With over 5% of all Australians having been born in the United Kingdom and 36% of all Australians claiming to be of English descent, it is no surprise that Anglo-Australians are the single largest ethnic group in Australia.
Given our cultural and historical ties and the large number of United Kingdom descendants that live in Australia, it goes without saying that there are a lot of people who live in Australia that have worked in the United Kingdom.
Many of these people are possibly eligible to receive a UK pension or may have large amounts of money tied up in Pension Schemes in the UK. The challenge is that once you have worked out how much is in your Pension Scheme; how do you get it transferred to Australia? Does it even need to be transferred to Australia? Is it even able to be transferred?
Negotiating with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is complicated enough. Having to work with both at the same time while in different time zones, can seem overwhelming. There is no easy online pathway or process for discussion, so for those who are trying to work out how to get access to their hard-earned Pension Schemes, this means navigating the constantly changing minefield of both UK and Australian legislation.
So, once you have decided that you would like to transfer your pension scheme, what do you do next?
At PTAM we have been there, and we have done it. We understand that just because a law applies in Australia, this does not mean it will apply in the UK.
There are many questions that need to be considered and this can make the issue seem overwhelming. For example, do you know how to get your UK Pension Scheme transferred to your Australian Superannuation Fund? Do you know what age restrictions apply? Do you understand how the contribution caps work? Do you know if your Australian Superannuation Fund can even accept your UK Pension Scheme? Is your Superannuation Fund a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)? Did you know that you need to engage an actuary? Do you even know where to find one?
This is not as simple as asking your accountant to set up a self-managed superannuation fund and then transferring the pension amount to Australia. A superannuation fund needs to comply with Australian law as well as the requirements of the United Kingdom. Then it needs be reviewed and confirmed by the UK authorities that what you have just set up is a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme before any funds will be available for transfer to Australia. This process can take months if not longer due to the constantly changing laws in both countries.
We have built relationships with advisors in Australia and the United Kingdom that understand exactly how the process works. We can help you understand what is involved, point you in the right direction and take the steps that will hopefully bring it all together.
Don’t try and work through this yourself, Join the Conversation… today for a no-nonsense discussion on how to make it all work.
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