Pension Services and QROPS Guidance

Transferring a UK pension into a global QROPS requires detailed knowledge of the laws and regulations of the country you’re migrating to. At bdhSterling, we provide expert advice on moving your pension from one scheme to another, helping you improve your retirement options.

Transferring your pension into a QROPS

A number of changes were made to UK pension legislation in 2015. This has had implications for the transfer of UK pensions to Australia, which is why it’s important to have the correct advice from experienced overseas pension transfer specialists. For more information on current legislation for UK pension transfers, download our UK Pension Transfer Pack from the left hand side of this page.

Transferring your pension into an Australian fund

It is possible to transfer your UK pension into an Australian scheme that has been approved as a QROPS. However, since July 2015, changes to the UK regulations regarding the transfer of pensions to Australia mean we recommend that you – seek professional advice.

Which UK pension funds can I transfer to Australia?

  • Private Sector Final Salary schemes
  • Company Pension Schemes
  • Personal Pensions
  • The Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Funds that are in Drawdown
  • Section 32 Buy Out Plans

Which UK pension funds am I NOT allowed to transfer to Australia?

  • The UK State Pension
  • Schemes that are already paying you a set income
  • The following government backed occupational schemes:
    • NHS
    • Teachers’
    • Civil Service
    • Armed Forces
    • Police
    • Firefighters’
  • Benefits in a Scheme that has entered the Pension Protection Fund

Frequently Asked Questions about QROPS

What happens if I’m under 55, over 65 or have excess funds that I can’t transfer yet?

If you can’t transfer your UK pension funds directly to Australia, because you are under 55, have a pension balance in excess of the non-concessional contribution cap for superannuation, or you are over 65 and don’t meet the Work Test*, it is important you get professional advice on these funds.

If you are unable to transfer your funds currently, we can advise you:

  • Where to hold your pension funds (either in the UK, Offshore)
  • How to invest the proceeds (i.e. in a multi-currency portfolio that matches your attitude to risk and return)

If and when your funds can be transferred to Australia, bdhSterling can take care of the transfer on your behalf.

Can I leave my UK pension funds in the UK until I am allowed to transfer to a QROPS?

Yes, although you will need to take advice regarding the most appropriate pension arrangement to hold your funds in the mean time. Leaving funds without proper management can have a negative and serious impact on your retirement savings,. Such as:

  • A decrease in value of the Defined Benefit (DB) scheme (as interest rates increase in the UK, the value of the DB scheme can in some circumstances decrease)
  • Foreign Exchange – when exchange rate changes occur, this can affect the value of pensions and mean there is a need for a more proactive strategy
  • Fund performance – If your UK funds are left untouched, your pension could be underperforming. For instance, it’s important to regularly assess your attitude to risk in order to manage your investment carefully
  • Admin fees – If you have multiple funds, you might actually be incurring unnecessary and expensive charges
  • Minimising future taxation liabilities – by assessing the structure and location of your UK funds, we help you keep future tax exposure to a minimum

If you would like more information about transferring a pension to Australia or into a QROPS, contact bdhSterling for advice from experienced pensions advisers. We offer a telephone, Skype and face-to-face consultation service, making the process as convenient as possible for you, no matter where you are currently based.

Click here to get in touch.