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Pension Advice for British Expats Abroad

An International SIPP (self-invested personal pension) is effectively a UK pension designed for non-UK residents that enables an individual to carry out pension transfers and consolidate their pensions in the UK, while still offering protection under UK regulations. This pension plan offers considerable flexibility and a greater range of pension options when it comes to investment decisions, withdrawals and currency choice.

It’s an attractive pension option for UK expats who wish to retain a similar UK pensions structure to their existing UK pensions but require these to be more suitable for expat life outside the UK.

Understanding the tax benefits of an International SIPP for British expats


  • The ability to efficiently make a pension transfer or consolidate multiple UK pensions accrued over your working life. The latter can reduce administrative complexities as it can be challenging to manage your UK pensions from several different providers. You can transfer most private and company pensions into an International SIPP, with very few exceptions.


  • Income from an International SIPP can be paid in your currency of choice. This is ideal for expats as it ensures you can align your currency choice with your country of residence, and select the currency you will be spending in retirement.


  • A wide range of investment choices in multiple currencies. This makes an international SIPP more suitable for a non-UK resident, as fund choices for domestic SIPPs will be more centred on the UK and denominated in Sterling.


  • Compliant with UK regulatory requirements as International SIPPs are regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This makes this suitable for UK expats, who for whatever reason, need to maintain a UK pensions arrangement which affords protection of UK regulation.


  • Flexi access drawdown: An individual can coordinate withdrawals with other income streams and plan to limit income that is taxable in certain tax years. This offers greater control over the level of taxable income in each tax year.


  • An International SIPP is portable pension plan if you return to the UK, offering valuable flexibility for those UK expats who want to retain the option of returning home at some point in their retirement.


  • There is no taxation on the assets held within your International SIPP until you draw income. Treatment of income for tax purposes will be dependent on where you are tax resident. It is important you receive pension advice from pension advisors who understand the key elements of cross border retirement planning.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Pension Options Such as International Self Invested Pension Plans

For British expats looking to secure their retirement savings while living abroad, an International Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) arrangement offers a viable solution. An International SIPP allows British expats to maintain control over their pension funds and make investment decisions that align with their financial goals.

This FAQ aims to address common questions and provide guidance for British expats seeking an International SIPP arrangement. Whether you are planning for retirement, seeking tax advantages, or exploring flexible investment options, understanding the tax benefits, eligibility criteria, and considerations of an International SIPP is crucial.

By delving into the key aspects of this pension transfer arrangement, this FAQ will help British expats make informed decisions and optimize their retirement savings while living abroad.

To help you understand I-SIPP’s better, here are some frequently asked questions regarding International SIPPs:

An International SIPP is a self-invested personal pension designed for British expats living abroad. It allows you to continue saving for retirement while enjoying the flexibility to invest in a wide range of assets, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and more. International SIPPs provide a tax-efficient environment for your retirement savings, even if you are no longer residing in the UK.

Yes, as a British expat, you can contribute to an International SIPP even if you are no longer residing in the UK. It allows you to continue saving for retirement without enjoying the potential benefits of tax relief on your contributions.

International SIPPs offer several advantages for British expats, including:

Flexibility: You have control over your investment choices and can diversify your portfolio across various asset classes and markets.

Tax Efficiency: Your investments can grow in a tax-efficient manner, potentially reducing your tax liabilities.

Portability: International SIPPs can be transferred between providers, making it easier to manage your pension savings as your circumstances change.

Currency Options: You can choose the currency in which your SIPP is denominated, providing the flexibility to match your retirement income needs and hedge against currency fluctuations.

Yes, it is generally possible to transfer your existing UK pension, such as a personal pension or workplace pension, to an International SIPP. Transferring your pension allows you to consolidate your retirement savings, potentially benefit from greater investment options, and have better control over your pension assets. However, it's important to seek professional pension advice and consider factors such as any exit penalties, guarantees, and the specific terms and conditions of your existing pension scheme(s).

When selecting an International SIPP provider, consider the following:

Reputation and Expertise: Look for a provider with a solid reputation, experience in serving British expats, and a strong track record in pension administration.

Investment Options: Assess the range of investment options available, including access to different markets, asset classes, and funds that align with your investment goals and risk tolerance.

Fees and Charges: Review the provider's fee structure, including any setup, administration, investment, and transaction fees. Ensure you understand how these fees may impact your pension growth.

Regulatory Compliance: Ensure the provider is regulated by a reputable financial authority and adheres to all applicable regulations and guidelines.

Seeking advice from a qualified financial advisor who specializes in pensions and retirement planning for British expats is highly recommended. They can help you navigate the pension options, assess your specific needs, and guide you in choosing the right International SIPP provider for your retirement planning goals.


Remember, International SIPPs offer a flexible and tax-efficient retirement planning savings vehicle for British expats, allowing you to continue building your pension while living abroad. However, it's important to seek professional pension advice tailored to your individual circumstances to make informed decisions about your pension planning.

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