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New FMCA rules reduce number of NZ QROPS

On 1 December 2016 the number of New Zealand QROPS reduced dramatically, at that date there were only seven schemes that were open to new members and therefore capable of being QROPS. On the same date there were 31 New Zealand schemes showing on the ROPS list kept by the HMRC. It’s a big difference with serious implications.
 

Everyone currently transferring needs to check their scheme status – or suffer a 55% tax bill

Everyone transferring their UK pension to New Zealand needs to immediately check the status of the New Zealand scheme that they are transferring to, or potentially be subject to a 55% tax bill on their transfer. The legal advice that we have seen states that where a scheme has closed to new members (these are schemes that have opted for the technically worded “Restricted Legacy Scheme” status) then they can no longer be QROPS. The reason for this is that in order to be a QROPS a scheme must be open to members in the country that it is established. The schemes should have immediately notified the HMRC of the changes in their status and asked to be removed from the list. The major schemes that are effected by this change are:

  • Britannia Superannuation Scheme 2012
  • Craigs Investment Partners Superannuation Scheme
  • Portfolio Superannuation Fund
  • Super Trustee Fund

 
If you are in the middle of transferring to any one of these schemes you should seriously consider halting the transfer immediately. The issue is that if the schemes are removed from the QROPS list (which they should be) effective 1 December and a transfer happens after that date the transfer payment will be considered unauthorised. Any unauthorised transfer will be liable for up to a 55% tax charge from the UK authorities.
 

The remaining schemes are open for the $500m a year in transfer business

For the seven New Zealand schemes that were open on 1 December and were notified as QROPS there will be a boom a business. With the level of UK pension transfers topping $1.5billion over the last three years and showing no signs of abating the key question will be is their good differentiation between the New Zealand offerings. It certainly appears that there will be.
 
A number of the remaining schemes are targeted on pension transfers for Australian residents, as they offer a tax free environment for Australian residents. These Australian focused schemes have seen a marked increase in popularity following the removal of Australian QROPS from the list and there being no options for people under the age of 55 in respect of pension transfers to Australia.
 
The other schemes are mainly managed fund type schemes kind of similar to KiwiSaver Schemes in look and feel (while not being KiwiSavers) and one scheme that is a platform offering similar to the UK self-invested personal pension offerings. So while the market has got smaller there is not a shortage of choice, just a low number of schemes.
 

The NZ government listened – QROPS withdrawals stay the same

The New Zealand QROPS industry went into bat for the rights of those that transfer their pensions and won. After initially passing draft legislation that curtailed a UK pension transferees ability to withdraw their transferred pension at age 55, the NZ government did a u-turn following strong industry pressure. This means that people that have transferred or do transfer UK pension funds to New Zealand will have the right to access those funds according to the rules set by the UK authorities and not the New Zealand government. This is great news and could pave the way for 100% access at age 55 years old come April 6 next year. Stay tuned on this one.
 
If you are considering transferring your UK pension or are in the process of transferring it contact us to understand how the above or any other issues effect you.

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NZ free phone:0800 102 599 / OZ Free Phone:1800 857 410 / Email:info@qropsnz.com

very stress free

Thank you Cambel for your help and guidance throughout this process in getting my pension transferred (very stress free for me). It is greatly appreciated and I would certainly recommend you and Charter Square to others who are interested in transferring their pension.

David R, New Zealand

You guys rock!

I just wanted to say a great big thank you to you and your team. You are all totally awesome. I received a cheque yesterday from the Prudential to apologise for the ‘recent inconvenience’ that I had experienced. Thank you for doing this for me. You guys rock!

Noelle B, New Zealand

professional, insightful

Charter Square were professional, insightful and a pleasure to work with. They rose to the challenge of consolidating my overseas pensions and bringing them home with minimum fuss for me and maximum effort on their part.

Jens H, New Zealand

thorough, professional and prompt

Very thorough, professional and prompt service from the team at Charter Square. Thanks for making the bewildering world of pension transfers super simple.

Jules T, New Zealand

Best party to deal with

Thank you kindly for keeping in touch with me. For now, I will not be moving my pension. I will however be keeping your details and referring back to you when I wish to pursue. You by far are the best party to deal with, no nonsense, professional and in my opinion genuine. I do sincerely thank you for your advice to date.

GE, New Zealand

Freedom

Securing the freedom to use savings that are actually ours to work with has been stressful in the extreme. While I never planned on giving up there were many times when the current (UK) holder made the whole process seem well beyond my determination and ability. It’s easy to look at the 36 month history of this claim with the benefit of hindsight, but the conclusion is that employing Charter Square in the first instance would have been wise had I been able to anticipate the red-tape that appears to have been deliberately created to stall access.

CP, Auckland
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