Should you move your pension to New Zealand?

Weighing it up

Before you decide to transfer your pension to the Britannia Retirement Scheme there are a few things to think about.

Benefits Changes

  • Consolidating your assets in New Zealand will make it much easier to keep track of your funds – plus it’s much easier to deal with a local provider.
  • You won’t need to worry about an overseas pension provider – are they in good shape, merging or collapsing?
  • You’ll be in experienced hands. As the pioneers of pension transfers in New Zealand we’ve got the country’s leading experts and we’ve completed well over 20,000 pension transfers.
  • Because the Britannia Retirement Scheme is a QROPS you generally won’t have to pay New Zealand tax on your lump sum (as long as you transfer within four years of becoming a New Zealand tax resident). 
  • Britannia manages your savings by investing them with specialist professional investment managers.
  • Currently, from age 55 you can access up to 30% of your original transferred sum, plus all growth credited to your account since the transfer took place. Note: for this to apply you must also have been a non-UK tax resident for at least 5 years. If not, you can still access 25% plus growth, without UK tax applying.
  • From age 55 you can receive an annual income derived from your investment balance.
  • If you become seriously ill you can access your savings straightaway.
  • Upon death, your pension account balance will be paid to your estate. 
  • Unlike in the UK, death duties do not apply to pension funds in New Zealand.

Risks and Disadvantages

  • There are costs associated with transferring your UK pension scheme to New Zealand and investing into the Britannia Retirement Scheme.
  • You could be transferring your UK pension scheme to New Zealand at a time when the exchange rate is less favourable to you than at a time in the future.
  • If you are transferring from a Defined Benefit Scheme the lump sum transfer value you receive may not be sufficient to generate equivalent returns from your chosen New Zealand scheme over your lifetime to those you would have received from the Defined Benefit Scheme.
  • Depending on your UK pension scheme you could be giving up some insurance cover.
  • We cannot guarantee the future performance of the Britannia Retirement Scheme. Your investment in the scheme could perform better or worse than if it remained in your UK pension scheme.
  • The investment fund you select when you invest into the Britannia Retirement Scheme could result in you taking either too much or too little risk to achieve your financial objectives.
  • Once you transfer your UK pension scheme to New Zealand you may not be able to transfer it back to the same UK pension scheme in the future.
  • The earnings in a New Zealand QROPS are taxed. Tax rates vary from 0% to 28%.
  • There is no guarantee that the Scheme will retain its QROPS status, and if you receive an unauthorised payment you may be required to pay a charge to the UK government (we have processes in place to minimise the possibility of this occurring).
  • The QROPS Rules applicable to the Britannia Retirement Scheme may change, particularly relating to withdrawals. Please see Section 4 of the Product Disclosure Statement for further details.

Next Steps

  • Talk to an Authorised Financial Adviser who will provide personalised advice on whether it is appropriate to move your UK pension to the Britannia Retirement Scheme. Adviser fees for this range from $500-$1800 plus GST depending on the scope of advice requested. If you would like to be put in touch with an Authorised Financial Adviser please give us a call on 0800 28 28 33.
  • Read the Product Disclosure Statement for the Britannia Retirement Scheme (this is available free of charge) and view the online material available at www.companiesoffice.govt.nz/disclose.
  • Seek advice from your professional tax adviser and your UK pension provider.