Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

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fyfin
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Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby fyfin » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:30 pm

I've been having a battle with 2 providers, Aviva and LV as I have annuities with both of them which provides me with a monthly income here in Spain. Both of these started paying out into my UK bank account before I became a Spanish resident. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) have been warning that "passporting" will cease after a no deal Brexit which means payments to expat pensioners would not be allowed to be paid legally. And, the newspapers are having a heyday with sensational headlines.
Of course this will never happen as some sort of agreement will be reached as you couldn't have an anomaly where a provider is legally obliged to pay you but not legally permitted to do so.
However, I thought it would be interesting to ask the question of my provider who so far have not been able to answer - I got no response to emails apart from an automated reply and phone calls were answered by staff who said they don't know and will have to pass the query onto their legal team.

What I was trying to discover was whether "passporting" was actually involved at all as I am a UK citizen, the payments are made to a UK bank account in my name and were paid prior to my move to Spain i.e.when I was still a UK resident.

It seemed a simple enough question but on the phone they started to say "but we don't know what might happen" - I said I'm not interested in what might happen, the question is whether payments to my UK account could legally continue assuming nothing changes as of now with regard to legislation and we have a no deal Brexit.

I couldn't see how I could have put it any clearer but I gave up on the phone as the response was "well nobody knows" which is nonsensical because someone knows the current situation, and I am just saying if nothing changes apart from a no deal Brexit will you continue to pay my annuity.

I also, just for the fun of it, contacted the ABI and they were just as vague although in fairness they don't have my policy details so they suggested I contact the policy providers. Apologies for such a long post but here is what the ABI had to say

" The ABI has been concerned for some time about the uncertainty surrounding insurance and pension contracts and what the situation will be after Brexit, and we've been talking to politicians and regulators about it for over a year. We understand your wish for clarity and the industry is in much the same situation. The message we are keen to spread is that the situation can easily be sorted out with enough co-operation between the various regulators, but we are still waiting for that to happen. In the meantime, in the event of no deal, anyone living in the EU who holds a contract with or gets payments from a UK based insurer may find themselves in an uncertain position as to whether those will be able to continue after the end of March next year. Every situation is different and the impact on individuals like yourself will vary depending on who your provider is, where you are based and what approach regulators take in each jurisdiction. The best thing is to contact your pension or annuity provider direct who may be able to provide additional information based on your own personal circumstances, and on their situation as a company. "

And here is my response

"Thank you for taking the time to reply, and, of course, I have been in touch with my various providers, none of whom can provide a clear answer either. I thought my question was a straightforward one as I didn't really understand what passporting meant and wondered whether it applied to my circumstances i.e. payments made prior to moving to Spain and still made to a UK bank account and I am a UK citizen who happens to be a Spanish resident.
It seems to me that my provider is under a legal obligation to make payments to me but may legally not be permitted to do so. This surely is an anomaly that can not be allowed to exist and legislation must be put in place to prevent it. I have never heard passporting mentioned in relation to my payments, all of which are annuities and one being an immediate life annuity.
So, I appreciate your reply but I'm afraid it does nothing to clarify my position, although, I am confident that a resolution will be found prior to a hard, soft or no-deal Brexit."
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El Cid
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby El Cid » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:40 pm

Passporting is irrelevant as you have a UK annuity paid into a UK bank account. Nothing will change as that arrangement is nothing to do with the EU.

There has been a huge amount of scaremongering after just a couple of news items.

It is true that passporting might affect some pensions, such as those paid from an EU provider which may now have to be paid into an EU bank. Even then, this is only relevant if the pensioner is currently having it paid into a UK bank and has no EU bank any more.

I am not surprised that no one can give you a definitive answer as they probably only became aware of the potential situation from similar "Fake News".

Sid

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fyfin
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby fyfin » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:55 pm

Basically Sid that's what I was trying to get them to say but they seem reluctant to even confirm that. I don't know if they are trying to say that as I am a Spanish resident that means the payment is going to a non UK resident and so somehow different.
I'm still waiting for an email response. If I get one I will share it.
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby Manchesteral » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:46 pm

fyfin, to put your mind at rest, if you are a U K citizen they (whoever they are) cannot legally refuse to pay you what is rightfully yours, worst case scenario is that they MAY refuse to pay it into an E U account unless you pay a premium which is what I suspect they're up to, do you have a U K address ?

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fyfin
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby fyfin » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:24 pm

I've got a UK bank account which everything except the state pension is paid into, but no UK address now. To be honest I'm not really that bothered as I'm sure it'll be resolved before March but what does annoy me is that none of the companies or even the ABI can say anything definite regarding the situation. All you get is "could" or "may" or some other platitude like "no-one knows what might happen".
I don't care what might happen - where we are now is a definite situation so they must know whether a policy is subject to passporting or not. Then, if it is subject to passporting, will it be affected if it's being paid into a UK bank account. Simple enough I think but they seem reluctant to say.
I haven't given up with emailing the providers and to be honest I'm just going to keep at for the devilment now
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El Cid
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby El Cid » Wed Aug 29, 2018 10:38 pm

As I said earlier, if it originates in the UK and is paid into a UK account it is NOT a problem.

It’s a bit like saying you will need a passport to drive from Kent to Surrey.

Sid

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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby Trooperman » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:27 am

I'm still in the dark about the verb "passport". I thought it was a noun. What is "to passport"?
I'm in exactly the same situation as fyfin and I can see absolutely no reason why my UK annuity provider cannot pay into my UK bank account as they have done previously and as they have contracted to do: I suspect it's the annuity providers' unwillingness to commit to any course of action in case they may have to change the small print of an agreement; I blame corporate fence-sitting and the inability and reluctamce to make decisions.
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El Cid
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby El Cid » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:30 am

Trooperman wrote: I blame corporate fence-sitting and the inability and reluctamce to make decisions.


A bit like the whole Brexit process!

Sid

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Terry Tibbs
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby Terry Tibbs » Thu Aug 30, 2018 1:16 pm

Trooperman wrote:I'm still in the dark about the verb "passport". I thought it was a noun. What is "to passport"?

An American acquaintance of mine once said, "Hey, any noun can be verbed!" :lol:

Here's hoping this all gets straightened out before March; although Sid's conclusion does seem perfectly logical to me.

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fyfin
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Re: Passporting - what does it all mean re annuities

Postby fyfin » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:31 pm

Just an update - I've had a letter from one of the annuity providers, Scottish Widows, who seem bemused by the question I put to them. Their response was "Please note that we currently pay annuity payments throughout the world, and do not envisage any changes in offering this facility going forward". They go on to say that they can pay into a Spanish bank account if I wish and enclosed a form for my benefit. I also had an email from LV another provider along the same lines
" Thank you for your email. I can confirm that we will continue to make your payments to your UK bank account so we will not make any changes.
You may need to contact your bank to see if they will be making changes based on a no deal Brexit.
I’m sorry that this may not answer your query but as I said there will be no changes made by us."
Yet, we still get dire warnings from Financial Advisers and the press.
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