Many of you may have been approached by companies or Banks either prior to leaving or just after arriving in Australia offering to transfer your UK Pensions to Australia and also suggesting that you need to do this within 6 months of arriving or face large tax charges.
This is a bit of a bugbear of mine and I thought that I would write this thread as I do come across this a fair bit and for me this is nothing more than scaremongering.
Firstly just to set the record straight, there is no time limit to when a pension can be transferred (this is in relation to how long you have to do it from arriving).
A UK Pension Transfer can occur at pretty much anytime (subject to age restrictions in Australia for contributing, generally age 65 is the latest if not working).
If a transfer does occur within the first 6 months then generally the amount transferred in will not be assessed for tax.
Once over the 6 month period UK Pensions can still be transferred to Australia but there may potentially be tax to pay on the transfer with regard to any growth of the fund.
However do not feel pressured to have to make a transfer within the first 6 months as the tax is generally not as onerous as may be suggested and there are generally ways to mitigate a tax liability.
For me the most important point to account for before considering transferring a UK pension to Australia is intention to remain in and essentially retire in Australia.
The reason for this is that once a UK Pension has been transferred then it cannot be transferred back to the UK if it turned out Australia wasn’t quite the place you thought/hoped it would be and returned to the UK.
Transferring a UK Pension is not something that should be done as a matter of course and is certainly not right for everyone. The area of UK pension transfers can be very complex and I would recommend professional advice if considering a transfer but I strongly suggest that you do not transfer a pension solely based on the 6 month rule.
I hope this thread does assist and please feel free to ask any further questions.
Please note that the above is general information only and should not be taken as financial advice