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kairika

Private Pension transfer with DeVere

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Hello there. We have been in contact with DeVere Group to discuss transfering my husband’s pension which is in UK. He is 50 and not able to access it yet but DeVere suggests transferring it to Self Invested Personal Pension. They allow withdrawing 25 percent of funds when 55. Has onyone dealt with them at all and happy or should we avoid?

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Hi there.

I'd suggest that you do some googling on DeVere to get some background, they are now based in many countries over the world and work on pretty aggressive marketing tactics (cold calling, trawling through LinkedIn to search for UK expats etc).

They usually use an Investment Bond in the SIPP and may also be using funds that they have either an association with or receive some remuneration from (this would be in addition to any Adviser fees and ultimately comes from your money).

I am not saying that the actual strategy is not legitimate, many people transfer to SIPPS for various reasons but do your homework (this is obviously one form of that for you).

Is Husbands pension currently a defined benefit scheme?

  • If not then it should also be accessible at age 55.

Do you really need to access a lump sum at age 55?

  • This is retirement money after all.

Were the tax implications of accessing the 25% explained and covered off?

  • Whilst it is UK tax free it certainly isn't Australian tax free (if perm or citizen), the lump sum will be assessed for tax and the amount of tax paid will then depend on the size of pot (not just the 25% lump sum), how long you have been in Australia and your Husbands marginal tax rate.

How does accessing this 25% impact on your overall retirement planning?

  • Have you ensured that you will remain on track to meet your retirement goals and objectives (after accessing this so early).

Was a transfer to an Australia Super Fund considered (possible at age 55)?

  • Withdrawals from Australian Super are tax free (after age 60) so it should have been explored at the very least as part of your overall retirement plan.

Has the Australian tax implications of eventually drawing the pension (income) been explained?

  • Typically pension income from SIPPs are taxed at a persons marginal rate in Australia.

 

That's my input to get you thinking anyway, I'd say if none of the above has been worked through with you then think again because the transfer of a UK Pension should be built on retirement planning as the foundation however if it has then great.

 

Regards Andy.

Edited by Andrew from Vista Financial
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Financial Adviser (FPA Member AFP ®) Specialising in UK Expat Advice and Pension Transfers / AR-322874 /AFSL-234951

SMSF Accredited Adviser / UK SIPP Authorised Adviser 

Director  - Vista Financial Services – www.vistafs.com.au 08 8381 7177

 

Please note that my advice is general advice only and professional financial advice should be sought for your own personal situation.

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9 hours ago, kairika said:

Hello there. We have been in contact with DeVere Group to discuss transfering my husband’s pension which is in UK. He is 50 and not able to access it yet but DeVere suggests transferring it to Self Invested Personal Pension. They allow withdrawing 25 percent of funds when 55. Has onyone dealt with them at all and happy or should we avoid?

Do you have a permanent visa in Australia and are planning to stay forever?  If so, then there's no point going for an "expat" type of pension.  If you're going to move your pension at all (and it's not always a good idea), move it to an Australian super fund (and deVere aren't the best people to help you there - Vista is). 

However, do NOT move the pension to an Australian fund until you're 100% sure you won't be going back to the UK - because there's no way to transfer it back, and even if you wait until you can cash the whole thing out, there may be tax implications.

 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Cannot agree more with Andrew. Please do some extensive research (and look for reviews) prior to engaging with DeVere. 

If your ultimate plan is to retire in Australia, then this should be a considered in regard to the advice you receive in relation to your husbands UK pension, especially given the favorable tax treatment of super (among other benefits). 

Rule of thumb - if you receive advice that recommends an International/Expat SIPP with a investment bond inside of this and no extensive analysis on what a transfer to Australia would offer - be extremely careful. 

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