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UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Old Oct 24th 2023, 9:42 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Helen-Not wanting to pry into your individual circumstances but is there a reason that you do not just want to take your pensions as "pensions"? Being private pensions they will be taxed in France and paid out tax free the UK end(you still need to do that dreaded form though) Also any sort of pension from wherever entitles you to join the French health system FOC but you may still need a top up.Obviously being in the state system brings all sort of advantages such as free cover for chronic conditions and preventative stuff such as mammograms etc
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Old Oct 24th 2023, 10:23 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Listen Very Carefully
Helen-Not wanting to pry into your individual circumstances but is there a reason that you do not just want to take your pensions as "pensions"? Being private pensions they will be taxed in France and paid out tax free the UK end(you still need to do that dreaded form though) Also any sort of pension from wherever entitles you to join the French health system FOC but you may still need a top up.Obviously being in the state system brings all sort of advantages such as free cover for chronic conditions and preventative stuff such as mammograms etc
No problem - pry away!
The sum of money involved is small - we took these pensions out when we were really young and then stopped paying in after just a few years (because we moved to France).
There’s not enough in the pot to warrant buying an annuity.
It would be nice to have the money, though, to
possibly put towards a house purchase in the UK should we decide to move.

Re health insurance, I think I’ll be able to stay with my employer’s private health insurer until I get my S1 at age 67.
And husband will be able to join the Sécu when I retire, based on residence. As s spouse, he’s currently covered by my employer’s health insurance.

I’ll have a pension from my employer when I retire. But it’s an international organization and - incredible though it may seem - the Fisc can’t make up its mind whether to treat our pensions as French or foreign. So no one really knows how to declare them. Completely nuts given that the OECD, Nato, etc have been around in France for decades. Moves are afoot apparently to get some clarification!


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Old Oct 24th 2023, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

I understand now thanks for the clarification-best of luck with the form-let us know how you get on with the form so others can benefit
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Old Oct 24th 2023, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Will do.
Although it’ll probably be January before I get the ball rolling. And craft a nice sycophantic letter to the tax office.
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Old Oct 24th 2023, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Helen1964
Will do.
Although it’ll probably be January before I get the ball rolling. And craft a nice sycophantic letter to the tax office.
I'm doing the same, in January it's a new tax year for me so should be enough time to get it sorted for 2025. It takes a few months, everything is done by snail mail.
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Old Oct 25th 2023, 5:18 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Jakeinaka
I'm doing the same, in January it's a new tax year for me so should be enough time to get it sorted for 2025. It takes a few months, everything is done by snail mail.
Great, we can compare notes. Feel free to PM me.
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Old Dec 22nd 2023, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by cyrian
Hi Helen
Pensions are a really complicated area even when you are solely UK based.
If you have a SIPP then you could go into flexible drawdown.
If not a SIPP then you could look at converting it into a SIPP (Self Invested Pension Plan).
This means that you can vary the amount you draw each year.
The advantage of a SIPP over an annuity is that they are normally written in Trust and are therefore outwith your Estate. (in the UK)
You can leave the money in the SIPP to beneficiaries of your choice e.g. spouse or children.
Ideally, you can draw an income after you retire to supplement your French pension and reduce the total amount of tax that you pay.
Tax-free lump sums are tax-free in the UK but taxable in France.
The problem is that UK financial advisers are not usually able to advise on French tax law and French accountants are not equiped to advise on UK tax law.
There is a website where several experts can offer free advice to expats.
PM me if you want details.
Hi! Would it be possible to ask a question re: pensions.
I honestly know nothing about them. :-)

If we assume a £100k straight private pension in the UK - after we've taken the 25% tax free lump sum if in the UK - do you know if we can take the rest of the cash out in either the UK or France and what the tax is we'd need to pay on it?

I believe we can buy an annuity with a bit or all of the remaining £75k in this example - but if we don't want to and want to take the cash - is this possible?

I guess what I'm wondering (as we have no income) whether in UK or France whether if we take <£12.5k in UK or <$10kEuro in France direct from the pension - whether we need to pay any tax as we're below our threshold?

Is this the way we'd pay tax in France if we have a UK pension? I have a suspicion that you'll say that the 25% tax free lump sum or tax free portion of each withdrawal doesn't apply in France?
So - we'd have to take the tax free lump sum in the UK to make any benefit?

from this website - moneyfactscompare.co.uk / retirement / how-does-pension-drawdown-work /
How does a pension drawdown work?

A pension drawdown is only available to those aged 55 or older, and in 2028 this will increase to 57.

Since up to 25% of your pension can be withdrawn tax-free, you’ll have two options. Either you can withdraw a quarter of your pension pot as a one-off, tax-free, lump sum or you can keep 25% of each of your withdrawals tax-free.

The decision you make here could affect your tax liability in the future. If you decide to take your tax-free amount as a single lump-sum, all of your future withdrawals will count towards your income.

To explain, consider the example below.

One of Sandra’s pension pots stands at £250,000. She can withdraw £62,500 of this tax-free in a lump sum payment, leaving her with £187,500 liable for income tax. If she wants to withdraw £1,500 a month from this pot the entire amount will contribute towards her taxable income. Over a year her withdrawals will amount to £18,000, of which, assuming she has no other taxable income, £5,430 will be taxed.

Now, if she chose to earn 25% on each of her withdrawals her tax liability would look different. Just £13,500 would count towards her income, of which £930 would be liable for tax. However, she would not have that pot of tax-free money to draw upon when she wants.

Last edited by SB_UK; Dec 22nd 2023 at 4:25 pm.
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Old Dec 23rd 2023, 10:00 pm
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

I guess what I'm wondering (as we have no income) whether in UK or France whether if we take <£12.5k in UK or <$10kEuro in France direct from the pension - whether we need to pay any tax as we're below our threshold?
Yes you can, I have just done it myself. I had already taken some of my tax free portion, a few weeks ago I took some of the taxable funds.
I had to pay tax in the UK, and was issued an updated tax code by HMRC. The next step will be to reclaim that UK tax and I will declare the pension payment in my country of residence. Hopefully after that I should be able to get the payments in the UK as "tax relief at source", i.e. tax free.
Regarding annuities, my pension provider gave me a link to one company, unfortunately they don't offer the plan I was hoping for. Not only that, I can't do anything online with a foreign address, would need phone calls. Considering they took 3 weeks to respond to an email, I'm not full of confidence.
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Old Dec 24th 2023, 7:26 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Jakeinaka
I'm doing the same, in January it's a new tax year for me so should be enough time to get it sorted for 2025. It takes a few months, everything is done by snail mail.
I had a letter from my pension provider saying they had written 3 times and they would not communicate again. I am sure they were lying. I think it is an opportunity to kick the can down the road. May be they hope the claimant will die before they have to pay up.
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Old Dec 24th 2023, 7:49 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Jakeinaka
Yes you can, I have just done it myself. I had already taken some of my tax free portion, a few weeks ago I took some of the taxable funds.
I had to pay tax in the UK, and was issued an updated tax code by HMRC. The next step will be to reclaim that UK tax and I will declare the pension payment in my country of residence. Hopefully after that I should be able to get the payments in the UK as "tax relief at source", i.e. tax free.
Regarding annuities, my pension provider gave me a link to one company, unfortunately they don't offer the plan I was hoping for. Not only that, I can't do anything online with a foreign address, would need phone calls. Considering they took 3 weeks to respond to an email, I'm not full of confidence.
Great and thanks for the reply.
So - before coming to France we can take a tax free lump sum out from our private pension, we can arrange an annuity -- and in France we can use the tax free lump sum (though we have to pay tax on the interest), we can use the annuity that's paid on a UK pension (though we have to pay tax on it as if the total amount is an income) and we can arrange a pension draw-down from our UK pension in France?

I couldn't work out if you meant that requesting a pension draw-down from our UK private pension in France wasn't possible (or at least very difficult) because we're in France or whether you were finding it too difficult to organise an annuity from a UK private pension after becoming a tax resident (living >183 days) in France?
I've just discovered that pension drawdowns are chargeable - that seems a bit odd, a bit like being charged to take your own money out of the bank - will have to find some more information on how much money they charge to do that!

Over the last week of looking into all of this money stuff - can't help but feel that it's been hopelessly over-complicated!
Or perhaps that's just a consequence of being exposed to all of the detail in one go!

Last edited by SB_UK; Dec 24th 2023 at 7:59 am.
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Old Dec 24th 2023, 10:21 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by SB_UK
I couldn't work out if you meant that requesting a pension draw-down from our UK private pension in France wasn't possible (or at least very difficult) because we're in France
First of all, I'm not in France, I'm in Japan, but as far as HMRC is concerned I may as well be on the moon.
The first 25% of a private UK pension is not taxable in the UK, BUT it maybe and probably is taxable in your country of residence as income. You need to check for your situation.
In my case:
I made some tax free withdrawals from my provider into a UK bank account I maintain. No issue there, BUT, I declare that with my local tax office as part of my worldwide income and pay tax, it's the law.
Recently I made a withdrawal from the taxable portion of my pension, HMRC took their slice and adjusted my tax code, first time in 20 years.
I will declare this withdrawal here in Japan and naturally will be taxed again. Then because there is a double taxation agreement between Japan and the UK, I can claim a refund of the UK tax.
If you live in France it should make little difference, but often the pension provider insists on a UK bank account. You need to confirm with your provider.
For info my provider does not charge for withdrawals, as you say it's my money
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Old Dec 24th 2023, 11:38 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Jakeinaka
First of all, I'm not in France, I'm in Japan, but as far as HMRC is concerned I may as well be on the moon.
The first 25% of a private UK pension is not taxable in the UK, BUT it maybe and probably is taxable in your country of residence as income. You need to check for your situation.
In my case:
I made some tax free withdrawals from my provider into a UK bank account I maintain. No issue there, BUT, I declare that with my local tax office as part of my worldwide income and pay tax, it's the law.
Recently I made a withdrawal from the taxable portion of my pension, HMRC took their slice and adjusted my tax code, first time in 20 years.
I will declare this withdrawal here in Japan and naturally will be taxed again. Then because there is a double taxation agreement between Japan and the UK, I can claim a refund of the UK tax.
If you live in France it should make little difference, but often the pension provider insists on a UK bank account. You need to confirm with your provider.
For info my provider does not charge for withdrawals, as you say it's my money
Jakeinaka,

Do you know what the procedure is for claiming back the tax from HMRC? Are you planning to use the DT individual form? Or maybe you’re registered for self-assessment in the UK, in which case you can claim it back that way?

I suppose I’ll have to brace myself in January and toddle along to the French tax office and beg them to sign/stamp the DT form.
If that doesn’t work, I might hand the whole business over to the accountants Fiscaly and hope they can sort it.
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Old Dec 24th 2023, 11:49 am
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Jakeinaka
First of all, I'm not in France, I'm in Japan, but as far as HMRC is concerned I may as well be on the moon.
The first 25% of a private UK pension is not taxable in the UK, BUT it maybe and probably is taxable in your country of residence as income. You need to check for your situation.
In my case:
I made some tax free withdrawals from my provider into a UK bank account I maintain. No issue there, BUT, I declare that with my local tax office as part of my worldwide income and pay tax, it's the law.
Recently I made a withdrawal from the taxable portion of my pension, HMRC took their slice and adjusted my tax code, first time in 20 years.
I will declare this withdrawal here in Japan and naturally will be taxed again. Then because there is a double taxation agreement between Japan and the UK, I can claim a refund of the UK tax.
If you live in France it should make little difference, but often the pension provider insists on a UK bank account. You need to confirm with your provider.
For info my provider does not charge for withdrawals, as you say it's my money
Thanks once again.
Wonderful I understand.
Great so the pension pot people don't charge us for a drawdown! That's a relief.
I've counted close to 10 taxes or charges so far that need to be taken into acount.
My wife was adopted from S. Korea into France at 2 years of age - and the only place she wants to visit in the world is Japan, so may have to ask you about that.
It looks lovely!



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Old Dec 24th 2023, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by philat98
I had a letter from my pension provider saying they had written 3 times and they would not communicate again. I am sure they were lying. I think it is an opportunity to kick the can down the road. May be they hope the claimant will die before they have to pay up.
Mmm. I’m with Aegon and from my one conversation with them I gather they’re happy to pay out everything in my pot provided I have a UK bank account.
They’ll give me 25% tax free. And levy 40% emergency tax on the remaining 75%.

I THINK the procedure is then as follows:

Take DT Individual France form to French tax office and ask them to sign and stamp it.

Send this form back to HMRC and wait for a tax refund.

In May, declare the lump sum payment in my French tax return as follows:

declare the amount in the foreign income form 2047 under « pensions in capital, taxable at 7.5% »

Carry the figures over to boxes 1AT and 1BT in the main form 2042.

If anyone thinks I’m on the wrong track, please shout!

Good luck Philat98. You still in Italy?

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Old Dec 24th 2023, 2:44 pm
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Default Re: UK personal pension - time to dig up my nuts

Originally Posted by Helen1964
Jakeinaka,

Do you know what the procedure is for claiming back the tax from HMRC?
Yes, I got some information from another expat here.
I'll complete the form Japan 1 DT, yours will obviously be different. I'll take that to the local tax office where they will probably refuse to sign it! They are reluctant to sign anything they can't read. However they have their own bi lingual document which will prove my residence here.
I was told that HMRC will accept the 2 documents together, but I'll check with them first.
This DT document should allow me to get a refund of the UK tax I've paid, and give me tax relief at source from future withdrawals.
However, in the case of the other expat, he did indeed receive a refund, but for some reason he couldn't get the tax relief at source part, and it wasn't explained to him why not!
My tax year ends December 31st, so I will start sending messages to HMRC then to attempt clarification.
It takes a few months and snail mail only to get the refund, I hope this will not be an ongoing procedure.....
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