The rules around transferring a UK pension fund to Australia are complex and ever changing. You will need to refer to HMRC rules for ten years after transferring your fund. If you haven’t been able to transfer your entire balance to Australia due to the contribution rules, this ten year period is extended until you can. Therefore, you need to navigate the complex rules of UK pensions from a UK centric viewpoint, the HMRC QROPS reporting rules for ten complete UK tax years and the ATO rules for superannuation (specifically SMSFs).
There are circumstances where our expertise as financial planners require us to enquire on your behalf for a legal interpretation of the rules before acting. What may be the best outcome for you from a planning perspective may well breach any of the above mentioned legislative rules and create heavy fines.
By nature, we work very conservatively on your behalf to ensure you are not placed in a worse off position. For example, you may engage us if you have an existing QROPS fund in Australia and wish to rollover into a lower fee structure. If this rollover does not comply with today’s complex rules and legislation you may become exposed to a 55% tax charge.
To avoid any doubt, and to gain certainty in our recommendations, we may from time to time engage with our connection who is a barrister in both Australia and the UK and has a unique understanding of the legalities of both jurisdictions and how they interact.
This extra service is naturally for engaged clients only.