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Under current rules, you cannot transfer your UK Pension to a QROPS Super Fund until you reach aged 55. The reason being is that in Australia you are permitted, under certain circumstances, to withdraw funds before age 55 which goes against UK law.

However, you can transfer your UK Pension to our International Expat SIPP. This can be used to set up a future transfer and easy transition into Australian Superannuation when you reach age 55.

QROPS stands for ‘Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme’. A QROPS is an HMRC registered pension scheme which can accept a transfer of UK pension funds. 

In order for an overseas scheme to qualify for ‘QROPS status’, it must meet certain strict criteria set by HMRC. If you transfer your pension to a plan that is not a registered QROPS, you will face a significant penalty so be sure to check that the pension scheme you are intending on transferring to is listed on the HMRC ROPS list.

A full QROPS approved list of schemes can be found here.

If you set up a Self Managed Super Fund, you can apply to HMRC for QROPS registration in order for your fund to accept a transfer of your UK Pension monies but this is a complex and time-consuming process. Alternatively, you can transfer your UK Pension to our Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund which is Australia’s ONLY Retail Superannuation that is registered with HMRC as a QROPS. This would mean that you can completely avoid the complex registration process as this is all in place with our fund.

When transferring your UK Pension to Australia, you may be subject to a tax charge upon transfer. Tax is based on the investment growth achieved within your UK pension plan, from the date you became an Australian resident, to the date you transferred your UK pension into Australia. It is the growth achieved during this period which would be subject to tax.

You should seek professional tax advice from a qualified adviser before transferring your funds to safeguard you from any significant charges. An adviser will put in place a transfer strategy to mitigate any potential tax liabilities.

We can introduce you to one of our financial advice partners to help you with your transfer.

You may transfer the following types of UK pension arrangements to an Australian QROPS:

  • An Occupational Pension Scheme – A pension offered by your employer, typically a Group Personal Pension.
  • A Defined Benefit Scheme – These are schemes offered by your employer which offer a guaranteed benefit in retirement. Also known as Final Salary Schemes.
  • A Defined Contribution Scheme – These are Personal or Group Personal Pension Plans. A Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a Defined Contribution Scheme.
  • A Small Self Administered Scheme (SSAS) – This is also a Defined Contribution Scheme, however, the set up of them is a bit more complex.

The following types of UK Pensions are not permitted to transfer:

  • UK State Pension
  • Unfunded Civil Service Pensions which include NHS, Teachers, Fire Fighters, Police and Armed Forces.

You can transfer your UK Pension to Australia if you meet the following criteria.

  • You must be aged between 55 and 75 years. If you are under the age of 55 then you can transfer your Funds to our International Expat SIPP.
  • You can only transfer your UK Pension into a scheme that is registered with HMRC as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension (QROPS).

In some cases, you may fit these criteria but there are restrictions with transferring your plan, for example, it could be an NHS Pension Scheme or Teachers Pension which generally do not permit transfers. Our FREE consultation will allow us to understand what pensions you have and the options you have with them.

It's important to seek professional financial advice to make well-informed decisions about your pension funds, especially when transferring a pension. A qualified financial adviser can help protect you from the various tax risks involved in transferring a UK Pension overseas and create a tailored plan to align with your financial objectives. When transferring a 'defined benefit' pension (e.g., a final salary scheme), involving a financial adviser is mandatory if the value exceeds £30,000. This requirement is because of the guarantees associated with these pensions. Your current scheme provider will require you to obtain a Transfer Value Analysis (TVAS) Report from a FCA Qualified adviser before permitting funds to be transferred out of the scheme. We are NOT authorised to provide you with personal financial advice. We can only provide you with general advice regarding our product and the options available to you. However, we have close relationships with many financial advisers and can introduce you to a qualified adviser in your area.
The charges we would apply for administering the transfer of your UK pension to our Australian Expatriate Superannuation fund would be:
  • Establishment (Set up) Fee – $595
  • Transfer in Fee – $195 per transfer
A full list of the Fees and charges can be found in our Product Disclosure Statement and Member Guide. You can also see a full summary of our fees here – AESF Fee Summary. Some UK Pension providers do impose a charge upon transferring your funds out of their scheme and so this is a point you should always check.