Group Death in Service…What is it and why Should Your Business Have it?

Put simply, Group Death in Service is a group life assurance scheme offered by an employer to its employees. It pays out a tax free lump sum, or in some cases, a long term income, to the family of the deceased employee, should they die whilst in service. The amount of cover chosen by the employer is usually a multiple of the employee’s salary. Typical examples are 3 or 4 times the employee’s salary but can be higher or lower depending on the employer and the employee’s position within the company. It is also possible to include the additional benefit of critical illness, therefore protecting the employee if they were to be diagnosed with a specified critical illness that would prevent them from being able to return to work.

The benefits for the employee are clear. It gives the employee peace of mind and reassurance that the money paid out by the policy will help their family avoid the financial hardship that would arise on their death, had such insurance not been in place. However, Group Death in Service does not solely benefit the employee. There are also tangible and intangible benefits for the employer as well. Firstly, the amount paid in premiums to the scheme is a deductible business expense and will therefore reduce the company’s corporation tax bill. Not only is it a relatively low cost benefit, but a wide variety of features can be added and it can be tailored to the employer’s requirements. It also allows the company to demonstrate its commitment and care to its employees and their families thereby fostering increased employee morale and loyalty.

Contact Abacus Wealth Management today if you think your business could benefit from a Group Death in Service policy.

Daniel Pitaluga
Trainee Wealth Manager

 

Brexit and Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPs)

A lot has been written about Brexit and QROPs but rarely have the two been combined in one article. A QROPs is simply an offshore pension plan that will accept transfers of frozen UK pensions. This enables the QROPs plan holder to have complete control (trustee approval permitting) over the direction of investment and the timing of taking benefits, which can be taken from age 55 onwards. A QROPS can be a very effective, pension vehicle, if used correctly.

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Currency Risk

Currency risk is something commonly overlooked by British expatriates contemplating their dream move to a place in the sun.

The majority of clients I have advised over the last 20 years, had all of their savings, investments and pensions denominated in Sterling, when I first met them.

Using the Sterling v Euro relationship as an example, this was fine and dandy when the exchange rate was 1.40+, however, the financial crisis of 2008 and the Brexit referendum result of 2016, both saw a 20% + decline in the value of Sterling against the Euro. Sterling’s weakness continues to this day with the exchange rate teetering around the 1.11 mark.

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Topping up your UK State Pension

Have you ever worked in the UK? If so you would have paid National Insurance Contributions and got credits towards getting a State pension. Having left the UK, there is a tendency to forget all about the State Pension until the time comes to claim it. Did you know that?

1. The basis of payment was replaced by a new Single Tier Pension in April 2016.

2. Retirement ages have been equalised at 65 for men and women but are soon to change again. If you were born after 6/10/54, your retirement age is now 66!

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Why your country of domicile is important

With regards to an individual’s taxation status, there are two concepts to consider. First is their country of residence. This is generally where you and your family, live, work, go to school, pay your taxes and conduct the majority of your day to day activities. The second concept is that of domicile which derives from common law and associates an individual with a particular country (generally from birth although domicile can derive from a number of other circumstances) which is regarded as your permanent home.

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You have left the UK, but what happened to your pension?

  • You contributed to a Company or personal pension plan whilst you lived and worked in the UK
  • You have now left the country and achieved your dream retirement in the sun
  • What happened to your pension plan in the UK when you left?

If your plan is still in the UK consider the following points:

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What you should expect from your financial adviser

It’s no secret that dealing with financial matters such as investments, life assurance or retirement planning, can be complex. Just getting to grips with the language used can be challenging enough. With national Governments and Financial Regulators constantly changing the legal and regulatory frameworks for financial services, professional advice is essential in every aspect of financial planning. It is crucial that you choose an adviser you can trust and is capable of delivering your goals and objectives.

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Meet Darren Mills, Managing Director

Hi there, my name is Darren Mills. You may be thinking to yourself “who are you” which would be logical if you don’t know me. For that reason, I thought I would tell you a bit about myself.

I am 49 years old and have been working in financial services for just over 31 years. I am married to Sabine (a French national) and we have a 3 year old son, Lewis who was born here in Gibraltar.

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