Getting the right pension plan can make or break a comfortable retirement. Everyone has heard the horror stories of the elderly couples who worked hard all their lives but made the wrong choices and ended up destitute as a result. If you are planning to retire abroad, the overseas dimension to your choice adds a layer of complication to this decision making.
So how can you go about finding the right QROPS adviser?
Word of mouth is how most people start. The recommendation of someone you know and trust and of someone in a similar financial boat to yourself carries some weight. But with choosing an overseas pension, you need to make doubly sure that the professional being recommended has experience in this field, as foreign retirement plans are a specialism within a specialism.
Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes have only been around since 2006, when the UK government permitted transfers of UK pensions overseas without a tax charge, subject to some stringent requirements. Accordingly, no adviser can claim to have decades of experience of QROPS, because QROPS have simply not been around that long! But on the other hand, an adviser or a team of advisers who have specialised knowledge of the pensions market does have the knowledge necessary to give informed advice.
Independence is the next thing to bear in mind for choosing a QROPS adviser. Tied agents may give excellent advice on the products they have to choose from, but by tying themselves to a particular finance house or series of products that choice is limited. An independent agent does not have to answer to any specific finance or investment house, and only has to answer to their client for matching up the right product with the right person.
Finally, given that you can choose a QROPS from any country that offers them, you need an adviser (or a team of advisers) who have knowledge of many QROPS destinations around the world.