Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of transferring my pension?

There are many benefits of transferring your pension to New Zealand. These include:

  • It is easier for you to keep track of your pension plan.
  • You have easier access to your money in retirement.
  • You do not need to worry about exchange rate fluctuations affecting your pension payouts.
  • Your pension does not die with you. Your funds are part of your estate, and the whole
    benefit is available to your spouse and your children.
  • You avoid harsh tax penalties in the future.
  • People often prefer to keep their retirement savings close to home as it provides greater control and flexibility.

What is a QROPS

A Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is a non-UK domiciled superannuation scheme approved by Her Majestey's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that is eligible to receive a transfer of retirement savings from a UK registered pension scheme.

All companies we work with have QROPS status.

Are there any circumstances under which I cannot transfer my pension?

We are unable to help you transfer your pension if you are already in receipt of your annuity. 

Can you hold my pension in GB pounds until I am happy with the exchange rate?

Yes. The company we use has a Portfolio available for people wanting to keep their transferred balance in pounds sterling for a certain period of time. You may wish to do this if you believe that the UK Pound will appreciate against the New Zealand Dollar or if you want to wait before making an investment decision.

How long does the transfer process take?

The transfer process generally takes between three to six months to complete. We have had cases that have been quicker than this and some that have taken longer.

Why don't I just transfer the pension myself?

Transferring pensions can be a difficult, complex and lengthy process. Using a specialist who understands the complexities of the process is advisable as he/she has the knowledge and experience to overcome any difficulties that are often encountered and complete the transfer.

Can I make regular contributions towards my pension transfer once it is transferred?

Yes, you can, but we do not recommend this. Instead we would recommend opening another policy

What are the tax issues that need to be considered?

Pension transfers may be affected by the FIF rules. If you do not transfer your pension you may be liable to pay tax twice, once in the United Kingdom and once in New Zealand.

As with any tax or legal issue, we urge you to seek professional advice on your specific situation.

When can I retire in NZ?

The minimum age for retirement in New Zealand is 65 but some people continue working much longer than this.

WilI I be eligible for New Zealand Government superannuation payments?

Eligibility is dependent on the length of time that you have worked in New Zealand, and is currently ten years.

What are my initial costs?

There is no fee for our initial advice or administration. We have a fee structure which is payable on completion of the pension transfer and this ranges between 1% and 5% of total funds transferred. Also, we do not charge if you change your mind at any time.

What are my ongoing costs?

There are management fees that are charged monthly for ongoing advice and help. These fees range from 0.1% to 0.67%, depending on the receiving scheme chosen. There are also fees deducted from the receiving schemes themselves for the management of the selected portfolios.

Can I withdraw cash from my pension fund once the transfer is complete?

We do not recommend that you withdraw from your funds once they are transferred as the funds are designed for your retirement. There are tax implications if you withdraw outside the United Kingdom rules and regulations, and penalties can be as high as 70%.

How do I find out what my investment balance is?

The company with which you choose to invest your funds will send you a regular update of your policy, but we can also do this for you every month through e-mail, if you wish. You can also contact the receiving scheme at any time to obtain the balance.

Will I receive ongoing advice?

We conduct a yearly review of your finances, and more frequently if requested, and you can contact us at the office anytime by phone or e-mail.

Companies we use for Investments, KiwiSaver and Superannuation

  • Booster
  • AMP
  • ANZ

Call Sterling Pensions on P: 0800 42 86 69 P: +64 4 298 6561 M: +64 27 209 4617

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