James is a 60 year old expatriate who has worked internationally during his career. He has consistently saved for his retirement throughout his career which has mainly been as a Director of a multinational company in the plastics industry. His postings have seen him work in the UK, USA, France and South Africa before a consultancy role brought him to Hong Kong 6 years ago. He is married without children and his wife has recently retired. He had a number of pensions from different employers in addition to an AVC (Additional Voluntary Contribution Scheme) to supplement his pension pot. Around 3 years ago he sold his property in UK and invested the bulk of the proceeds into a Personal Portfolio Bond (PPB) and a holiday home in Thailand which he paid for in cash. Although he still enjoys visiting family and friends in UK he has no intention of returning there after retirement and consulted Platinum to see what could be done to make sense of the five pension plans he had for his planned retirement in Asia. These plans were all paid up (no longer taking contributions), and through investigation by the Platinum consultant with the providers it was found some still had high ongoing charges and one had a significant penalty charge for transfer to any other scheme outside the UK.
Platinum conducted a Financial Planning Profile to determine James objectives as well as a Risk Profile Questionnaire and subsequently recommended that all but one scheme could be transferred to a QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) without significant surrender penalties and the significant benefit of a pension free from the high income taxes applicable in UK as well as the ultimate benefit of no inheritance tax to ensure that his estate could pass to who he wanted. The consultant advised that the remaining scheme could be first transferred to a UK SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension scheme) and subsequently transferred without any penalties to James' QROPS to provide a single cost and tax efficient scheme with £500,000. As a result he had access to an investment platform with open architecture which meant that a much wider range of funds than the limited range available with his existing plans.
James was advised about the process and conditions of transfer for existing pension schemes as well as the different benefits according to the jurisdiction selected for the trustees of his pension fund which is also explained in the Platinum QROPS Guide. Whilst interested in fund investment as a hobby he opted to subscribe to the Platinum 'Options' service with Discretionary Management of the funds to ensure that professional managers would look after his interests in line with his future plans for retirement in Asia.