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Pension transfer times blow out causing tax headaches

Pension transfer times have increased dramatically since the introduction of new regulations in the UK form 6 April 2015. In a raft of legislative changes the HMRC:

  • Now require UK pension schemes to undertake their own due diligence on the schemes that they are transferring to
  • Require any transfer of a defined benefits scheme where the value is over GBP30,000 to get an independent report from an FCA registered adviser
  • Have put additional onus on schemes to ensure that the client does want to transfer

What all of the above means is that often the UK pension providers are taking their time making pension payments as they check on the receiving schemes, or send out an endless stream of letters to their members reconfirming that they wish to transfer their pensions. All of the above changes have seen pension transfer times increase from a standard 6 to 12 weeks out to between 3 and 6 months. The length of delays can have all kind of consequences for people transferring their pensions.

Delays can lead to an additional tax bills amongst other things

For New Zealand residents who are transferring their pensions these long delays can often mean that they are pushed into another tax year in New Zealand after having made the decision to transfer. This happens when a pension transfer arrives after 1 April in a new tax year. This can have the consequence of increasing the tax liability of an individual on their pension transfer. It is important to understand the timings on a pension transfer as a small delay could lead to up to an additional 1.85% of your pension being lost as tax.
The recent volatility in the exchange rates and financial markets can mean that the value on the date that the transfer completes can be very different from when the process was started. Therefore, monitoring the transfer and minimising timings (or sometimes pushing them out where required) can lead to significant value differences.

Efficiency in dealing with UK providers and transfers is the key

Our proprietary process for transferring UK pensions helps to mitigate delays and ensure a speedy transfer, by utilising our UK team to continuously contact and chase UK pension providers in the right time zone, as well as deliver all the requirements for a pension transfer in advance of being asked for them by the UK providers.

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NZ free phone:0800 102 599 / OZ Free Phone:1800 857 410 /

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


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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