Reader question: I am British, living in France, and have a small private pension with a large assurance company in the UK.
I recently passed my 75th birthday, and up until now I have been given two options by the company: either to take out the whole pot, which would be treated as income, or take an annuity.
I asked to take the whole amount, but requested to defer it to the next financial year, which had previously been said to be possible. However, they now say that due to Brexit and because I live abroad, I do not have the option to withdraw the money. Does this not seem unfair? A.J.
The UK financial services rules towards non-residents changed as a result of Brexit.
Within the EU, advisers from one EU state can apply for ‘financial passports’ so as to be able to ‘export’ their professional advice to clients in other EU states.
Since Brexit, this system has now stopped functioning with the UK.
To make matters more complicated, not all companies are adapting to the new rules in the same manner.
This said, it would seem incorrect to prevent you from obtaining what are your own funds.
Accordingly, if you have not done so, I suggest that you write formally to the assurer, enclosing a copy of your ID, requesting what you want.