Over the years, a number of United Kingdom residents are choosing to leave the rainy weather conditions behind and move across to the other side of the world in Australia, to enjoy a more easy-going sunny lifestyle. It is the retirement dream of many, but to transfer their UK pension seems way too complicated for some. In a world full of a big variety of regulations and laws to follow, it can be extremely hard to keep up. Especially by yourself. If you can relate to this particular situation and struggle, then you will be happy to know that we are here to help you in understanding all the rules and regulations related to your transfer UK pension to Australia.
If you have previously worked in the UK and have now moved to Australia permanently, you will most likely want to know whether you can transfer your UK pension into a Superannuation fund in Australia. If you transfer UK pension to Australia you will need to be aware of the various rules surrounding this.
Let us explain the possible circumstances you may face when starting to transfer UK pension to Australia, so that you are left informed and can make an appropriate decision when the time comes.
It has become a lot more difficult to transfer a UK pension to Australia over the years. Due to current UK legislation, you can only transfer your UK pension to Australia if you’re aged 55 or over. If you’re under age 55, then your pensions will remain in a UK pension scheme. However, this does not mean they have to stay with the same UK pension provider.
You are still able to transfer your UK pension(s) to another provider. Transferring your pensions to a new provider can result in lower charges and fees, increased investment performance and more control over your pension, especially if it is an employer pension. Transfer UK Pension to a SIPP may be more appropriate for you before age 55.
If you have multiple pensions, it can be sensible to combine these into one plan, so you have less administration to worry about, one set of fees to pay and only one pension to transfer to Australia, if and when the time comes. When you transfer your UK pension, it is likely that you will feel like you are in control of your money, more so than before, and you are able to see your retirement ambition clearer by making wise decisions.
There may be other reasons as to why you would want to transfer UK pension across. For example, it will be beneficial to consider a transfer for your UK pension so that you can avoid currency risk. This will mean that if you live in Australia and choose to withdraw money from your UK pension as it stands back home, the fluctuating cost of switching your funds from UK pounds to Australian dollars could be very costly for you.
However, it is important to also note that, to be able to transfer UK pension to Australia, without incurring penalties and additional charges, you will need to ensure that you are transferring your funds to an Australian pension scheme which qualifies as a QROPS. This means that the Australian pension scheme you have chosen is meeting the UK pension rules and regulation. It is known that there are not that many Australian schemes that meet these specific UK pension criteria.
QROPS in Australia
The Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme, also known as QROPS, is a system first introduced in April 2006. It was designed for individuals permanently living overseas, away from the UK, so that they can simplify their pension concerns and ultimately transfer UK pension. QROPS have been sold heavily by offshore financial advisers, in Malta, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man – often promising significant benefits, but in reality, these don’t exist and are very similar to a regular UK pension scheme. QROPS also have contain fees that are hidden commissions, which you may not be aware even exist. What is more, when completing a transfer UK pension to Australia, things can begin to seem quite tricky due to various legislations.
If you’re over age 55, then you can transfer your UK pension to a Superannuation fund in Australia. The receiving Super fund must have Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) status in order to complete your full transfer UK pension. This, simply put, means that this scheme is an overseas pension scheme that the UK recognises as eligible to receive UK pension transfers, from accordingly registered pension schemes in the UK. To be eligible for a UK pension transfer, the QROPS in Australia can only accept transfers from age 55 (age 57 from 2028).
Transfer your pension to MyExpatSIPP
Our services can help you plan for the future. If you are under the age of 55, or you do not wish to transfer your UK pension to a QROPS in Australia, we can help you so that you have more control over your retirement.
Australian residents under age 55 can transfer their pension(s) into our SIPP. MyExpatSIPP is a type of UK personal pension plan that is designed especially for non-UK residents. The pension plan has a simple and low cost charging structure with no paperwork to worry about as everything is managed online, including the initial application.
A Self-Invested Personal Pension, also known as a SIPP, is a type of United Kingdom registered pension plan that provides you with a much greater amount of control and flexibility over the money in your UK pension, as well as the investments you decide to make. It is the perfect tool you can use to transfer UK pension to wherever in the world you are, for example Australia.
You will be able to make your own decisions on how your money is invested. You will also be able to determine how much and how often you want to withdraw your money from your pre-existing UK pension. What is more important, is that you will be able to invest in Australian stocks and funds if that is something that interests you and you think it will increase your retirement funds for the future. Again, all of this will only be able to be performed from the age of 55 as these are the requirements set out by the government.
If you do not wish to manage your own investments, all you need to do is pick one of the ready-made investment options and then we look after the rest. The ready made investment portfolios are managed by Vanguard and BlackRock, which means that you do not have to worry or stress over managing your own investments, you can allow the experts to do it for you.
Alternatively, you have the ability to build you own portfolio with online dealing in shares, ETFs, investment trusts and mutual funds, if that is the route you wish to take with your UK pension.
We will provide you with all the resources so you can manage your UK pension in a digital way. We will also provide you with information and guidance which will help you stay in control of your own pension, being able to manage it online anywhere in the world.
We are also very transparent with our simple and fair fees. We are going to be very open and honest about the charges of your SIPP as there will be no hidden commissions taken from your UK pension when you transfer with us. You will not be locked into a ten year policy with no way out. We believe that if you are unsatisfied with our services, then you will be able to move your pension with another provider without a hefty exit fee or a large surrender.
You get 24/7 online access to your plan where you can track the value of your pension and check on the progress of any one of your investments.
Switch and combine your pensions into one easy to manage online plan. Then when you reach age 55, we can assist you with transferring your pension to Australia, in accordance with all the rules and regulations.
Contact us about transferring your pensions.