Can I get access to my pension funds after retirement age?
Yes, after age 55, which is the earliest retirement age for a NZ QROPS you can access 100% of the transferred fund, subject to HMRC Rules, the New Zealand ROPS scheme may impose an early withdrawal penalty.
How long will it take to transfer my pension?
UK pension providers vary widely in the speed of their response to transfer enquiries, and even in the methods they are willing to use to transfer funds – but most transfers take around three months. Our fastest ever was two weeks, and our slowest was over a year. We do our best to expedite the process, couriering documents to the UK, and calling to confirm receipt of documents and for frequent progress reports.
How can I protect myself from exchange rate fluctuations while my pension transfer is being processed?
You can hold the transferred funds from your UK pension schemes in pounds sterling with our New Zealand pension scheme while you decide what your exchange rate strategy will be. Please note that under NZ tax laws currency gains made are taxed within the pension fund whilst losses can be offset.
Do I really have to transfer my pensions within 3 or 4 years?
No – most pensions can be transferred any time as long as you have not yet purchased an annuity. But you may want to consider transferring during the 4-year tax exemption period for new migrants and returning New Zealanders if they have been away from NZ for more than 10 years as it may be tax advantageous to do so. The 3-year limit is the length of time that you can continue paying in to your UK pension scheme once you have left the UK without New Zealand tax implications.
What do you charge for pension transfers?
A stepped fee starting at 2.5% for transfers below £50,000 down to 0.75% for transfers over £500,000 of the funds transferred is charged, depending on the size of your pension fund. The fee is deducted automatically once the funds arrive in NZ. If your scheme is a Final Salary scheme with a transfer value over 30,000 GBPs there is a requirement of a UK Financial Adviser to provide advice. I work with a UK Advisory firm specialising in this area and each report costs 995.00 GBPs which will be added to the above fee.
What can I invest my pension funds in?
Hamilton Hindin Greene uses a ROPS scheme which allows access to thousands of investments, including cash, stocks and shares, managed funds, fixed interest investments, listed property trusts and UK investment trusts. HHG will work with you to design a portfolio of investments within your pension scheme that helps you to reach your goals but also to ensure that you are comfortable with the investments recommended. It is very similar to a Self-Invested Personal pension or SIPP that you would find in the UK.