and will (and have) at times put a freeze on accepting new business so that we can maintain our commitment to our existing clients and service levels. If you wish to discuss any of the above further then feel free to call us on 08 8381 7177 or send an email to info@vistafs.com.au Kind regards Andy
  4. Andrew from Vista Financial

    What Vista Financial Services can do for you

    This thread is just to give a bit of an overview of the services provided by us here at Vista Financial Service and how we might be able to assist you in these areas. UK Pension Transfers You can currently only transfer your UK Pensions directly to Australia if you are aged 55 years or over. It this is the case and you engage Vista in relation to a Pension Transfer we will see the whole process through from start to finish including: Obtaining relevant UK Pension information and overseas transfer paperwork; Providing a comprehensive Statement of Advice in relation to: whether a transfer is in your interests; recommending an appropriate Super Fund in Australia to receive your UK Monies; detailing rules and legislation around UK Pension Transfers and what you can and cannot do going forward; the advantages and disadvantages of a UK Pension Transfer; Completion of the necessary new QROPS Super Fund Application and Pension Transfer documents; Administering the transfer including follow up calls with your UK Pension Transfer Company to chase payments and/or other required documents; Placement of the monies into the appropriate recommended investments; Dealing with the calculation of any relevant tax payable on the transfer of the Fund and the options available in relation to this tax. We of course also take care of any other issues that arise throughout the whole Pension Transfer process and the above is the simplified version of the process as it happens but be rest assured we take care of the whole transfer. Superannuation Advice We consider client Super Funds and what clients want from a Super Fund and determine whether the Super Fund they currently have is appropriate for their needs at that particular time; We also consider consolidation of Super Funds if clients have more than one Super Fund (but this is a case by case basis as it may in some cases be appropriate for clients to have more than one Super Fund for example if one of the Funds contains Insurance); We look at how the monies are invested within the Super Funds and whether they are invested in accordance with a client’s Risk Profile. For example most people are in the default Balanced Options in their Super Funds but this wouldn’t be appropriate for say a Conservative or Defensive Investor as there would be too much risk to their monies (in the markets). In actual fact the word Balanced is rarely what it would seem to be as most of the time around 80% of monies in the default Balanced Fund are invested in the markets and as much as 90% in some cases. We assess a client’s attitude to the risk they want to take with their monies and then recommend investments that align to that Risk Profile; We consider the beneficiaries nominated on a client’s Super Fund. Some clients have no-one nominated, others have non-binding nominations, others binding nominations. We check what is currently in place and ensure it continues to remain in line with the client’s wishes in the event of their passing; Life (Risk) Insurance We consider four types of Insurances being Life Insurance, Total and Permanent Disability Insurance, Trauma Insurance and Income Protection. We carry out what is called a Needs Analysis for a client to determine how much of each insurance they require (for example cover to clear the mortgage, cover for children’s education costs etc) and then we make recommendations in relation to how to structure this insurance and indeed the Insurance Provider; Risk Insurance has evolved greatly over recent years and you can now have Life, TPD and Income Protection Cover with a retail provider (comprehensive insurance) with the premiums funded from a nominated Super Fund. This can assist with cash-flow and also make it tax efficient to fund the premiums. You can also hold all of these insurances outside of Super and fund the premiums yourself or a combination of the above. We look at what a client needs, the costs involved and then tailor an Insurance Package to best suit the client’s needs and budgets; We assist our clients with insurance claims as the last thing someone wants/needs to contend with is dealing with an insurance company to try and get money paid while they are sick or grieving. Pension Advice When a person reaches a certain age/retires they are able to transfer their Super monies into a Pension. We advise on this transition which can often result in a client receiving a tax free income generally or at the very least a tax free eligibility on earnings within the Pension (that are taxed in Super) which in turn increases a client’s retirement monies and in turn retirement income; We also as with Super advise on the Investment Portfolio within the Fund (namely the appropriate investment of the monies in accordance with a client’s Risk Profile); Again we also consider a client’s beneficiary details and in Pension you can also have what is known as a Reversionary Pension Arrangement whereby in the event of the passing of one Spouse the other will continue to receive the income without the need to close the Fund; There is a requirement by law to take a certain percentage of income from a pension each year and we advise clients in relation to how much income should be taken in conjunction with the Retirement Planning Projections we carry out (more details below). Retirement Planning We consider a client’s Retirement Goals and Objectives namely how much income does a client want annually in retirement. We then consider whether a client is on track to receive that level of income taking into account all the income they will be eligible to receive such as monies from their Super Funds, UK Private Pensions (if applicable), Australian Aged Pension Income, UK State Pension Income (if applicable), Rental Income and any other sources of income a client might have. If the client is on track to achieve their Retirement Income Goal that is great and we then may start to consider whether early retirement is an option. However if they fall short we look at ways we may be able to make up the shortfall and get the client where they need to be using various strategies (detailed below) or alternatively discuss with them the reality and what the negotiables may be for example working longer or taking less income and the like. We provide detailed Projections which show the income likely to be achieved in retirement and indeed at what age this income is likely to run out and when a client would be solely reliant on the State for income (which is of course not ideal in the very least early retirement). Investments If a person has money to invest we consider a client’s goals for this money including their investment time horizon as well as their attitude to Risk (namely how much risk they want to take with their monies) and then make recommendations in relation to appropriate investments such as: Direct Shares (including ETFs, LICs); Managed Funds; Managed Accounts; Short and Long Term Annuities; Cash and Term Deposits; Property (through Funds or directly). When you invest money the appropriate ownership structure of that investment is important for a number of reasons and so we will also consider that structure for you which will include structures such as: Direct Ownership (Solely or Jointly); Through a Trust Structure (Family Trust for example); Investment Bond; Education Bond; Superannuation Estate Planning We consider whether a client has a Will, Powers Of Attorney as well as Guardianship for their dependents, if not then we make a firm recommendation to seek Professional Advice in relation to these areas (in SA we refer them to a Solicitor who specialises in this area). We will then work with the Professional to ensure that the client’s Estate Planning is in good health. Strategies We look at client’s disposable income (if they have any) and where this money could be best directed. Again in conjunction with the Retirement Planning sometimes we recommend surplus income is directed to Super by way of a Salary Sacrifice Arrangement or Tax Deductible Contributions (subject to monetary limits), sometimes we recommend in addition that money is contributed to Super as voluntary payments or to an investment vehicle outside of Super if more appropriate (for example access is required before Super is available. We might direct surplus income to a client’s mortgage, loan, credit card or other outstanding debt but we will assess the client’s situation as a whole and determine the most appropriate and tax effective way of increasing a client’s wealth and/or reducing debt. We also consider whether client’s are eligible for any other contribution incentives such as the Government Co-Contribution whereby someone earning below a certain threshold will be able to have the Government match (or at least contribute) an amount to their Super Fund in accordance with an amount they also contribute so effectively you contribute and so does the Government (again increasing retirement wealth); There are also other strategies like Spouse Splitting (whereby one Spouse transfers money to the other Spouse’s Super) which may be beneficial in certain circumstances, Spouse Contributions whereby a Spouse contributes to the other Spouse’s Super and they receive a Tax Offset and again in some circumstances this can be beneficial; All of the above and more are assessed for our clients to assist (if applicable) to create wealth and save tax and each client is assessed accordingly and the relevant strategies recommended. Ongoing Service In most cases when we have advised a client in respect of an issue they become ongoing clients (this is optional) and this service consists of the following: At least an annual review of all of the above including an advice document and any additional recommendations and implementation of those recommendations; We are on call as their Advisers throughout the year to assist if and when needed in relation to any Financial Matter (in existence or new); We are pro-active if something arises throughout the year that could impact our clients such as for example the reduction in the Concessional Contribution limit that came into effect on 1 July 2017. This impacted a lot of our clients and we had to advise them to reduce their then Salary Sacrifice amounts to ensure they did not breach the new limit in place (this required an additional review and advice document for each client impacted). We assist clients administratively throughout the year as and when paperwork is required to be completed for particular matters (such as beneficiary updates, Centrelink assistance). Mortgages We offer a Mortgage Broking service which includes arranging mortgages/home loans for: Residential Purchases; First Time Home Owners; Investment Property Purchases; Re-Finances; Equity Release (may be to invest in shares/managed funds). We have had a freeze on Mortgage business for about a year however we are currently recruiting a new Mortgage Broker so should be offering these services again shortly. Summary We really take a holistic approach to a client’s whole Financial Planning Needs as it is really about getting to retirement and having the income that they require at and during retirement. We look at utilising all the available strategies at their disposal while in the meantime protecting their wealth and income through risk protection strategies (via insurances) and ensuring that in the event of their passing their assets are distributed in accordance with their wishes. Along the way we are ensuring their monies are invested appropriately for their Risk Profiles and that their Super Funds and the investments are performing as they should and if not then considering alternative options. In addition to the extensive approach taken in relation to a client’s Financial Plan we as detailed above cater for an ongoing client’s changing needs as there will of course be road bumps along the way due to life changes such as redundancy, illness, separation, having children and the like so these changes will have to be navigated as indeed will the regulatory changes that occur (which have been extensive over recent years) such as state pension age changes, reductions in contribution caps to super and the like. We are a Financial Advice Firm that you can TRUST and I know that trust is one of the reasons that a lot of people do not take financial advice particularly at the moment with the bad press around Bank Financial Planners and their advice. This is a real shame as a good Planner can add so much value. Vista has been working with forum members for almost 10 years now and we continue to evolve and expand to cater for our client base as we need too. We put the interests of our clients first and foremost and will (and have) at times put a freeze on accepting new business so that we can maintain our commitment to our existing clients and service levels. If you wish to discuss any of the above further then feel free to call us on 08 8381 7177 or send an email to info@vistafs.com.au Kind regards Andy This post has been promoted to an article
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