Many Irish residents have some form of pension arrangement in the UK and Brexit is a big concern for them. Brexit looks certain to happen but the final result is still very uncertain. It is expected that access to the single market for UK providers of financial services on an equivalence basis will not happen.

Questions are now raised about the status of existing UK financial services contracts. Will they be valid post-Brexit? We don’t know. Already moves are afoot to move UK financial services contracts from the UK entity to an EU entity.

Aside from the potential effects of Brexit, why should you consider leaving your pension arrangements in the UK or moving them home to Ireland?

Many people like Sterling considering it to be a strong independent currency. Currency is notoriously volatile and no matter when you move your funds, now or at a later retirement date, that might be the wrong time.

In the UK fund, what are the underlying assets invested in? It is highly likely they are already invested in bonds or equities denominated in US Dollars; Japanese Yen or Euro and are being translated back into Sterling for reporting purposes.

What is the current investment strategy of the pension fund and who advises on it?

Will you be taking pension benefits from the UK pension directly?

Currently, all withdrawals for non-UK residents are subject to top rate tax deduction and you will need to resolve any overpayment yourself with Irish Revenue.

Post Brexit, the UK’s status will affect your policy. All UK transfers outside the EEA are currently subject to a 25% levy.

If you are Irish resident, Irish Tax resident and intending to retire in Ireland you might be better moving your pension home because:

  • Administrative convenience
  • Taxation will be clear and transparent
  • Access to personal investment advice
  • Removal of currency fluctuations
  • Removal of Brexit complications

Remember, if you want to speculate on currency, invest in a currency fund.

Before doing anything, seek specialist pension advice on the UK’s Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme [QROPS].