UK PENSION TRANSFER SERVICE FAQS
Craigs offer a complimentary UK Pension Transfer Information Service helps you understand your UK Pension scheme, the options available to you and will assist with a transfer should you wish to proceed. There are a number of differences between UK Pension and New Zealand superannuation schemes. Prior to transferring you should be sure you understand the benefits of transferring your UK Pension as it may not always be in your best interests to transfer.
Why should I transfer?
Managing your UK Pension Scheme when based in New Zealand can be challenging, particularly keeping abreast of changes occurring in the UK and working with a provider on the other side of the world. By choosing to transfer your UK Pension Scheme you will benefit from the knowledge of a local Investment Adviser, helping you manage your portfolio and responding to any requests, such as altering your investments, organising a withdrawal or simply providing reporting.
There are differences between UK pensions and NZ superannuation schemes. Prior to transferring it is important you understand your UK Pension Scheme and NZ receiving scheme, as it may not always be in your best interest to transfer.
The features and benefits of transferring your UK Pension with Craigs Investment Partners:
No – a decision to transfer is best made once you consider that you are firmly settled in New Zealand as once you have made the transfer to a New Zealand superannuation scheme you cannot transfer your funds back to your old UK Pension scheme.
No – it is not always in your best interests to transfer your UK Pension prior to leaving the UK.
Am I eligible to transfer my UK Pension to New Zealand?
You may be eligible to transfer your UK Pension if you are:
- A returning New Zealand citizen
- A UK national who has migrated to New Zealand
- A non-UK national with UK Pension benefits who has migrated to New Zealand
Craigs Investment Partners UK Pension Transfer Service requires that, in order to utilise the service, a transferring client’s intention must be to reside and retire in New Zealand permanently.
Can I transfer my UK Pension myself?
Yes, you can. However, this can be a cumbersome and complex process, so unless you have easy access to information and understand the details, we recommend you seek advice. We offer clients a complimentary transfer service. This enables you to make an informed decision and makes the process easier for you.
The time to transfer can vary, but generally it takes between 3-6 months.
No - UK regulations require that UK Pension funds must be transferred to a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS).
It may be possible to transfer a UK Pension where income is being received. However, if you have already started to receive your UK Pension in the form of an annuity, you may not transfer your UK Pension to New Zealand.
When can I access my Pension fund in the UK?
The current minimum age for taking pension benefits is age 55, increasing to 57 by 2028. It will continue to rise in line with any changes to the UK State pension age, so that they remain 10 years apart. Your pension scheme may however restrict access prior to the Schemes Normal Retirement age, which may be between 60 and 65 years of age.
For further information, read the Craigs Superannuation Scheme Product Disclosure Statement
This stands for Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS). It is a recognised overseas pension scheme that meets certain requirements laid down by the UK HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Custom) to enable them to receive transferred funds from UK Pension funds.
In order to transfer your UK pension, the New Zealand superannuation scheme you wish to transfer into must be a ROPS. Any ROPS is required and obligated to report back to HMRC for a specific period regarding any payments made to members. The required reporting period is currently 10 years from the date of transfer and if you are a UK tax resident in the current tax year or any of the previous 10 full UK tax years.
What are the costs?
Craigs Investment Partners does not charge for the gathering of information on your UK Pension scheme and helping you transfer this to our registered superannuation scheme. There may be charges imposed by your UK Pension provider and/or by the bank that processes your transfer. Once the funds are received, there will be fees associated with your investment into the Craigs Superannuation Scheme.
- New Zealand Foreign Superannuation taxation may apply to your transfer. There is a four year exemption period for foreign super withdrawals/transfers, similar to the transitional resident tax exemption and applies to foreign superannuation withdrawals/transfers during this period. If you qualify for a four-year exemption period, a foreign superannuation withdrawal/transfer received during this period is exempt from New Zealand tax. See the Inland Revenue website ird.govt.nz. – IR257.
It is important to note that if you are under 55 years of age, you will not be able to make a withdrawal to meet any tax liability.
- Overseas transfer charge – if within 5 full UK tax years of the transfer you change your country of residency or request a transfer to a QROPS that is established in another country, a deduction of 25% of your total fund value would be required, payable by the Scheme to the UK HMRC.
- Withdrawals within 5 years of the transfer may be subject to UK tax rules.
Yes, but there is no requirement to make regular contributions and we recommend you do so into a separate account. The UK HMRC currently have a first £/$ rule, in that any withdrawals would be considered to be the UK Tax Relieved funds/the UK transfer funds, and non UK pension funds withdrawals are restricted between the age of 55 and 65 years.
6 April through to 5 April each year.
Yes – you can switch the direction of your investments at any time. Fees may apply.
You may be eligible for New Zealand Superannuation if you are over the age of 65 and:
- are a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident; or
- have lived in New Zealand for at least 10 years since you turned 20, and for at least 5 years since you turned 50
Generally, if you are entitled to a New Zealand Superannuation, you will be paid the difference between your New Zealand entitlement and the amount of your overseas state pension entitlement, if any. For further details, contact Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) phone 0800 552 002 or visit www.winz.govt.nz. Further information is also available from the Inland Revenue website www.ird.govt.nz | IR 258 booklet
To obtain a statement of your entitlement to a UK State Pension download form BR19 from the HMRC website.