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UK Private Pensions, QROP’s and SIPP’s - Living in Spain

Views • 18th Nov, 20

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UK Private Pensions, QROP’s and SIPP’s - Living in Spain – The Choice Alliance Group

With over 285’000 British Expats living in Spain the question that often gets asked is ‘What do I do with my UK Private Pension(s) or my QROP/SIPP?

The answer often depends on your circumstances:

  • Are you going to retire in Spain and need your income in EURO?
  • Are you going to return to the UK and retire?
  • Are you living in Spain due to work and are unsure where you will retire?
  • Is your pension pot close to the UK lifetime allowance limit of £1,055,000?
  • Do you have a number of different pensions from various UK employers?
  • Are you concerned about the impact of BREXIT?
  • Have you already consolidated your UK pensions into a QROP/SIPP and have become unhappy with the performance witnessed.

These are just a few questions that we would ask to determine the best solution for you and your pension(s).

Benefits of reviewing your existing QROP/SIPP

For individuals who have transferred their previously accrued pension pots into a QROP or a SIPP, sometimes the returns that they have been promised have not been achieved.  This can be down to a number of reasons and is an area that we specialise is helping people with.  Again the answer will depend on your circumstances but a few areas that should be considered are the following:

  • What charges are you paying to your current trustees?  Often this can be in excess of £1’000.00 per year when in actuality there are many solutions out there for a fraction of this cost.
  • What charges are you paying to your platform provider?  Again this is an area that needs to be explored as we have found that many individuals have been paying well over market average.
  • Are you in the correct structure?  Is a QROP more beneficial in your circumstances or is a SIPP better suited?  There are key differences between them and its extremely important that you understand them and the benefits of each.
  • What funds have you been investing into?  Are they institutional (low cost) or retail share classes (fee paying).

These are all extremely important factors when looking at the amount of capital you can take from your pension and the impact that they will have on your returns.  If you would like a no obligation review of your current QROP or SIPP please call us on +34 (0) 927 774 196 or email us on

We are based in the Villamartin Plaza area of Spain but can offer advice wherever you are based via telephone, Zoom, Skype etc.

Benefits of transferring your pension(s)

  • Convenience Factor. Many people hold more the one pension pot in the UK after working for various companies. So being able to transfer into one Pension Pot makes it easier to manage now and upon retirement.
  • Currency Conversation. GBP has lost almost 22% over the last 5 years meaning a £100,000 UK pension 5 years ago would be worth EUR 142,000. Based on current exchange rates £100,000 is now worth EUR 111,000. This is also a consideration if you plan to spend your pension in USD or another currency.
  • Flexibility on Withdrawal. If your pension is in a Defined Benefit Pension your rights can be very valuable and attractive but it can also be rigid and inflexible. By converting from a Defined Benefit Pension into a Defined Contribution pension you can benefit from new pension freedoms, which allows you much more choice about how you use the money. For example withdrawing at age 55.
  • Investment Choice. Commonly most pension providers in the UK will choice a mix of funds from a small selection of funds available on the pension platform often the funds are based on the UK economy. This can limit growth with your pension if the UK is not performing. By moving your pension you have a greater selection of funds to choice from on a global scale enabling greater diversification.  They can also be tailored to your investment needs for example investing in more sustainable/ethical funds.

Process – Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Discuss your pension options with a Choice Alliance Financial Adviser; this can be face to face or over the phone. This is a free consultation.

Step 2: If you wish to explore the option further of moving your pension we request the relevant information from your UK Pension Provider(s).

Step 3: Once the information is received a full review will be conducted and a recommendation will be sent to you ready to be discussed in detail.

Step 4: At this point we will agree to move your pension or leave it with your current provider, if agreeing to move paperwork will be completed.

Step 5: Paperwork will be sent to the new pension provider who will carry out the transfer and communicate with your current pension providers.

Step 6: Once the transfer amount(s) are received your new pension is set up and invested into the investment options discussed to suit your needs and help you to fund the lifestyle you want in retirement.

To discuss your UK Pension requirements further please call us on +34 (0) 927 774 196 or email us on

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