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Info & Lifestyle
The categories in this section covers the most common aspects of planning, preparing, investing and/or moving to the province. They are designed to be informative in a simple and straightforward manner. We cannot stress enough the need to appreciate the implications, logistics and cultural issues when  trying to fulfill your dream. While much of the information is based on requirement some of the guidance and detail has come from our own experience.Companies included are reputable and promoted mainly based on our own experience.

Please use the CONTACT US page should you require any further information or guidance.



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    Pensions/Retirement Description

    According to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics, Britain is experiencing the greatest exodus of its own nationals in recent history. Over 200,000 British citizens - or one every three minutes - left the country in 2006.

    While the UK is not experiencing a 'brain drain' similar to the one witnessed in the 1960s and 70s, the UK is still threatened with the spectre of a pernicious tax regime for years to come which inevitably will impact on many pensions and investment funds.

    Given the favourable exchange rate, South Africa and in particular Cape Town remains a viable alternative for expatriate retirees. As with anywhere in the world, location is a major determining factor in price and properties. With this in mind, Cape Town offers an array of residential property to suit all requirements., From Gated Estates, to many delightful suburbs, City & Beach Appartments to isolated farmland or even wine farms.

    Those of you that have already visited Cape Town and looked at any property investment have quickly realised the value for money product offering. A selection of properties is shown in the Properties Category on this website.

    Whether you are retiring, moving or just want to invest in Cape Town the exchange rate and property prices make it hard to resist.


    PENSIONS

    If you are fortunate to have a UK company pension, currently it is not possible to have it paid direct into your South African bank account. I am sure this will change as time moves on. Obviously as this gets paid into your UK bank account you can decide at what point to covert into Rand........it can make your money go a bit further.

    With increasing numbers of UK pensioners making the move overseas to retire in sunnier climes, the newest kid on the block QROPS is enjoying a surge in demand.

    QROPS - DO YOU QUALIFY ?
    =======================

    What is QROPS ?


    A QROPS is a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme that has met the criteria set by HMRC and is recognised by HMRC. Any QROPS can accept transfers from a UK registered pension scheme.

    Expat Pensions
    For many years, British expatriates and those moving overseas have been faced with difficulties when dealing with UK pensions, as the pension is usually ‘trapped’ back in the UK. One of the main difficulties has been the tax treatment of UK pensions. Until now it has been virtually impossible to move a UK pension to an overseas pension without being forced to pay basic rate tax on the transfer.

    On the 6th April 2006, new regulations for pensions came into play, this created attractive options for transferring UK pensions into foreign plans. Recognised schemes, known as QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) are now available and mean that those who are or will be non UK-resident can transfer UK pensions without tax deduction and ultimately draw them without UK tax liability.

    QROPS
    A pension scheme set up outside the UK, with many residing in low tax jurisdictions or in countries that have more generous tax-free lump sum rules, and/or no ultimate requirement to use any pension fund to buy an annuity as in the UK. This has a major benefit of gaining the ability to leave remaining pension funds to heirs. UK expatriates around the world and foreign workers who have spent part of their career in the UK and have accumulated UK-registered pension benefits will benefit greatly from QROPS? In order to be an eligible scheme, the QROPS must be fully approved by HMRC.

    Qrops Advice
    QROPS Adviser gives the best advice by means of not just telling you about the benefits, but also any potential pitfalls you should consider.There are clear qualifying rules for Ex Pats with UK pensions. Moving your pension to QROPS is not for everyone,careful consideration MUST be given before making any decisions.
    YOU SHOULD SEEK ADVICE FROM YOUR OWN OR AN INDEPENDENT FINANCIAL ADVISOR REGARDING QROPS
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For further information on estate planning, QROPS, and worldwide wills & testaments please contact -:

    LINDA ELLIOT - Senior Financial Advisor.
    Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (SA) Limited,
    4th Floor, ABSA on Grove,
    14, Grove Road,
    Claremont. 7708.
    Cape Town ,
    South Africa.


    TELEPHONE - 0027 (0) 21 673 2101
    CELL - 0027 (0) 82 377 4350
    EMAIL - LINDA ELLIOT




    UK STATE PENSIONS -
    ==================
    Can be paid directly into your South African bank account. Recent legislation (2006) changes in the UK regarding the timescales contributuions have been paid have now reduced to 30 years. It is worth checking with Customs & Excise where you stand with your State Pension if you are not 65 or drawing your state pension yet.

    You still get your state pension if you move abroad but in some countries it will be frozen at the rate it was first paid.
    This means that if you move to Australia or Canada, your pension will not rise, but head to the US and it will. Bizarrely, come back to Britain on holiday and your pension will go up while you are here and then go back down again.

    There are 150 countries where pensions are frozen. Of the 540,000 pensioners living in those countries, almost 90% of them - 485,000 - live in Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand.
    Bizarrely, when these people return to the UK or if they travel to a country that gets up-rated, they temporarily receive a higher pension over this period of time, if they notify the UK pension authorities. So a UK pensioner living in Canada and going on holiday to Jamaica for two weeks, can get a higher pension for that fortnight.
    Similarly, two people who came to the UK from the Caribbean to work could find themselves in very different positions if they returned home. Those in Jamaica would get a full pension, those from Trinidad would not.

    This is the list of countries where pensions rise to cover the cost of living. All others are frozen.
    All EEA Countries and Switzerland
    Barbados
    Bermuda
    Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Croatia
    Guernsey
    Isle of Man
    Israel
    Jamaica
    Jersey
    Mauritius
    Montenegro
    Philippines
    Serbia
    Turkey
    United States of America
    Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


    To obtain a State Pension Forecast and enquire about your current status please contact -

    HM Customs & Excise, Centre For Non - Residents,
    Room BP 1301, Benton Park View,
    Longbenton,
    Newcastle upon Tyne,
    NE98 1 ZZ.

    UK TELEPHONE - 0191 22 53503 General Enquiry

    UK NON RESIDENT CENTRE - 0151 210 2222 Specific Enquiry

    WEBSITE - www.hmrc.gov.uk




    INTERNATIONAL PENSION CENTRE
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    The International Pension Centre deals with all enquiries regarding the claiming and payment of State Pension, bereavement benefits, incapacity benefits and other benefits for those living abroad.

    International Pension Centre
    Phone number +44 191 218 7777

    Fax number +44 191 218 7021

    Textphone(for those with speech or hearing difficulties) +44 191 218 7280

    Address
    International Pension Centre
    Tyneview Park
    Newcastle Upon Tyne
    NE98 1BA
    United Kingdom

    Opening hours Monday to Friday 8.00 am to 8.00 pm


    WEBSITE for Department of Work & Pensions - www.dwp.gov.uk