SINCE THE UK INTRODUCED PENSION FREEDOMS in April 2015, the number of people transferring their pensions out of a Defined Benefit (DB) pension into an alternative pension type has increased significantly. Darion Pohl, CEO, believes that there have been multiple reasons for this, including: Higher DB pension transfer values. Declining UK Gilt yields require DB schemes to set aside higher amounts for future pension obligations, which therefore leads to higher transfer values.
Those operating in the Qrops market are now facing three crucial deadlines starting from today, as the implications of the hammer blow of a 25% overseas pension transfer charge applying to client pension pots in some circumstances sink in for advisers, providers and their clients. Although some in the industry had predicted a move along these lines, no one appears to have expected it, adding to the impact of making yesterday’s surprise move by UK chancellor Phillip Hammond in his last Spring budget to tackle further the “abuse of foreign pension schemes”.
Australians returning to Australia after a period of working in the UK share certain characteristics with those of their host nation who are looking to emigrate to Oz, either to work there themselves or to retire. Both groups have a tendency to plan everything well in advance, from arranging their flights down to the last detail to figuring out where their children will go to school, once they’ve arrived, according to Darion Pohl.
Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has scrapped controversial plans for an A$500,000 lifetime non-concessional cap on workers’ superannuation contributions – which would have been back-dated to 1 July 2007, and would have included transfers from the UK – in favour of a compromise arrangement. The lifetime cap was meant to raise A$550m over four years, but was strenuously opposed by parts of the super industry, wealthy Australians, and Coalition MPs.
If you have a UK pension fund, you are likely to be impacted by reforms as an emigrant to Australia. The latest reforms were announced by the Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison in May’s Australian federal budget. Whilst some of the reforms are yet to be written into law, this follows the reforms in the UK in early 2015 and is significantly changing the UK-Australia pension transfer landscape.
The Australian government has scrapped plans to introduce a controversial A$500,000 (£286,598, $383,675, €341,174) lifetime cap curbing the amount people can save into their pensions. Treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed the U-turn on the proposed limit, which would have applied to after tax or non-concessional contributions made into a superannuation scheme – a state-backed savings arrangement where people invest in funds that will replace their income on retirement.
On leaving the UK, a common misconception is that you are then leaving the UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) net. In many cases though, the HMRC taxes your worldwide estate, even if you have been living in Australia or New Zealand – including if you have been resident in the UK for at least 17 of the 20 UK tax years at the point of death. From April 2017, these rules are changing to 15 of the 20 UK tax years and they will include most people born in the UK who return to become UK tax resident at a later date.
The Australian government has announced wide-ranging pension reforms that are already being likened in scale to UK chancellor George Osborne’s radical pension freedom changes. Treasurer Scott Morrison, in his first budget on 3 May, set out an alteration to the amount that can be contributed to Australia’s superannuation by introducing a lifetime non-concessional cap of A$500,000 (£260.5k, $381.2k, €331.9k) to replacing existing caps of A$180,000pa or $540,000 over three years.
Emigrating abroad is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an opportunity to break the mould, escape the rat race and in many cases live a life you have only ever dreamt of. Sounds exciting? On planning a move, emigrants tend to focus on the big picture ‘Which visa?’ ‘Where will I live?’, ‘Where will I work?’, ‘Where will my kids go to school?’. All good questions, but likely to make you feel a bit blue when you view your bank balance.
It is now mandatory for a UK-based adviser with appropriate pension permissions to advise on and transact any transfer from a UK pension scheme that is defined benefit or which has safeguarded benefits, where the transfer value exceeds £30,000. This follows the introduction of the UK pension reforms in April 2015, via the Pensions Schemes Act 2015. When this analysis is undertaken in the UK, a main determinant of whether or not a final salary pension transfer will be in the client’s best interests is a critical yield analysis.
Three more Australia-based pension schemes have been added to HM Revenue & Customs’ list of recognised overseas pension schemes (ROPS), but no publicly available ROPS are yet included. The extra schemes added to the list on 15 September, are the Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS), Locke Sinclair Retirement Fund and RBCT Superannuation Fund. The CSS provides superannuation services to employees of the Australian Government and participating employers only, whilst the other two schemes are private self-managed superannuation funds.
When either new arrivals or former Australian residents land permanently on Australian soil, they will invariably have assets accumulated offshore. These may involve complex issues regarding controlled foreign company, foreign investment funds, transferor trusts and deemed present entitlement tax provisions. In this article, we focus on issues relating to offshore superannuation/ pension schemes, in particular transferring United Kingdom (UK) pension scheme benefits to Australia.
Managing your finances can be a tricky business at any time, but when you are emigrating to a new country things can be even more complicated. Financial specialist Darian Pohl unravels the business of organising your pension. OK THEN. You've finally decided you want to emigrate to Australia and the cards are being dealth in your favour. Your visa seems to be coming up trumps and the family is convinced it's a great idea to go. It's all under control - you can do it! Then, you begin to wonder how best to preserve your hard-earned capital on emigrating. Maybe you have just run out of time and de