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UK Pension Transfer Service

Our complimentary UK Pension Transfer Information Service helps you understand your UK Pension scheme and the options available to you. 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 transfer with us?

UK Pension Table


Why transfer?

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.

Managing your UK Pension Scheme when based in New Zealand can be challenging, particularly keeping abreast of changes occurring in the UK. By choosing to transfer your UK Pension Scheme you will benefit from the expert 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.


Who can transfer? 

  • Returning New Zealand citizens;
  • UK nationals who have migrated to New Zealand; and
  • Non-UK nationals with UK Pension benefits who have migrated to New Zealand.

Our UK Pension Transfer Service requires transferring clients to be living in New Zealand with the intention and ability to reside and retire in New Zealand permanently.

You may not be able to transfer your UK Pension to New Zealand if you are already receiving income from an annuity purchased from benefits accrued from your UK Pension Scheme.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further questions, some may be answered from those that our clients have asked when transferring their UK pension.

Click on heading Frequently Asked Questions for more information about our UK Pension Transfer Service.

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.

Should I transfer my UK Pension scheme to New Zealand?

Every UK Pension is different and there are some instances where transferring your UK Pension to New Zealand is not necessarily in your best financial interests.

Should I transfer my UK Pension scheme to New Zealand, even if I think I may return to the UK to retire?

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.

Can my UK Pension be transferred directly into a nominated bank account or savings plan?

No - UK regulations require that UK Pension funds must be transferred to a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS) .

What age can I access my pension funds in New Zealand?

Currently, when someone transfers their UK Pension to a New Zealand ROPS, they may be able to access up to 30% of their UK derived contributions and any investment returns on them at the age of 55 years, subject to the UK Pension scheme withdrawal criteria and the prevailing ROPS rules. At least 70% of the amount transferred has to be used to generate an income for life; therefore the rules preclude full withdrawals at retirement. For further information read the Craigs Superannuation Scheme Product Disclosure Statement.

Can I withdraw cash from my pension fund once it is in a New Zealand superannuation scheme?

Yes - subject to the terms and conditions of your scheme and the ROPS rules prevailing at the time of a withdrawal from a ROPS scheme. Any withdrawals made before the completion of 5 full tax years as a non UK tax resident may be subject to an unauthorised payment charge. On attaining the age of entitlement you may have access to some of your funds, without the requirement to purchase an annuity. Members who have transferred UK pensions under the ROPS rules are required by those rules to apply at least 70% of ROPS transferred funds to generate an income for life.

How long does it take to transfer my UK Pension?

The time to transfer can vary, but generally it takes between 3-6 months.

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 ensures you make an informed decision and makes the process easier for you.

Can I still transfer my UK Pension to New Zealand if I have started to draw income from it?

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.

Should I transfer my UK Pension to a NZ superannuation scheme before I leave the UK?

No - it is not always in your best interests to transfer your UK Pension prior to leaving the UK.

Will I be eligible for New Zealand Government superannuation payments?

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 benefit or pension, 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.

To obtain a statement of your UK State Pension download form BR19 from the HMRC website www.hmrc.gov.uk.

What are the tax implications or issues associated with transfers?

If you retain your UK Pension and it pays a regular benefit to you this is deemed income and you will need to pay tax on it in New Zealand, unless you qualify for a 'transitional residents' exemption. See the Inland Revenue website www.ird.govt.nz.

What is ROPS?

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. HMRC recently reviewed the rules surrounding ROPS reporting and the required reporting period is currently 10 years from the date of transfer.

For more information, view the current Craigs Superannuation Scheme Product Disclosure Statement.

When is the UK Tax Year?

6 April through to 5 April each year.

Do you charge a fee for your pension transfer service?

No. We are an investment advisory firm, with a central goal to protect and grow the wealth of private clients. The gathering of information on your UK Pension scheme and helping you transfer this to our registered superannuation scheme is a complimentary service for our Craigs Investment Partners clients. Fees may be charged when investing your transferred funds.

Are there any other fees that I can expect to pay for the transfer of my UK Pension fund?

Yes – there may be charges imposed by your UK Pension provider or by the banks who process your transfer.

Can I make regular contributions or lump sums toward my superannuation scheme in New Zealand?

If transferring your UK pension there is no requirement to make regular contributions and we would not recommend this as 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, it would therefore restrict access to any non-UK Pension Funds contributions.

Can I change my investment portfolio if I’m not happy with my investment performance?

Yes – you can switch the direction of your investments at any time. Fees may apply.

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For more information, view the current Craigs Superannuation Scheme Product Disclosure Statement

 

Recommendation to seek Independent Financial Advice
You should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of transferring your UK Pension to New Zealand with an experienced and qualified financial adviser. Craigs Investment Partners’ UK Pension Transfer Service provides information only to clients and makes no recommendation in relation to, and accepts no responsibility or ongoing liability for, any decision to transfer in respect of Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (ROPS) legislation at the time of transfer or in the future as it may not always be in your best interests to transfer. Transfers are subject to ROPS rules. The rules and regulations relating to ROPS transfers may change at any time and are subject to the interpretation of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Custom (HMRC).

Disclaimer
The Craigs Superannuation Scheme (Craigs Superannuation) is issued and managed by Craigs Investment Partners Superannuation Management Limited. The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited is the supervisor of Craigs Superannuation. None of The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited, Craigs Investment Partners Superannuation Management Limited (or any director of those entities) or any other person, guarantees the performance or returns of Craigs Superannuation, or the return of capital. Investments made in Craigs Superannuation are subject to investment and other risks (including those set out in the Craigs Superannuation Scheme Product Disclosure Statement) and are not guaranteed by the manager, the supervisor or any other person.