We have been working with UK Expats in Australia and Australians (with UK Pensions) for nearly a decade assisting them in assessing where their retirement monies might be best placed for their retirement.
However, since April 2015 due to UK Legislation and the introduction of the 'Pensions Age Test' it is no longer possible for a person under the age of 55 years to transfer a UK Pension directly to an Australian Super Fund (however please see information regarding options for under 55’s).
Also, from this date (again due to UK Legislation) Pensions that are UK Government Un-Funded Defined Benefit Schemes (such as NHS and Police Pensions) were/are unable to be transferred to an Australia Superannuation Scheme regardless of age (or indeed any Pension/Super Scheme that is not a Defined Benefit Scheme).
For persons aged 55 years and over it is possible to transfer a UK Pension to Australia (subject to it not being a UK Government Un-Funded Defined Benefit Scheme as detailed above).
Therefore, if you are 55 years or over and have a UK Pension then we can work with you in assessing your retirement needs and transferring (if appropriate) your UK Pension to Australia to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).
The area of UK Pension Transfers to Australia has become more and more complex over the years due to a number of legislative changes both from the UK and Australia.
Some of the most prevalent changes under Australian Rules included the lowering of Australian Contributions Caps and the lack of Australian QROPS (Public Offer) Superannuation Funds.
Currently there is only one public offer Australian Superannuation QROPS Scheme available capable of receiving a UK Pension Transfer .
Other options include establishing a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) and applying to HMRC for the Self-Managed Super Fund to be QROPS registered (or alternatively converting an existing Self-Managed Super Fund to a QROPS) however this does involve engineering the Trust Deed of the Fund to only allow UK Pension Transfers to be received for members aged 55 years and over.
Self-Managed Super Funds are definitely not for everyone, and part of our service will be to work with you to ensure that the most appropriate Superannuation vehicle is used.
Given the reduction in Contribution Caps a lot of cases now have to undergo a phased Contribution Strategy that will need to be planned for so that breaches of the Australian Contribution Caps do not occur.
This may include the opening of separate UK Pensions (SIPP) and internal UK Transfers, but this is something that will be assessed and indeed as part of our service we will undertake the whole process for you.
Where required Vista will engage UK FCA Regulated Advisers authorised and qualified to deal with safeguarded Pension Benefits on your behalf.