News & Blog

Moving Abroad with Your Finances

News & Blog

Moving abroad soon? Worried about your bank accounts and finances? We’ve broken down some frequently asked questions for you to save you the time of searching through the web.

Can you move abroad with debt?

The simple answer is yes, you can move abroad with debt. You may think that you cannot but if you have debt in the UK you can still move abroad. However, while your credit history may not follow you to your new home your debt still remains active. 

It does become difficult for lenders to take action against you if you’re not in the UK and they will take action if you are to return to the UK. You could also receive County Court Judgements while you are away, this means that if you have assets in the UK a debt collector may try and collect debts on behalf of the lender. 

The chance of debts following you abroad depends on who you owe money to, e.g. HMRC has greater powers to reclaim debts than other institutions.

Can I keep my bank account if I move abroad?

Good news! You usually can keep most bank accounts when you move abroad. With online banking now so readily and easily available you can manage and control your accounts online. 

It is a good idea to keep your UK bank account active if you have assets such as rental properties left in the UK and plan on returning to the UK as it can become difficult to reopen an account after you have left. 

At GMS we recommend talking to your bank about your options as they may offer some fee-free services such as free use of international ATMs and no currency transaction fees when using your existing UK bank account when abroad.

What happens to my private pension when I move abroad?

If you have already started taking your pension before you move then there are a few options for you;

  1. Stop paying into it and take the money at a later date – from the age of 55.
  2. You can also continue paying into it however, be aware that the amount of tax relief on your contributions may be limited.

When moving abroad tax can become a complex process. Overseas tax laws may prevent you from taking anything tax-free such as your tax-free lump sum. If you haven’t taken this lump sum before you move then you may be taxed on it as income in your new country of residence. 

You may also be able to transfer your pension to a pension agreement overseas if the pension plan is a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)- for this certain conditions must be met.

We strongly advise that you get advice from a recognized expert on pensions and overseas transfers before deciding.

Global Moving Services work alongside trusted partners to give our customers preferential rates on our services. We’ve partnered with Global Reach who are the world’s leading currency exchange specialists. They offer;

  • International Money Exchange
  • Exchange of funds from an international house sale/purchase
  • Purchasing services in a foreign currency such as your move 
  • Moving your funds to a new bank account in your new country

Global Reach can offer you a preferential rate that is often better than the high street banks and could save you as much as the cost of your move. 

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