Before you move abroad, it is important to sort out your finances, especially if you are planning to use your retirement savings. So, the question is whether or not you can transfer your UK pension to another country and if yes, then how you can transfer your pension.
Why might you want to transfer your UK pension to another country?
Here are some of the reasons why you might consider transferring your UK pension outside the country:
- You want your pension to be in the country you move to so that you don’t have to receive it in one currency and spend it in another. Because of fluctuating exchange rates, this can get confusing.
- You want to ease the process of tracking tax and regulations easily.
- You are working outside the UK for a company offering a pension.
How to transfer your UK pension abroad?
Before you arrange your pension transfer, you have to research living abroad, tax, and pensions. With the required information, the process will become simple and straightforward. If you are concerned with the transfer, you can hire the help of UK pension transfer services.
Follow these steps to transfer your UK pension abroad:
- Find a Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)
Start the process by checking if there are any QROPS in the country you are moving to. You can do this by checking the recognized overseas pension schemes notification list. The list is sorted by country. You can find all the schemes meeting the HMRC’s requirements to be part of the QROPS.
- Check if your scheme allows transfers
Then, you have to check if your pension provider allows a transfer to another pension scheme overseas. If it’s a QROPS, it will. But, it is best to check. There might be some costs, conditions and tax implications involved in the transfer.
- Fill form APSS 263 and send it to your pension scheme administrator
Now is the time to finish the paperwork. Download the Form APSS 263 and complete it. You will have to provide information like:
- Personal information like address and contact information (your address in the UK or previous address if you have moved)
- National insurance number
- Employment details (if relevant)
- QROPS details such as name, address, and country of the scheme along with its HMRc reference number
After finishing the form, you can start the transfer process by submitting it to your pension scheme administrator. Make sure that you don’t leave out anything on the form.
Tax when you transfer your UK pension to another country
In some cases, the transfer can be done without paying tax. However, in others, a 25% tax is imposed on the transfer. You can transfer the pension tax-free in case of the following:
- You are the resident of the country of the QROPS you are transferring your pension to.
- You are the resident of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the country of the QROPS is another one in the EEA or Gibraltar.
- The QROPS is provided by your employer.
It is important to note that if the scheme you are leaving doesn’t have the right paperwork, you will be charged 25% regardless. You can apply for the refund later via your scheme. In some cases, when you are exempted from the tax, you might have to pay the tax charge later. This happens when you move your QROPS to another country to move to another country.
A 25% tax charge will be imposed for transferring in case of the following:
- You aren’t a resident of the EEA, Gibraltar, or UK at the point of transfer or won’t be a resident within five years of the move and you transfer to QROPS based in the EEA.
- You transfer to a QROPS outside the EEA or Gibraltar and are not a resident of this area.
So, this is the general guide of what you need to know about transferring your UK pension, regardless of whether you want to transfer UK pension to France or transfer UK pension to Australia. Now you are all set to QROPS in your new country.