Today we are entering into the final phases of a stormy political period in Sweden. On the 9 September the Swedish people will know if the left party, the Social Democrats (Sw; Socialdemokraterna) or the right wing party, the Swedish Democrats (Sw; Sverigedemokraterna) will become the biggest Swedish party and/or if the centre liberal conservatives (Sw; Alliansen) will get enough votes to overturn the current left wing coalition; with or without the support of the Swedish Democrats.
The ambiguous political landscape in Sweden is likely to feed further uncertainty regarding the final composition of a new government, and for some, this fuels a renewed fear of a left wing collation. The Social Democrats have indicated their intent to (continue to) raise the tax rate on wealthy individuals, but have not been able to specify what shape or form such tax reform will take.
When looking back at recently suggested tax initiatives; such as the proposal for an exit tax, widen CFC-legislation, unilateral termination of double taxation treaties (namely the Portuguese – Swedish DDT) and most recently the proposal for an increasd taxation on capital income, clients will continue to reconsider their options, which may include investment abroad in secure and efficient structures, or even to relocate to other countries.
Not all financial structures or wealth plans can withstand changes in client’s circumstances; the Swedish Investment Savings Account (Sw; ISK) for example is only recognised for tax purposes in Sweden. On the other hand, unit-linked life assurance solutions (Sw; kapitalförsäkring) are relatively well harmonised across countries from both a tax and civil law point of view and an insurance solution tailored by the right experts can assist in solving points of uncertainty and ensuring clients extensive, and often complex, needs are met. These might include the complexities of planning for dual nationality and tax residency, family members living in a third country, the most diversified investment portfolios including complex (non-traditional) assets and Swedish and foreign holding company structures to name a few.
However the Swedish smörgåsbord will turn in the upcoming weeks and months ahead, and whatever the ultimate shape of a new Swedish government, Lombard International Assurance’s commitment to the Swedish market and our Swedish clients will remain unchanged – as it has been for the past 25 years.
Needless to say that the political instability currently felt in Sweden is not over, in fact it may not even have started. Therefore, a review of existing wealth plans, individual as well as corporate ones, is likely to be prudent. The exercise will realistically include the identification of wealth solutions that are not only compliant and fiscally efficient today, but also sufficiently resilient in the long term to protect and enhance wealth for retirement as well as for the next generation to come. An international unit-linked life assurance solution – a well-recognised wealth planning tool in Sweden – may be the answer. Lombard International Assurance Swedish compliant insurance solution offers the following advantages.
Benefits summary for our Swedish policyholders
- investment flexibility – access to international assets not registered in Sweden, such as alternative funds and private equity;
- maximum policyholder protection through Luxembourg’s “Triangle of Security”;
- no capital gains or income tax on proceeds from the life assurance policy. Specifically, gains derived from withdrawals and/or surrender are not subject to local income tax;
- possibility to assign, pledge or use the life assurance policy as collateral;
- the proceeds from the life assurance policy fall outside the Swedish taxpayer’s estate on the death of the life assured if there is beneficiary nomination;
- direct investor influence possible – policyholder free to manage the portfolio of a fund linked to the life assurance policy;
- easy to declare in the annual Swedish tax declaration.
The effective tax rate for 2018 on foreign life assurances held by Swedish resident individuals amounts to 0,447% on the value of the life assurance in the beginning of the year + full or half value of premiums paid to the life assurance during the year depending on when the premium was paid.
Lombard International Assurance offers policies that are portable from one country to another. A Swedish resident investor taking a life policy today can leave Sweden for another country in the future without needing to dismantle or replace the investment at that time. The future tax treatment of policy gains depend on the tax regime in the new host country. Lombard international Assurance policies enjoy equivalent (or better) tax advantages to domestic policies in many European and non-European countries when relocating.
> Discover our Portability Simulation Tool here!
By: Madelene Gorbutt Hägg Aff Jur Mag, TEP
Senior Wealth Planner & Relationship Manager
Lombard International Assurance
For further information on our solutions please contact the Swedish Sales team
Mats Rönneskog - Country Manager Sweden
Madelene Gorbutt Hägg - Senior Wealth Planner & Relationship Manager
Rikard Havander - Senior Relationship Manager
Also available in Swedish