We recently caught up with Darion Pohl from Xpat Group, to discuss the latest issues surrounding the transfer of UK Superannuation to Australian Superannuation Funds.
What Line of work do you specialize in?
I work as CEO of Xpat Group. Xpat (together with its affiliates) is located in Australia, the UK and New Zealand. Xpat specializes in providing cross border financial strategies and pension transfer solutions for people who are resident in one country and have financial assets in another country. As an example, an Australian resident may have a UK pension scheme which exceeds the Australian non-concessional contribution limits. Xpat is best placed to provide a solution where the client can have a share of their UK pension transferred to Australia up to the limits, with the remainder of their fund properly managed overseas, and set up for future draw down over time in line with the most optimal Australian taxation outcome. In this case – we provide the advice, undertake the structuring, implement the international transfer and then continue to look after the client’s assets in the UK and abroad so they are not caught out]
What is the main reason you got into your industry?
Having qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries in both the UK and Australia and having worked in the two jurisdictions previously, it was able to spot opportunities for product development between the two different jurisdictions. Further, it seemed as if there was a real shortfall of people who properly knew how to act with regards to pensions and finances on moving between the two countries and could spot the most appropriate strategy. I hence decided to give it a go and have since spent approximately 15 years specializing in this area and building up a team of people who can provide all round assistance to our clients. I enjoy working in this field.
What current challenges is your industry facing?
The main challenge relates to ongoing changes in legislation. By monitoring 2 countries at once, anytime a budget or legislative announcement comes out with regards to superannuation/pensions in one country, it will have an indirect bearing on emigrants in the other country. The most optimal strategy for an emigrant will alter in line with the new rules. It is essential that you are able to not only understand the impact of the changes to legislation, but can design the most appropriate product/strategy to fit in with the new rules
Where do you see the industry heading?
I believe that as the workforce becomes ever more mobile with people spending time in multiple countries and jurisdictions over their lifetime, the area of expatriate finance will continue to grow, but remain confined to those with specialist expertise.
How has technology disrupted how you run your business?
There have not been huge disruptions, likely due to the complexity of the work itself. Main technology developments have been associated with product development or streamlining efficiency in marketing and business processes.
Who are the most important people to have in your business network?
Anyone working with emigrants!
What input or assistance do you expect from your accountant/bookkeeper?
To understand how to deal with more than one jurisdiction including the impact of double tax agreements; To provide an efficient and timely service with regards to accounts, invoices; To provide strategic input into financial decision making.
How have PTAM helped you?
PTAM has assisted in explaining complex concepts to a mutual client of ours who had assets in the UK which he was looking to move to Australia. It was comforting to know that PTAM was on hand to help the client understand the impact of the cross border concepts outlined by Xpat.
Where can we find you?
You can learn more about the work we do here.