The value of your investment can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you paid in. Laws and tax rules may change in the future. Your own circumstances and where you live in the UK also have an impact on tax treatment.

What is an International Bond?

The International Bond is an offshore bond provided by Standard Life International dac in Dublin to UK customers. Offshore Bonds are a tax-efficient way for you to invest money over the medium to long term. This is usually over five years or more.

With an Offshore Bond, you can invest a lump sum or regular payments. Investing your money means it could potentially grow tax efficiently over time because you won't normally pay tax on investment growth, which could give you more savings for the future.

When you feel ready, the money you've saved can be taken as a regular income to pay for life in retirement. Each year you can withdraw up to 5% of the total payments made into the bond on a tax-deferred basis. This is cumulative so if you don't take a withdrawal in year one, you can take 10% in year two. Or you can choose to pass it on to your family. An International Bond can be fully or partially surrendered at any time.


Why choose an International Bond?

Offshore investing can be a tax-efficient way to plan for your future, as you normally won’t pay any tax until you take more than your tax-deferred allowance for the year out of the bond. The amount of tax you’ll have to pay will be based on your situation at that time.

Offshore bonds can be useful if:

  • You’re looking for a tax-efficient way to save for the future
  • You’ve used up your pension allowance, as a bond can offer tax advantages
  • You’re thinking about protecting your estate against inheritance tax
  • You’re planning to gift money to your family or friends.


How are International Bonds invested?

You can choose from a wide range of investments to help you meet your goals, including funds, discretionary investment managers and bank deposits. You can also switch investments whenever you like.* You may also be rewarded with discounts for investing more money.

*You can switch in and out of investments at any time, although conditions may apply depending on the type of investment.

At Standard Life International, we believe that considering important financial Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) issues in the investment process improves the decision making and delivers better outcomes.

For the latest information on how we are integrating ESG considerations into our everyday operations please refer to - A responsible approach to your offshore bond investments .


For more information on offshore investing please check out our guide and Key Information Documents:

Read our Offshore investing guide (738KB)

Read our IB (life assurance) Key Information Document (50KB)

Read our IB (capital redemption) Key Information Document (50KB)

We have more information on the funds you can invest in with an International Bond. You can learn more in the Supplementary Information Documents (insured funds) and Key Investor Information Documents (mutual funds) on our check your funds tool page.