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Can I transfer my UK pension to Australia?

I have previously lived in the UK and paid into a UK pension, however, I have moved to Australia and want to know: can I transfer my UK pension to Australia?

Can I transfer my UK pension to Australia?

Yes, it is possible to transfer your UK pension funds to an Australian pension scheme.

However, please be aware that under no circumstances can you transfer any State Pension to a QROPS.

Also, due to rule changes you cannot move a UK pension to an Australian QROPS until at least the age of 55 due to Australian Superannuation Schemes allowing people to have access to their pension (which is not allowed under QROPS rules). To be eligible for any pension transfer, the personal pension fund(s) would need to be at least £20k for non-residents.

Ultimately, it has become a lot more difficult to transfer a UK pension to Australia due to the tightening of the QROPS rules in recent years.

To be able to transfer your UK pension to Australia without incurring penalties and additional charges you would need to ensure that you are transferring the funds to an Australian pension scheme which qualifies as a QROPS.

In short, this means that the Australian scheme you are transferring your pension to must meet UK pension rules – and there are very few Australian schemes which meet these very specific criteria.

You must also ensure that the individual and company is authorised to conduct such a transfer and it is highly advisable that they are independent and therefore able to offer you advice about whether a transfer is actually a good idea, information which will depend on your personal circumstances.

It is essential that, as with any investment, you have a clear and thorough understanding of any QROPS fees, charges and commissions which could be payable to the adviser as these can have a seriously detrimental effect on the real value of your pension and therefore inhibit its future growth.

We have a detailed article about QROPS in Australia and transferring UK pensions to Australian schemes which should help explain in more details, however you should never make a decision about investments without seeking independent advice.

If you would like us to arrange for a free consultation with an independent adviser who is able to discuss the full pros and cons of transferring UK pension funds to Australia, enter your details using the form.

Last updated: 13 April 2020 at 11:16