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Frank in Crete
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Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 7:50 pm


Postby Frank in Crete » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:07 am

We live in Crete all year, In a couple of years time when me and my wife are both 55 I can access my private pension, I have been looking into this as we have some other financial dealings that the pension might effect, that we have to deal with now.

I responded to an advert on this site for a company called Abbey Wealth who will do an appraisal of our pensions and advise if they should be moved outside the UK and into a different sort of fund/investment, we are awaiting their report.

My question is has anybody else used Abby Wealth and did they find that there advise was good, or can someone recommend another independent financial adviser that will deal with residents outside of the UK as UK based advisers are unable to advise you if you are outside the uk I have been told.

Also at the moment you are allowed to "export" your private pension but this has only been the case for a few years and could change once Britexit is finalised, so I want to act before 19th March 2019 as our 55th birthdays are May and JUly of that year.

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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Pensions

Postby Kilkis » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:36 am

It might be worth reading the 1, 2 and 3 star reviews on Trust Pilot. Despite their overall high rating and the relatively few poor ratings it sounds like it isn't all sunshine and light.


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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2009 11:06 am
Location: Drapanos

Re: Pensions

Postby Dinksy » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:04 pm

If it sounds too good to be true then it is and I would not go anywhere near it. Heard that many people been ripped off either by the new fund or the UK tax authorities taking their share of your pot when it leaves it current keeper.

Be very careful and certainly keep it away from the euro as an investment.
Never mind the quality, feel the width.

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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Pensions

Postby Kilkis » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:47 pm

If you take the whole pension pot in one go in the UK then the first 25 % is tax free but the other 75 % counts as income in that year and is taxed as such. If you had a salary in that year the 75 % of the pension pot is added to it which could lead to paying very high marginal tax rates on that 75 %, e.g. 40 % on much of it. I wouldn't fancy giving 30 % of my total pension pot to HMRC unless I knew I was going to pop my clogs in a very short space of time. I am not sure what methods companies like Abbey Wealth use to move the pension pot offshore or what tax liabilities those methods incur.

My two pensions were defined benefit schemes that, at the time I started to take, them only allowed up to 25 % to be taken as a lump sum, also tax free. While taking the lump sum reduced the monthly pensions paid I worked out that, even with a small return on capital, it would take me at least 20 years, probably more, to recoup the capital from the lump sum so I took the maximum. Another factor was the dependant's pension. Under the terms of each scheme, if my wife had survived me she would have received 50 % of the pension. Initially I was worried that taking the 25 % lump sum would reduce her pension and make life difficult for her until I discovered that she would receive 50 % of the full pension as if I hadn't taken the cash. Then it was a no brainer.

Not specifically addressing Abbey Wealth but in general I would have two main concerns. Firstly I wouldn't like the idea of trying to seek recompense through the Spanish court system if anything did go wrong. I know little about Spain but I think their court system is approaching as bad as the Greek one. Secondly financial managers are insentivised to arrange your investment in a way that brings them the biggest return in fees rather than you the biggest return on your investment. The really classic example is one chapter of the teamsters union in the USA. That was under the control of the mob who used money in the pension scheme to fund development projects in Las Vegas, casinos and associated hotels, restaurants, bars etc, and then used those facilities to launder the proceeds of their crime activities. Obviously the government didn't like that so they took control of the pension scheme away from the mob and gave it to Goldman Sachs to run. When the mob was running it the scheme was never in arrears, it made very good returns on capital and every retiring teamster received a generous pension. After several years being run by Goldman Sachs it is essentially bankrupt and retiring teamsters in that chapter can look forward to getting a small percentage of the pension they expected. Most of the lost funds have gone to Goldman Sachs in fees as they churned the investments to bring them maximum returns. While Abbey Wealth is clearly not Goldman Sachs or the mob it does illustrate how investment managers can milk your investment. I am not suggesting Abbey Wealth would do that but I am very wary.


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Re: Pensions

Postby Carolina » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:47 pm

Frank in Crete wrote:
I responded to an advert on this site ...

I'd just like to clarify, as the website owner, that this site serves Google Ads over which I have little control of the content so any ad on the site should not be taken as a recommendation. Google ads help towards the cost of running the site and this forum, but there is no endorsement of any services offered on these ads so please continue to make your own enquiries!

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