An Expat Guide to Moving Your Pension Overseas

If you’re planning on emigrating or have only recently arrived in your new home you may be able to transfer any pensions you have in the UK to your new home. This will provide an extra source of income as you settle into your new life and more importantly why shouldn’t you benefit from all the hard work you did back in the mother country?

How to start

The first thing you should do is to contact the department of work and pensions to get advice on your situation. Once you have moved abroad, you will only be eligible to continue paying into personal pensions for 5 years. You may also wish to continue to make voluntary National Insurance contributions in order to preserve your state pension.

QROPS

The next step is to transfer your pension into a Qualifying Registered Overseas pension scheme or (QROPS). A list of these can be found on the HM revenues and customs website. http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/qrops.pdf

The head of your UK registered pension scheme will check this to ensure the QROP is genuine and will have to report the transfer to HMRC if you are currently living in the UK or lived there in the past 5 years. By following this method you should avoid any excessive tax penalties. Rises in the pension rate are often transferred if you move to a country within the EU, Switzerland, British overseas territory or the United States. However if moving to any other countries including Australia then your pension will remain frozen at the point it was when you arrived in the country.

It is also a good idea to get a pension forecast as these will show you how much money you will be entitled to and shows how much you will receive. A forecast can be applied for up to four months before your moving and claiming date.

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