transfers explained

It’s a complex process

Anyone with a UK pension scheme that meets the criteria who lives overseas or is planning to leave the UK can transfer their UK pension plans into a QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme).

A pension transfer is when you move your UK pension from your account in your UK scheme to an account you establish in a New Zealand superannuation scheme.

In most instances, for a pension transfer to occur your UK pension scheme will sell all your investments in the scheme and convert all your funds to cash. Then they will transmit the money to the trustees of your New Zealand scheme. The trustee of the New Zealand scheme will then take those funds and invest them according to you stated investment strategy.

On some occasions the transfer of the assets from the UK may be what is called “in specie”. This is when the trustee of the UK scheme assigns ownership of the assets to the Trustee of the New Zealand scheme. This might be where an asset like a commercial property is held in a UK pension and the person transferring their pension does not want to sell the property but merely transfer the ownership to their New Zealand pension scheme.

With a load of paperwork

A pension transfer is governed by lots of complex regulations. The scheme in New Zealand needs to meet certain criteria (be a QROPS) in order to be able to receive the funds and if they don’t then there are big tax consequences. These consequences extend to the UK schemes who may be fined if they make a payment to a New Zealand scheme that is not a QROPS. This fear of a fine leads the UK schemes to be super cautious when making a transfer to a New Zealand QROPS. This is great for you as it adds a layer of protection. But the reality of it now is that many schemes have made it so hard to transfer that people often give up during the process.

We are really experienced in dealing with UK pension providers through our decimated office in Manchester and getting the right results for our clients by pushing through the endless requirements of the UK pension providers.

It’s often worth persisting

The financial benefits following a transfer of UK pension rights to a QROPS can be huge if planned correctly, including:

  • Greater benefit flexibility
  • Ability to leave your pension fund to your loved ones free from UK tax
  • Future financial security of your pension
  • Wider investment choice in your local currency
  • Better tax outcomes

UK pensions have traditionally been tied up in many layers of restrictions and regulations. In part this is to protect UK tax revenues by taxing income from annuities as well as any residual value on death at 55%. And to stop pensioners spending all their money in the early years of retirement and then relying on the State! New Zealand pensions do not come with this same mindset and so are considerably more flexible and tax efficient. But there are advantages and disadvantages of New Zealand and UK pensions and that we why we recommend you seek professional advice before making any decision.

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straightforward and painless

Until now I'd imagined my UK pension funds being locked away behind all manner of firewalls and bureaucratic hurdles to access on retirement. Before committing the one surviving official document of my English OE to the bin - a single page detailing my private pension details - I contacted you out of curiosity. The result feels a little like winning lotto.

Peter W

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