Connect with us

Business

Finance: Demystifying the ever-ending UK pension reforms

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Finance: Demystifying the ever-ending UK pension reforms | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Since radical UK pension reforms were announced last year, the changes just keep on coming. For those retiring in Phuket with pension rights that they have accumulated over the course of their career, the situation can be very confusing.

Indeed, even for a professional in the industry, keeping pace and getting your head around what all the changes means is not easy. Some of the changes are good, in my opinion, while others are certain to lead to bigger problems for the UK in the long run.

The main change that was initially announced was the plan to introduce full flexibility to draw down
pension rights, starting in April this year. The reasoning behind this change is to increase tax revenues, as the majority of retirees inside the UK, who fall under the GBP10,500 limit with small pension pots, pay no tax. However, if they are allowed to cash in an entire 100K GBP pension within one year, their marginal tax rate soars to 40%.

Soon after the initial announcement was made, the government said that the flexibility would be extended to qualifying recognized overseas pension schemes (QROPS). This has caused quite a lot of confusion, because an overseas scheme has its own local legislation requirements to follow, and these were required to match the old UK system in order to be a qualifying scheme.

Thus in practice it was impossible for a QROPS to offer the flexibility the UK was offering. Malta has since been the first jurisdiction to alter its local legislation with regards to QROPS to state that draw-down rules will simply follow whatever laws the UK (the source of the funds) enacts.

More recently, the UK changed its stance again on QROPS, stating that if QROPS schemes offer the same full flexibility status of the UK, they will lose their IHT-exempt status. This is a very unfair change, as many wealthier expats have transferred pensions they do not need to draw offshore based on this benefit.

Expats who transfer to QROPS usually do so for a number of reasons, but estate planning has always been a big draw. Most likely in the future certain jurisdictions will take advantage of the split and some will specialize in “cashing in” pensions at a low tax rate, while others will focus on the estate planning side of the market. For the moment it is a waiting game to see how the various offshore centers respond to these recent changes.

The final change, which I think is a very good thing, is that going forward from here any transfers out of a defined benefits scheme will need to have UK-regulated advice given. The “gray” jurisdictions of the world, such as many of those in Southeast Asia, leave international advice open to anybody with a pulse.

Even if an adviser is regulated in Singapore, Hong Kong or by the US SEC, this provides absolutely zero protection or recourse to clients who have had advice given in a country such as Thailand.

At least now, in regards to a defined benefits transfer, only those firms with a UK-regulated office can transact the transfers. In the event something goes wrong relative to the advice to transfer, there is recourse within the UK regulations, due to where the advice has originated.

It is a start in the right direction.

It would be nice if the changes coming out of the UK slowed down – although with budget problems that don’t seem likely to be resolved anytime soon, I am not hopeful.

Financial planning is supposed to be long term, and when the goal posts are constantly changing this becomes extremely difficult. Many of my clients who have recently transferred their pensions offshore have done it simply to remove it from the risk of future legislative changes within the UK.

For all we know, the option to transfer may not even be around for that much longer.

David Mayes MBA resides in Phuket and provides wealth management services to expatriates around the globe, focusing on UK pension transfers. He can be reached at david.m@faramond.com or 085-335-8573. Faramond UK is regulated by the FCA and provides advice on pensions and taxation.

— David Mayes

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Thailand

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook

Facebook has confirmed the removal of 185 accounts run by the Thai military and allegedly involved in information-influencing. The social media giant says the accounts were deleted for engaging in what it calls, “coordinated inauthentic behaviour”. In total, 77 accounts, 72 pages, and 18 groups have been removed from the platform, in addition to 18 Instagram accounts. It’s the first time Facebook has taken such action against accounts linked to the Thai government.

The accounts were associated with the Thai military and were targeting people in the southern provinces, Facebook said its regular report on coordinated inauthentic behavior. The south of the country has been the scene of decades-long conflict, with insurgent groups in the majority-Muslim, Malay-speaking region calling for independence. To date, around 7,000 people have died in the ongoing struggle.

Facebook says the deleted accounts were most active last year and used both fake and real accounts to manage pages and groups, both openly military pages and pages that hid their links to the military. Some of the fake profiles pretended to be people from the southern provinces.

The report mentioned a post by the now-removed account named “comprehending the operation” in Thai. The page posted the logo for Amnesty International Thailand and wrote “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role in society. Normal people are not famous. Any case is not big news. They are not worth the investment of foreigners so they will not do anything to help. This is why we don’t see anything from the NGO.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “The NGO never cares about ordinary citizens because they have no role nor money.”

On another now-removed account, named “truth about my home Pattani” in Thai, a post said “Muslim leader declares southern border is a peace zone. The southern separatists started a movement by spreading the idea that Thailand is under control by different believers so that people would come and fight for their religion. This was declared that the action clearly violates Islam faith.”

Facebook removes “information-influencing” pages linked to Thai military | News by The Thaiger

Image overlay translates to “Southern border is not Jihad zone.”

When contacted by Reuters, the military had no comment on the removal of the Facebook accounts, with a spokesman saying the organisation does not comment outside of official press conferences.

The head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, Nathaniel Gleicher, has confirmed the reasons behind the platform’s decision.

“This is the first time that we’ve attributed one of our takedowns to links to the Thai military. We found clear links between this operation and the Internal Security Operations Command. We can see that all of these accounts and groups are tied together as part of this operation.”

He adds that the accounts had spent around US$350 on advertising on both Facebook and Instagram. One or more of the pages had about 700,000 followers and at least one of the groups had 100,000 members. Gleicher says the accounts were removed because of their misleading behaviour and not because of the content being posted. The content included support for the military and the monarchy, with allegations of violence and criticism of insurgent groups in the south.

It’s not the first time accounts linked to the Thai military have been removed by a social media platform. In October, Twitter removed 926 accounts it says had links to the army and posted pro-military and pro-government content. The Thai army has denied any involvement with the accounts in question. In November, Twitter also suspended an account posting pro-monarchy content that was found to have links to the palace and to thousands of other accounts posting similar content.

To read the February 2021 Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior Report, click HERE.

SOURCES: Reuters| Facebook

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Central Thailand

Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Airline executive arrested for failure to pay wages of 150 workers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

An airline executive has been arrested in the central province of Samut Songkhram, after complaints from150 employees that they had not been paid. Chawengsak Noiprasan, who had a court warrant issued against him in October, was taken to Don Muang police station from a property in the Bang Khan Take sub-district. He is a board member of Siam Air Transport.

The airline began operations in October 2014 with services out of Don Mueang to Hong Kong, using 2 Boeing 737-300s. 2 Boeing 737-800s were added to its fleet in late 2015. It expanded by adding Zhengzhou and Guangzhou in China to its network in early 2015. In late 2015, the airline launched flights to Macau and Singapore. In 2017, the airline ceased all operations.

But according to an article in the Bangkok Post, the carrier operates a number of scheduled and charter flights from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport. The Post reports that, as Chawengsak signs the company’s legal paperwork, all legal matters concerning the airline fall to him.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau says the executive has admitted to ignoring a 30 day notice issued by the labour inspector and ordering the payment of wages to 150 workers. It’s understood he is also wanted in relation to 7 other cases.

The authorities sought Chawengsak’s arrest following complaints from employees who say they haven’t received their wages for 2 months. It’s understood the airline had previously deferred salary payments for over 8 months. 150 workers filed an official complaint with Don Mueang police and also approached media outlets, asking them to pressure the airline into paying the money owed.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Business

Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Bike rider killed after crashing motorbike into parked truck in Chon Buri | The Thaiger
Chon Buri6 days ago

Bike rider killed after crashing motorbike into parked truck in Chon Buri

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger
Phuket6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes | The Thaiger
Phuket6 days ago

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes

Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Cannabis could generate 8 billion baht for Thai pharmaceutical industry by 2025, expert says

Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress” | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Japan asks China to stop anal Covid-19 tests after travellers report “psychological distress”

Covid-19 vaccine registration to begin in May | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Covid-19 vaccine registration to begin in May

Thai navy sailors rescue adorable cats from ship fire | The Thaiger
South5 days ago

Thai navy sailors rescue adorable cats from ship fire

Vaccine rollout underway in Phuket as province receives 4,000 doses | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Vaccine rollout underway in Phuket as province receives 4,000 doses

Covid-free Samui, Phangan, Tao offer tourism discounts until end of April | The Thaiger
Tourism5 days ago

Covid-free Samui, Phangan, Tao offer tourism discounts until end of April

Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Governor of Samut Sakhon recovering from Covid-19 after more than 40 days on ventilator

Thailand considering vaccine passport policy in bid to revive international tourism | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Thailand considering vaccine passport policy in bid to revive international tourism

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism5 days ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission | The Thaiger
Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 days ago

Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission

Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows | The Thaiger
Pattaya5 days ago

Pattaya police raid nightclub suspected of presenting pornographic shows

Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral | The Thaiger
Crime6 days ago

Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4 | The Thaiger
Thailand4 days ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism5 days ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger
Phuket6 days ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism2 weeks ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism2 weeks ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending

Copyright © 2020 The Thaiger