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Uk pensions in Canada

Uk pensions in Canada

Old Aug 8th 2018, 5:02 am
  #16  
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Kentonmag View Post
Well thanks everyone for your concerns. The Company I am working with are Blacktower financial management. I did check with The UK financial services register and they are fully recognised in the UK. Also if I run into problems the UK financial service ombudsman can conduct an investigation on my behalf. I cold called their head office in Gibraltar to consult with them on the person I am dealing with and went online to make sure there were no scam or negative concerns about the Company. I even went into their Facebook page and looked at some of the charities that they are supporting as well as viewing their Christmas party photographs.
To give a background myself and my wife are taking early retirement in March 2019, we missed the boat on Qrops and no, I'm not waiting for it to come back, if it ever does. So the option we took was to invest in SIPP's with our UK Company pensions, however when we contacted Blacktower we had to talk with an independent advisor, as now required by law in the UK. The advisor persuaded my wife to leave her pension within her Company scheme and take it as a regular pension, this is now happening. The independent advisor is from Tramway management a fully licenced Company in the UK.
Onto myself, I was also advised by the Tramway advisor to keep my Company pension within my Company, but as we all know they base their information on everybody living until they're 85 or older. I want the availability to draw down my pension over the next 12 years or so, i.e. my fittest years. So I had to write a letter going against the advice of the advisor. Anyway we are getting close to the transfer and all funds will be invested in Vanguard funds in the UK and I will set-up the draw down as I wish. I did contact the CRA and advised them of my transfer from a Company pension in the UK to a UK SIPP to make sure there are no tax implications and I was advised that this was correct, I would not be taxed until I start to remove the money from the SIPP and bring it to Canada as income.
As far as fee's go my brother who worked for the same Company in the UK as I did, transferred his pension out last year. He still lives in the UK and I have compared the fees that I am paying and his were very similar. He also had to sit with an independent advisor which, as I said earlier, is now the law in the UK when transferring a Company pension, this is to make sure you fully understand what you are doing and you have an awareness of the risk you are taking.
As for the UK bank account, I enquired at 3 high-street banks when I was back in the UK this past March and none of them would allow me to open a UK account without a UK address.
Anyway I do believe I have exercised due diligence but in the event that someone runs off with my money I have a hitman on speed dial. I will resurrect the post and let you know once everything is sorted whether I have to cancel my retirement and work for another 3 years due to getting screwed (and divorced).
Whilst you have gone to great lengths to tell us how you did due diligence you still haven't given a reason for using a 3rd party company located in the US to manage your portfolio!

It makes no sense to me anyway, to use a company located in the US.

Regarding their various overseas locations, yes I also looked into them... and wish you luck.
Tax wise, if the total of your overseas assets are $100,000 or above you are required to report them - failure to do so will result in hefty penalties.

Last edited by Siouxie; Aug 8th 2018 at 5:07 am.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 3:27 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Whilst you have gone to great lengths to tell us how you did due diligence you still haven't given a reason for using a 3rd party company located in the US to manage your portfolio!

It makes no sense to me anyway, to use a company located in the US.

Regarding their various overseas locations, yes I also looked into them... and wish you luck.
Tax wise, if the total of your overseas assets are $100,000 or above you are required to report them - failure to do so will result in hefty penalties.
I tried a number of Canada based advisors and all were totally clueless with the new laws for pensions in the UK, they have in the main given up on them due to Canada getting kicked off the QROPS list. In fact when QROPS was available in Canada we worked with a Sun Life representative to get my wife's pension brought over and he let the 3 month window elapse and we lost our chance, by the time we waited 12 more months to allow us to get a new transfer value the window had closed. I don't have any faith in Canadian advisors.
I did talk with my UK Company pension for advice on transferring and needless to say they didn't want to help and I couldn't find a UK based Company that specialized in Ex Pats. Anyway I'm constantly out in the field working 60+ hours a week so I just had to look at which Companies did specialize in SIPP transfers for Ex Pats.
The Blacktower Financial group have only just moved a Rep to the US, to expand into the EX Pat market in North America. I had bookmarked them probably 9 months earlier and after getting disillusioned with the Canadian advisors I was talking to I contacted them. They specialize with people living outside the UK. And that is basically where we are today.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 3:45 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Kentonmag View Post
I tried a number of Canada based advisors and all were totally clueless with the new laws for pensions in the UK, they have in the main given up on them due to Canada getting kicked off the QROPS list. In fact when QROPS was available in Canada we worked with a Sun Life representative to get my wife's pension brought over and he let the 3 month window elapse and we lost our chance, by the time we waited 12 more months to allow us to get a new transfer value the window had closed. I don't have any faith in Canadian advisors.
I did talk with my UK Company pension for advice on transferring and needless to say they didn't want to help and I couldn't find a UK based Company that specialized in Ex Pats. Anyway I'm constantly out in the field working 60+ hours a week so I just had to look at which Companies did specialize in SIPP transfers for Ex Pats.
The Blacktower Financial group have only just moved a Rep to the US, to expand into the EX Pat market in North America. I had bookmarked them probably 9 months earlier and after getting disillusioned with the Canadian advisors I was talking to I contacted them. They specialize with people living outside the UK. And that is basically where we are today.
Ugh, how frustrating for you!

I worked for 2 FA's a few years back - and the majority of my job was bringing pensions over. I'm sorry that you received such shoddy service from the advisor you used. I regularly was able to get pensions over - from 1st stage to receiving the funds - in about 2 months (with many phone calls chasing departments, lol). If you ever want a recommendation for an FA I would be happy to give you their names - they are very professional, experienced and well respected. I do understand that there are some out there that are clueless, having had conversations with a few of them when their clients got disillusioned and came to talk to the FA's I worked for, lol. (I hasten to add I haven't worked in that industry for 6-7 years, in case you were suspicious of my motives, lol)

Regardless.... I hope that things pan out well for you and that everything goes smoothly...
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

I use a 'normal' UK based IFA to handle my UK Income Drawdown advice.

I already have withdrawals set up with an 'NT' tax code (i.e. no deductions at source). I have any withdrawals I make paid into my UK account, then move them over at my leisure using TransferWise. I then declare the income as overseas income on my Canadian tax return and of course am then taxed in Canada.

Of course I am carrying the FOREX risk. I would love to transfer to a RRIF but cannot do so until one appears on the ROPS list. When this time comes, I will use my Canadian FA to arrange this with my British FA.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
I use a 'normal' UK based IFA to handle my UK Income Drawdown advice.

I already have withdrawals set up with an 'NT' tax code (i.e. no deductions at source). I have any withdrawals I make paid into my UK account, then move them over at my leisure using TransferWise. I then declare the income as overseas income on my Canadian tax return and of course am then taxed in Canada.

Of course I am carrying the FOREX risk. I would love to transfer to a RRIF but cannot do so until one appears on the ROPS list. When this time comes, I will use my Canadian FA to arrange this with my British FA.
Just a couple of questions
1) When did you transfer from the Company pension to the SIPP? And was that advisor already known to you or did someone in the UK get you in contact with him? I did look around on the internet for anybody in the UK specializing with Ex Pats but nothing jumped out at me.
2) Have you always had that bank account in the UK? As I mentioned on a previous post I tried 3 high street banks and all refused to open an account with me because I don't have a permanent address in the UK. I have been looking around again for advice on that and I am going to try a couple of the smaller banks when I go back to the UK in April next year and see if they will accommodate me. Certainly having an account and utilizing Transferwise appeals especially with the exchange fluctuations.

Last edited by Kentonmag; Aug 8th 2018 at 5:42 pm.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Kentonmag View Post
1) When did you transfer from the Company pension to the SIPP? And was that advisor already known to you or did someone in the UK get you in contact with him?
I transferred various 'bits' of pension over the last five years into a UK Personal Pension with Nucleus (NOT a SIPP - SIPP's are not the only vehicle for this) and used a UK financial adviser to support this while I was still in the UK. Then immediately before coming back to Canada, I 'crystallised' the pension pot (I am over 55) and took the 25% tax free lump sum and moved the remainder into a UK Income Drawdown (also with Nucleus).

Originally Posted by Kentonmag View Post
2) Have you always had that bank account in the UK?
Yes, I use my long-standing UK account which I have kept since moving to Canada, so I sympathise with your predicament. However, most Income Drawdown providers will transfer money direct to an overseas bank account in a different currency (normally using the SWIFT interbank facility), they do that all the time as many people retire to Spain or whatever.



Originally Posted by Kentonmag View Post
I have been looking around again for advice on that and I am going to try a couple of the smaller banks when I go back to the UK in April next year and see if they will accommodate me. Certainly having an account and utilizing Transferwise appeals especially with the exchange fluctuations.


I don't know if this helps, but perhaps you could try opening an 'offshore' account through a big bank in Jersey / Guernsey / Isle of Man. Those banks are still in Sterling and on the UK BACS system and can easily accept 'normal' direct credit payments through BACS in Sterling. Perhaps others can advise on this route as I don't have first hand experience here. I have also heard that HSBC Premier Banking will offer Sterling and CAD accounts.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
I transferred various 'bits' of pension over the last five years into a UK Personal Pension with Nucleus (NOT a SIPP - SIPP's are not the only vehicle for this) and used a UK financial adviser to support this while I was still in the UK. Then immediately before coming back to Canada, I 'crystallised' the pension pot (I am over 55) and took the 25% tax free lump sum and moved the remainder into a UK Income Drawdown (also with Nucleus).



Yes, I use my long-standing UK account which I have kept since moving to Canada, so I sympathise with your predicament. However, most Income Drawdown providers will transfer money direct to an overseas bank account in a different currency (normally using the SWIFT interbank facility), they do that all the time as many people retire to Spain or whatever.




I don't know if this helps, but perhaps you could try opening an 'offshore' account through a big bank in Jersey / Guernsey / Isle of Man. Those banks are still in Sterling and on the UK BACS system and can easily accept 'normal' direct credit payments through BACS in Sterling. Perhaps others can advise on this route as I don't have first hand experience here. I have also heard that HSBC Premier Banking will offer Sterling and CAD accounts.
Thanks for your incite, certainly having the drawdown money transferred into a "holding" account in the UK or elsewhere would be beneficial for times just like these with a poor exchange rate. I've lived in Canada now for 27 years and the rate has fluctuated as low as 1.49 and as high as 2.51 during that time so this can affect the income from UK private and old age pensions tremendously.
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Old Nov 10th 2018, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

To All I would just like to update you with my use of Blacktower. My pension has now been transferred over to a SIPP and due to a little luck in the timing of that placement, with the fall in the market, my value is worth more than my original Rolls Royce valuation before the various advisors and fund managers took their cut. The process has been an exhaustive one but I would just like to say that I have been very pleased with the service given and for anyone caught up in the Canadian quandary of not being able to partake in QROP's, and wanting to move into a SIPP, Blacktower has proved to me that they are a legitimate Company to consider at a time when as others have pointed out on this forum there are many scams out there.

Last edited by Kentonmag; Nov 10th 2018 at 12:44 pm. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old Nov 10th 2018, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Kentonmag View Post
To All I would just like to update you with my use of Blacktower. My pension has now been transferred over to a SIPP and due to a little luck in the timing of that placement, with the fall in the market, my value is worth more than my original Rolls Royce valuation before the various advisors and fund managers took their cut. The process has been an exhaustive one but I would just like to say that I have been very pleased with the service given and for anyone caught up in the Canadian quandary of not being able to partake in QROP's, and wanting to move into a SIPP, Blacktower has proved to me that they are a legitimate Company to consider at a time when as others have pointed out on this forum there are many scams out there.
As an addition to my post above, for anyone in North America interested in contacting BlackTower Financial Management for help, or advice, with their Company UK pension into a SIPP, the North American representative is called Christopher Thornton, he's very much British and based in Miami. phone number 19177174294

Last edited by Kentonmag; Nov 10th 2018 at 4:41 pm. Reason: missed wording
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 8:14 am
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Ugh, how frustrating for you!

I worked for 2 FA's a few years back - and the majority of my job was bringing pensions over. I'm sorry that you received such shoddy service from the advisor you used. I regularly was able to get pensions over - from 1st stage to receiving the funds - in about 2 months (with many phone calls chasing departments, lol). If you ever want a recommendation for an FA I would be happy to give you their names - they are very professional, experienced and well respected. I do understand that there are some out there that are clueless, having had conversations with a few of them when their clients got disillusioned and came to talk to the FA's I worked for, lol. (I hasten to add I haven't worked in that industry for 6-7 years, in case you were suspicious of my motives, lol)

Regardless.... I hope that things pan out well for you and that everything goes smoothly...
Hey Siouxie,

I have a UK Company Pension that I wish to discuss with an FA. I too have found it very frustrating due to the QROPS list not available right now. No one seems to be able to give me any advice in my area. I am living on Vancouver Island. I was thinking of leaving it in the UK until things change with the list, and hopefully that is soon. There seems to be a lack of information of how that is coming along Thanks!
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by aerobar104 View Post
Hey Siouxie,

I have a UK Company Pension that I wish to discuss with an FA. I too have found it very frustrating due to the QROPS list not available right now. No one seems to be able to give me any advice in my area. I am living on Vancouver Island. I was thinking of leaving it in the UK until things change with the list, and hopefully that is soon. There seems to be a lack of information of how that is coming along Thanks!
You have no choice but to leave it in the UK, or transfer to a tax haven such as Malta, Gibraltar etc. If you go to a tax haven I believe you pay around 25% tax straight away? I transferred into a SIPP around 2 months ago, it was a lengthy process but I'm more than happy with the outcome. I wont be drawing money from it for another 4 months or so but the transfer has given me peace of mind.
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Old Dec 17th 2018, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

I have time. I'm trying to leave it until I'm 60 which is another 1.5 years away. I am hoping the QROPS thing is sorted out by that time. Yeah I would have to pay 25% tax which I don't want to do at all, if I can help it. So annoying work all your life to get it all drained away by tax.
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Old Dec 18th 2018, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by aerobar104 View Post
I have time. I'm trying to leave it until I'm 60 which is another 1.5 years away. I am hoping the QROPS thing is sorted out by that time. Yeah I would have to pay 25% tax which I don't want to do at all, if I can help it. So annoying work all your life to get it all drained away by tax.
Don't forget that you have received tax relief on payments and/or fund growth throughout the time you have held the pension plan.
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Old Dec 18th 2018, 10:42 pm
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by Tangram View Post
Don't forget that you have received tax relief on payments and/or fund growth throughout the time you have held the pension plan.
Yeah I'm speaking about 25% to the UK, and then taxes to Canada too. I also worked 35 years in the UK and what are they doing with the state pension for expats in Canada? Part of the commonwealth. It's ridiculous they make it so hard for law abiding citizens to get a hold of the pension they worked hard for, I could be out of work soon. Anyway thanks for the reply
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Old Dec 25th 2018, 1:16 am
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Default Re: Uk pensions in Canada

Originally Posted by aerobar104 View Post
Yeah I'm speaking about 25% to the UK, and then taxes to Canada too. I also worked 35 years in the UK and what are they doing with the state pension for expats in Canada? Part of the commonwealth. It's ridiculous they make it so hard for law abiding citizens to get a hold of the pension they worked hard for, I could be out of work soon. Anyway thanks for the reply
Maybe I'm reading your comment incorrectly, other than raising the amount of contribution years, from 30 to 35 years for a full pension and increasing the retirement age upwards from 65 I don't see how they have made getting your pension harder? As long as you are registered, and the ministry overseeing pensions have your current address you will receive your OAP as soon as you qualify.

Last edited by Siouxie; Dec 26th 2018 at 4:59 am. Reason: Fixed the quote
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