UK Pension Transfer To Australia - Retirement Considerations

Posted by Simon Harvey on 12/09/09 14:18

As the advisers at Global QROPS Ltd have had many years of experience in advising people considering a UK pension transfer to Australia, they are frequently referred to for their opinion on the subject.

Most people assume that, when they migrate ‘Down Under’ that they should transfer their pension to Australia. However, Global QROPS Ltd is of the opinion that whether a UK pension transfer to Australia is a good idea should be taken on a case by case basis.

Before the UK introduced Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS), an individual migrating to Australia, who was approaching retirement, could have the option of affecting a UK pension transfer to Australia and taking the benefits immediately, in the form of 100% lump sum – as Australian rules allowed for this from their schemes. From 6th April 2006, an individual has to have been abroad for 5 complete UK tax years before their UK funds, transferred to a QROPS, fall outside the UK reporting requirements and revert to local rules.

This QROPS rule change made a UK pension transfer to Australia less attractive in the immediate term than before. However, this does not necessarily mean an individual should hold onto their pension assets in the UK either. Due to the Australian FIF (Foreign Investment Fund), some assets held in UK pensions could be taxed on the growth – on an annual on going basis – whether they are moved to Australia or not. Depending on their visa type (amongst other issues) Global QROPS Ltd can advise the best pension strategy.