Momentum Pensions is supporting Irish expats by extending its offering to facilitate defined benefit transfers from Irish pension schemes.
According to the firm, transferring an Irish Pension Scheme to a Momentum Scheme will enable expats to take advice from an independent financial adviser in the country where they live.
The proposition aims to provide access to a wider range of investment options and discretionary fund managers.
It also offers the opportunity to consolidate existing Irish, UK and qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes into one Momentum scheme.
Momentum’s offering has been developed in-house and is supported by a senior team of Irish expats, alongside managing director Susan Brooks, a chartered tax adviser with the Irish Tax Institute, and a member of the Irish Institute of Pensions Management.
Currently, it is estimated that more than half a million Irish expats live overseas.
Brooks said: “Momentum has supported thousands of expatriates and international clients all over the world, offering regulated pension schemes across different jurisdictions.
“We’ve seen a growing demand for solutions for Irish expats and individuals who previously worked in Ireland and now reside permanently overseas.
“Leveraging our in-house experience and expertise, we’ve been able to develop and tailor our proposition for Irish Transfers to address the demand and help advisers support more Irish expats around the world.”
But Alistair Cunningham, financial planning director at Wingate Financial Planning, warned about receiving overseas advice in such a complicated market.
Cunningham said: “The protections and value in a defined benefit scheme would rarely change where someone is moving overseas, so the benefit of ‘independent advice’ in the country where a pension holder lives when the DB pension is in the UK seems flaky to me.
“There are few jurisdictions where the regulations and protections against poor advice are greater than they are in the UK, and whilst Ireland may be an exception, given the level of harm caused by DB advice in this country, I am sceptical about getting advice on this topic, let alone when that advice is given overseas.”
In December the Financial Conduct Authority said it was aware of overseas advice firms advising expatriates to transfer or switch their UK pensions, and warned it was concerned consumers would be exposed to high and unnecessary charges as a result.
The City watchdog said anyone who was approached by an adviser in these circumstances should ensure they understand all the possible charges and any exit penalties which might apply.
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