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When transferring your UK Pension to New Zealand, it’s important to understand both the benefits and potential risks. Read on for what to be aware of and our helpful list of FAQs.

Benefits

From Tax and Estate Planning confidence through to clarity on retirement savings, transferring your UK Pension can deliver numerous benefits, including:

Tax: Under current rules, if completed within four years from the first day you become a tax resident in New Zealand, you can transfer your UK Pension without any NZ tax obligations.

Estate Planning: Once your funds are transferred to a QROPS, you can have confidence that your Pension will remain in your Estate for your family and loved ones.

Investment oversight: Regain control of your retirement planning; you can manage the investment of your funds through your chosen QROPS, and even in combination with your KiwiSaver plans.

This is just a quick overview of some of the common benefits. Like to find out more and assess the benefits for your personal circumstances? Click here to request a free, personalised report from Pension Transfers.

Risks

Timing, tax obligations, and exchange rates: here are some of the common risks to be aware of when transferring your UK Pension to New Zealand.

Timing is crucial: Under current rules, you have four years from the day you become a NZ tax resident to transfer your UK Pension tax-free. After this four-year exemption period, the taxable income on the transfer can range between 4.76% and 100% of your pension value.

Currency exchange: A common mistake is to do the transfer and currency exchange in one step, losing control over when your funds convert from GBP to NZD. By managing this process in two or multiple steps (using Dollar Cost Averaging), you can choose to transfer your UK Pension to New Zealand in GBP, and wait until the exchange rate is favourable to convert to NZD.

While these are some of the more common risks to be aware of, individual risks vary depending on personal circumstances. It's important to get a comprehensive understanding of your UK Pension transfer options upfront. Like to get started? Request a free, personalised report from Pension Transfers here.

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FAQs

  • How do I know if transferring my UK Pension is the right decision for my personal circumstances?

    We offer a free personalised report to help you understand and make an educated decision that relates to your personal circumstances pension transfer.

    In short, with your permission, we contact your UK pension provider to gather all necessary information. We will then report back to you with your free Pension Transfers personalised report, which will explain the advantages and disadvantages about the transfer, and provide recommendations including information about associated fees should you choose to proceed, for your consideration.

    Click here to request your free report.

  • What are the tax implications of transferring my UK Pension to New Zealand?

    Under current rules, there is a four-year transfer window from the first day you become tax resident, during which time you can make the transfer to New Zealand without any NZ tax obligations. If you transfer after this four-year exemption period, the taxable income on the transfer can range between 4.76% to 100% of your pension value, assessable at your marginal tax rate. So it is best to consider your timeframes to help eliminate or minimise your tax situation. We also recommend talking to a tax specialist to get a clear understanding of the tax treatment of your UK pension scheme entitlements in New Zealand.

  • What information will I need to organise my UK Pension transfer?

    To request a free, personalised report with Pension Transfers, all we need is the following information and your authority to contact your UK Pension transfer provider – then we do the legwork and information gathering for you. To get request your free report with Pension Transfers click here.

    • Your contact details (name, phone, email current address etc)
    • UK National Insurance Number
    • Name and Address of your UK Pension Scheme (and Scheme Reference Number, if known)
    • Name and Address of your last employer in the UK (and date of leaving employment in the UK, if known).
  • Can I access funds from my UK Pension once it has been transferred to New Zealand?

    The minimum age you can access up to 30 percent of your pension is 55 years old. It’s also important to ensure that your chosen QROPS is aligned with your plans with regard to withdrawing funds. Withdrawal rules are governed by the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs), and if they are breached, can have serious tax implications.

  • How long does the UK Pension transfer process take?

    Every UK Pension Transfer is unique and therefore the time involved varies. Typically, the process takes three to six months, and often this depends on the time it takes for the UK Pension provider to arrange transfer papers and confirm transfer figures.

  • Does my UK Pension transfer to NZ dollars when it arrives?

    This is up to you. We can hold your UK Pension in GBP for as long as you like, giving you currency control. Or if you would like to transfer it to NZD once the funds arrive, we can arrange this for you.

    As the transfer process can take some time, and there is little warning as to when the funds will make the trip, we often recommend transferring in GBP so that you can then transfer to NZD to reduce currency exchange risks. You can also choose to exchange your funds from GBP to NZD in bundles over a period of time at no additional cost - this is called Dollar Cost Averaging and can be a smart strategy to minimise currency risk.

  • Can I transfer my UK Pension to a NZ QROPS and hold in GBP currency?

    Yes, you can transfer your UK Pension to a QROPS in GBP. This gives you control over when you make the currency exchange from GBP to NZD.

  • Is my money safe during the transfer process?

    The money is in a QROPS-approved Trustees Scheme, therefore at no time do we control it. When you transfer, you will have the right to your money within the QROPS rules. The rules that govern pension entitlements in both the UK and New Zealand are designed to protect your interests.

  • What is a QROPS?

    A QROPS is an overseas pension scheme designed to accept UK pension transfers, as the scheme meets certain requirements that are set by the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs). If you decide to transfer your UK pension to New Zealand, and don’t transfer it to a QROPS, you may face unauthorised charges.

  • Do I control how my money gets invested?

    Absolutely. At Pension Transfers, we are not ‘tied’ to one fund provider. We have a range of options to make recommendations from, based on your retirement planning objectives, risk profile and investment horizon.

  • Can I adjust my investments overtime?

    Absolutely. If at any time, or on receiving your six-monthly investment report, you would like to make adjustments, we can change your investment allocation to suit your needs.

  • Can I continue to make contributions to my Pension once it is transferred?

    Yes, and this is recommended for your retirement savings. We can arrange regular contributions towards your pension fund starting from $100 per month, which can be split amongst your investments.

  • What ongoing reporting will I receive?

    Our QROPS providers have online portal access giving you full transparency about all transactions. You will get monthly return updates, access to advice as and when required and will be provided with a six-monthly or annual review (your preference), making sure your investments are on target with your personal risk profile.

  • Why should I choose Pension Transfers for my UK Pension transfer?

    We have specialised in UK Pension transfers since 2000, and to date have transferred more than $NZD600 million of pension transfer funds.

    We are wholly focused on providing UK Pension transfer expertise and advice. Helping NZ residents with UK Pensions to make an informed decision for their UK Pension transfer; to choose the right QROPS for their needs, financial future and retirement planning, is what we do.

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