News: Skandia International to become Old Mutual International

Skandia International, also known as Royal Skandia, is one of the biggest names in the offshore insurance and investment markets, is shortly to change its name to Old Mutual International, to fall in line with the parent company, Old Mutual plc. This will have certain consequences and policyholders need to be aware of how these may affect them.

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UK Autumn Statement 2014 – what expats need to know

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, recently presented  his last Autumn Statement before the General Election next year. There are a few announcements that may affect expats, so a brief overview of some of the most relevant issues is given below.

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News: Aviva to take over Friends Life

It has just been announced that Aviva, the UK insurance company, is to take over Friends Life. This is to include all companies in the Friends Life Group, including Friends Provident International which operates out of the Isle of Man, but has been predicted by industry insiders for a while.

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News: Standard Life pulling out of UAE

It has just been formally announced that Standard Life is pulling out of the UAE market with immediate effect. The UK insurance company is a relatively new provider in this region, but due to issues with licences from the UAE Insurance Authority, they have effectively been prevented from offering plans via licensed brokers.

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10 pension mistakes you really want to avoid

Too many people bury their head in the sand when it comes to planning for their financial future. In this article I want to look at some of the issues that you really cannot afford to ignore. When I use the term ‘pension’ I am referring to any kind of investment being used as retirement provision, rather than just traditional plans and as expats such arrangement are rarely available to us.

The facts are that most people are facing a significant shortfall in their retirement income, According to the Association of British Insurers, the average UK pension pot at retirement is less than £40,000. In the US, the Employee Benefit Research Institute has calculated that 46% of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement and 29% of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement. Worrying figures indeed.

If you want to ensure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire, here is my list of the top 10 pension mistakes to avoid.

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News: Increased DEWA charges

There seems to have been little coverage of this in the press, but with effect from 21st September 2014, DEWA (Dubai Electricity & Water Authority) has increased the security deposits required on  taking up residency in a property.

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UK Pensions – what’s the rush?

I’m not one for scaremongering, but for once there is a genuine deadline to take action for people in certain UK pension arrangements. If you are an expat with a UK occupational pension, often known as a Final Salary scheme, then you need to be aware of these changes.

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