A) Expat Pension Specialization
We are specialized in expat pensions.
We welcome the related extra challenges and contact with different persons, institutions and cultures.
We provide pension consultancy in Holland for expats of all nationalities and locations. We have 20 years of experience on 5 continents. If so desired we guide the local team of tax, law and actuarial experts towards the required results.
B) All Inclusive Approach
We take pride in our approach. Our goal is not just to give advice. We function as projectmanager in order to control all aspects of the process in time and to prevent that aspects might not be optimized.
Our clients tend to appreciate this all inclusive approach as it provides ease.
C) Expat Fairs
Feel free to visit us at the Expat Fairs that are annually organized in Holland.
D) Special Website
E) News August 2019
Australia: The New 2019 Rules Of Superannuation
When you mention super, most people shake their head and mutter about the constant rule changes. Looking back over the past few years it’s a fair comment, with many significant changes occurring – and many more proposed but never legislated.
If you are wondering how those changes have affected your super and retirement plans, here’s a quick guide to the key changes and when they commenced.
Protecting Your Super reforms – starting 1 July 2019
The Protecting Your Super reform package was legislated to protect Australians’ super accounts from being eroded by insurance policy fees and premiums they may not require.
The key reforms are:
Insurance within inactive super accounts
Your super fund will be required to cancel the insurance cover that goes with your super account if your super account is deemed to be inactive. Under the legislation, super accounts are considered inactive if they have not received any contributions or rollovers for more than 13 months.
Super funds are required to inform fund members they are at risk of having their insurance cancelled and giving them the option to retain their insurance cover even if they are not making regular super contributions.
Closure of inactive super accounts
If you have an inactive super account with a balance of less than $6,000 it will be closed automatically and the balance transferred to the ATO, which will then use data matching technology to combine the low balance amount with one of your active super accounts.
Cap on fees for low balance accounts
Small super accounts with a balance of $6,000 or less at financial year-end will have their super fund fees capped at 3% per annum.
Switching funds without exit fees
Exit fees will be banned, allowing you to switch your super fund without having to pay any penalty or fee.
Other rule changes – starting 1 July 2019
Significant changes to the non-concessional (after-tax) contribution rules start on 1 July 2019, plus several changes to the threshold and payments for other super and pension areas:
No work test for contributions in first year of retirement
New retirees aged between 65 and 74 will now be able to make voluntary contributions into their super account without needing to satisfy the work test. To qualify you must have had less than $300,000 in your super account at the end of the previous financial year.
The relaxation of the work test rules only applies once and you cannot make contributions in subsequent financial years without meeting the work test. Under the new rules, after age 65 work test-free contributions are only permitted in the year immediately after the one in which you last met the work test.
Carry-forward concessional (before-tax) contributions start
From 1 July 2019, super fund members can make catch-up concessional contributions into their super account using their unused concessional contributions cap amounts from previous years.
To qualify, you must have a Total Super Balance of less than $500,000 on 30 June of the previous financial year and you must not have used all your $25,000 annual concessional contributions cap in the previous financial year.
Under the rules, you can carry-forward up to five years of unused concessional contributions caps for use in a later financial year, but the rolled forward amounts expire after five years.
The five-year carry-forward period started on 1 July 2018, meaning 2019/2020 is the first year in which you can make catch-up contributions. If you are aged 65 or over, the normal work test rules apply.
Rise in Age Pension Work Bonus
If you are receiving the Age Pension work bonus, you will get a lift in your work bonus payments from $250 to $300 per fortnight from 1 July 2019.
Pension Loans Scheme expanded
From 1 July 2019, the eligibility criteria and withdrawal amounts for the Pension Loans Scheme (PLS) will be expanded to make the scheme available to more Australians of age pension age.
Under the new eligibility rules, you must still qualify for one of the eligible pensions, but you can now have a payment rate of $0 for either of the Age Pension means tests (assets or income), or be receiving the maximum pension rate. The withdrawal amount per fortnight is increasing from 100% to 150% of the maximum fortnightly pension rate.
Lifetime annuity Means Test change
Changes to the Means Test for lifetime retirement income streams or annuities come into effect from 1 July 2019. Annuity payments are included in the Age Pension income test, but under the new rules only 60% of an annuity’s purchase price will be included in the assets test rather than the previous situation where the full purchase price is included. The assessment rate will reduce to 30% for people aged over 84.
End to anti-detriment deductions
Although anti-detriment payments were banned for any super fund member deaths from 1 July 2017, super funds could still make payments to eligible dependants for members dying prior to this date.
From 1 July 2019, no anti-detriment payment deductions are available, regardless of when the member died.
Age Pension age rises to 66
From 1 July 2019, the age at which you qualify for the Age Pension rises to 66, with the eligibility rising six months every two years until it reaches age 67 for everyone on 1 July 2023.
USA Pensions: MBTA Pension Fund Faces Hard Times After 2018 Losses
After the MBTA pension fund posted losses in 2018, officials warned recently that the burden of covering retirement for thousands of T employees remains “a really crucial issue.”
The fund has been the subject of scrutiny for years as the MBTA grapples with budget concerns. New figures, discussed at the authority’s board meeting, did not alleviate the pressure: the fund paid out $100 million more to retirees last year than it collected in contributions from current employees, and it lost $50 million in the financial markets. After a return of more than 15 percent in 2017, the fund fell 2.9 percent in 2018.
Pension payouts are contributing to budget struggles at the MBTA, which after years of deficits has prioritized keeping expenses growing in line with revenues.
UK QROPS: SOUTH AFRICA LOSES QROPS STATUS
South Africa has dropped off the list of financial jurisdictions offering QROPS expat offshore pensions. The latest HM Revenue & Customs QROPS List published on October 15, 2018, confirms the removal of the last QROPS based in South Africa. The ABSA Group Pension Fund was the final South African QROPS.
Neither ABSA or HMRC have commented about the removal.
Generally, QROPS are delisted for three main reasons:
1) HMRC is probing the administrative or tax status of the scheme.
2) The last member has drawn down on their fund or transferred out of the fund.
3) The QROPS provider closes.
South Africa has been ever-present on the HMRC list since QROPS were introduced in April 2006. Between March 2010 and June 2015, the number of QROPS peaked at between 28 and 31 pensions.
After HMRC introduced tax and rules changes in June 2015, the number slumped to seven QROPS, rising to a recent peak of 12 pensions at the start of 2016.
BRITISH EXPAT RETIREES WARNED OVER LEAVING PENSIONS IN STERLING
The average pension pot for UK expat overseas is around £210,000, but currency fluctuations may cause losses of 20 per cent.
A recent analysis of the plunging pound’s effect on British pensions paid in sterling on behalf of UK expats living overseas gives bad news for the estimated 247,000 Brit retirees living abroad. Put bluntly, pensions held in sterling but drawn in foreign currency via ATMs or bank to bank transfers are permanently open to currency exchange fluctuation risks. In the past, changes to the pound’s valuation against other currencies have lost pensioners at least 20 per cent during periods of volatility.
One scary example of how not monitoring sterling against the chosen country of retirement’s currency shows just how much spending power can be lost in just two years. At the beginning of 2007, one pound was worth €1.48, but by January 2009 it had fallen to just €1.06. On a £2,000 a month pension, a retiree living in an EU member state would have initially received €2,960 a month, dropping to €2,120 two years later.
Given that the exceptional nature of the fall was linked to the 2008 financial crisis, it’s an illustration of the worst scenario but it’s also a warning that currency stability in the future is a long way from being guaranteed.