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64 per cent of UAE expats plan to move home when they retire

Nearly two thirds of UAE-based expatriates will seek retirement plans that avoid tax charges upon returning home

New research from Old Mutual International and Quilter Cheviot found that 64 per cent of expats working in the UAE plan to return back to their home country when they retire.

This highlights the need for expats to choose savings and investment solutions which are suitable and portable back to their home country.

A breakdown of the data shows that 75 per cent of North American expats plan to return back to America when they retire, 62 per cent of European (excluding UK) expats plan to return to Europe, and 52 per cent of UK expats plan to return to the UK.

Meanwhile, only 9 per cent of expats plan to remain in the UAE when they retire. While the number is comparatively small, this contradicts the belief that all expats will leave the UAE once they hit retirement age. There are strict rules in place for expats regarding their ability to retire in the region, with some property and business owners perhaps looking to receive residency status.

However, not all expats wish to return to their birth country. 16 per cent of expats plan to retire somewhere other than their home country or the UAE, with 11 per cent not sure yet where they will retire, according to the study’s statistics.

Paul Evans, Head of Old Mutual International for the MENA region, comments: “The research shows just how many expats plan to retire back to their home country and highlights the importance of having a portable investment solution available for them.”

There are many investment options open to UK expats to invest in whilst overseas, but in order for the products to be tax efficient and avoid a UK deemed gain tax charge when they return to the UK, they impose limitations on the assets which can be held.

One new solution run by Old Mutual International in coordination with Quilter Cheviot, a discretionary fund manager, to manage the investment portfolio linked to the bond.

As it removes any client influence over the investment choice or asset selection, the bond is not regarded as a ‘highly personalised portfolio bond' and therefore the UK deemed gain tax charge of 15 per cent will not be applied upon the expats return to the UK.

This means that the bond is able to invest in a broader range of assets, such as direct equities, than is usually permitted within a generic international portfolio bond in the UK.

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