UK Advisory Firms
UK advisory firms usually insist on a very expensive report before they will commence the transfer process. They may also suggest that clients should transfer their existing UK scheme or schemes to another UK scheme to "make the transfer easier to manage".
We advise that an expensive report – usually a standard template – is not a requirement of a pension transfer; neither is there any need to transfer to another UK scheme as part of the transfer process. If you are persuaded to transfer your pension to another UK scheme before transferring to this country, you will be faced with numerous additional charges. Commission will be paid to the UK advisory firm for the transfer within the UK, and a further commission will be paid when the transfer to NZ is completed. You will end up paying all these commission charges and related expenses by way of a substantial reduction from your pension savings.
Britannia has been involved in the pension transfer business for over 15 years. During that time the firm has had dealings with over 3000 separate UK pension providers, and we have successfully transferred over 12,500 separate pension accounts. Britannia does not insist on an expensive report, and we only transfer once – directly from your UK pension plan to a complying scheme in NZ.
NZ Advisory Firms
Be warned. There are a number of small NZ firms claiming to be "pension transfer specialists". Most of these people are life insurance agents and/or so-called financial planning advisers interested only in promoting other aspects of their businesses. They are not transfer companies employing their own transfer administrators, but agents representing others (usually insurance companies).
Some of these agents may insist that you start making contributions to a local scheme before you commence the transfer process. This is not the case if you transfer through Britannia. You will only contribute to the local scheme if that is your wish. Saving towards a comfortable retirement is a worthwhile goal – but our experience tells us that retirement saving is not a priority when you are a new arrival interested only in setting up house and getting finances in order. You may want to review your retirement savings at a later date and Britannia can assist you in this area too.
Important additional information! We’ve recently heard of transfer cases handled by local agents where two separate sets of fees have been charged without the client’s knowledge. These agents claim to have lower up front transfer fees – but do not disclose they also charge an entry commission to the local receiving scheme of up to 5%. This additional charge is often hidden and recovered by way of a reduced earning rate over the first three years – and so clients are not fully aware of the total charges being paid.
Any agent saying he will "do the job for nothing", or "the insurance company pay me for doing the work" should be challenged. In all probability you will be paying "top dollar" for this person’s services without ever knowing.
Britannia fully discloses all charges for transferring your pension, and will confirm these charges in writing. With Britannia there is only one “success” fee, which is deducted at source from the transferred funds. If the transfer is unsuccessful there will be no fee charged.
Pension transfers – UK tax implications
UK pension transfer regulations (April 6, 2006 & 2012) allow the tax-free transfer of funds from UK registered pension schemes to overseas qualifying schemes (known as QROPS).
The local NZ scheme is required to comply with UK QROPS regulations to avoid any unauthorised withdrawals and attract potential UK tax liabilities of up to 55%. Once pensions are transferred out of the UK withdrawals made before reaching normal minimum retirement age may incur UK tax charges.
Britannia advisers are well versed in the new regulations (both 2006 & 2012) and can give expert advice concerning any potential tax problems. We can also advise on the flexible disposition of your transferred funds so you can use them to maximum advantage.
Britannia uses a NZ receiving scheme (QROPS) which is fully authorised by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to receive transfers from UK schemes. This means that transfers through Britannia attract no penalty or exit taxes when your funds are transferred from the United Kingdom scheme.
Pension transfers - NZ tax implications
Newly introduced legislation taxes pension transfers on a sliding scale commencing at zero for the first 4 years of residency and increasing yearly until the full transfer is taxed at the marginal tax rate of the transferee at around year 26. Britannia advisers are familiar with the new scale of tax charges and can give an indication of any tax consequences. Generally speaking tax (if any is payable) can be deducted from arriving funds. All future gains made on the invested transfer are taxed at source meaning that future pension payments, whether in the form of a lump sum or a regular income pension payment, are paid gross - as tax has already been paid.
Britannia – NZ’s No 1 UK pension transfer company. Over 99% success rate.
Transferring pensions since 1998. Over 12,500 individual transfers completed.