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Fresh Newsletter

Thursday 30th March, Issue # 66

Welcome to the March 2017 Pomsinoz Newsletter

imageA warm welcome to everyone who's registered on the forum since our last newsletter (which admittedly, was quite a while ago now!) . If you've only recently joined and haven't made a post yet, then why not stop by and say hello.
This month, we've got details of our new look forum, articles on money transfers and pension transfers, details of the forthcoming annual Meet Up in Perth, migration news and a competition.

All the Best
Forum ↓

imagePomsinoz Forum revamped and refreshed

This month we moved the forum to a new software platform - the first major upgrade in the last 10 years.
The improvements include:
  • The forum now has a fully responsive web design ensuring that all pages display well on all devices - mobile, tablets, desktop etc.
  • Security - the entire site is now served via https. This adds a blanket of security over the connection between members and the website (Secure Sockets Layer and Transport Layer Security). This connection encrypts data to prevent eavesdropping, protects the integrity of data to prevent corruption in transfer, and provides authentication to ensure communication only with the intended website. Additional security features include the ability for members to implement 'Two Factor Authentication'.
  • Better gallery & blog features
  • A redesign of the forum taxonomy with more focus on the migration/visa section.
  • Many more features & upgrades ! and the forum is now running on a brand new server, ensuring a faster & more stable platform.
If you have any questions about the forum, visit our Q & A section
Socialising ↓

Perth Meet Up - 09th April 2017

imageWe are delighted to announce that once again, Moneycorp have agreed to sponsor this years Perth Meet Up.

The meet up is on the 09th April between 1pm - 3pm at the 'The Boheme' Bar & Restaurant in the city.

If you would like to attend please add your name to this topic on pomsinoz then we have a rough idea how many to cater for. Food and drinks will be provided.

It is a great way to meet new people and make some really good friends. Everyone who attended in the past has gone away after making some great contacts and friends. Some have managed to find work through the meet ups, others have found friends for their children. Yes, the event is child friendly.

Please put the date in your diaries and once again join me in thanking John From Moneycorp for his continued support.
Forex ↓

Are you transferring money to or from Australia?
Save money with foreign exchange experts moneycorp

imageBy John Kinghorn from moneycorp

If you are sending money overseas, regardless of the amount, it is important to get best deal on your international money transfers. The traditional way of sending money abroad using your high street bank is increasingly being challenged by specialised foreign exchange companies such as moneycorp.

Banks don’t typically offer the most competitive exchange rates and can often charge higher fees for making overseas transfers – meaning your transfer could end up costing a lot more than expected. Whether you are in the process of moving to Australia or are there already then moneycorp can help.

Exchange rates and expert guidance
The two main benefits of using moneycorp are the exchange rate you will receive and the guidance you will get on the pound/Australian dollar from your personal account manager.

The exchange rate offered by moneycorp can be up to 4% better than your bank, helping you get more Australian dollars for your pounds. The expert guidance from your Account Manager is also crucial when transferring money to or from Australia. This is because the exchange rate is always moving; this makes the timing of your transfers extremely important.

No transfer fees for forum members
Poms in Oz forum members do not pay transfer fees when sending money overseas. While a bank may charge £20-£40 every time money is moved overseas, at moneycorp you won’t pay any transfer fees when making your international transfers.

Get started – save money today
The first step is to register for a free and no obligation moneycorp account - the process only takes a few minutes – click here to register online with moneycorp.
It only takes a few minutes to register – you can then start saving money on your overseas currency transfers. Once registered, you will be assigned an Account Manager who will be your main point of contact - they can provide quotes and information on the Australian dollar as and when you need it.

Moneycorp is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority – they have been providing foreign exchange services for over 35 years.
Pensions ↓

imageUK Pension Transfers – Major changes again

At the recent UK budget UK Pension Transfers to overseas destinations were again in the firing line.

HMRC last made major changes in April 2015 and essentially because of these changes only people age 55 years and older can transfer their private pensions to an Australian Superannuation Scheme with HMRC (Qualifying) Recognised Overseas Pension status (QROPS).

From this time many UK expat Australian residents under age 55 have been exploring the option of transferring their UK Pensions to a QROPS scheme in a different country for example Malta or New Zealand however the announcement on budget night has essentially put stop to this being a viable option as HMRC announced a new 25% tax on transfers to overseas (QROPS) schemes with some exceptions.

The following was published on the same day as the budget by HMRC in relation to this and other changes: Click Here
In addition to the new transfer tax being introduced there are a number of changes around how and when the pension money that has been transferred can be accessed and if withdrawals and or payments are made or taken from pension monies that have been transferred there may be tax charges/penalties levied by HMRC depending on how and when they are taken.
Therefore the situation as things stand currently for UK Expats in Australia with regards to their UK Pensions is:

Under age 55

There are no public offer schemes available in Australia with QROPS that can accept UK Pension Transfers in.

Therefore if you do have a UK pension then leaving it in the UK until age 55 (currently) is typically your only option without being hit hard with UK taxes.

However it may still be wise to consider reviewing your UK pension with an appropriate UK FCA regulated Adviser for some of the following reasons:

• You have a defined benefit (aka final salary) scheme and wish to explore taking the lump sum offered and transferring it in a personal pension (currently transfer values are historically high for these type of schemes);

• You wish to ensure that your money is invested in an appropriate risk profile you should ensure it is working as hard for you as it can within your desired risk level (you may be too aggressively invested or to cautiously invested for your situation).

• You wish to be invested in a pension that allows you to invest in multiple currency options particularly Australian Dollars (currently sterling is weak against the Australian Dollar from a historical point of view however this may change going forward, if the change is in favour of sterling you may wish to have your monies converted to Australian Dollars at that point to then protect against future currency risk).

Over age 55

It is possible to transfer a UK Pension to an Australian QROPS for someone who is over age 55. This is possible by way of arranging a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) and having it made QROPS compliant or by using a public offer Super Fund which is a QROPS (which option suits will be based on numerous individual factors).

A pension transfer to an Australian QROPS for someone that is resident in Australia is an exemption under the new 25% tax charge as follows:

• Transfers to QROPS requested on or after 9 March 2017 will be taxed at a rate of 25% unless at least one of the following apply:
    o both the individual and the QROPS are in the same country after the transfer

However note that if a person who does transfer to an Australian QROPS ceases being an Australian resident within 5 full UK tax years of the transfer being received then the tax charge can be levied.

It may or may not be advisable to transfer a UK Pension to Australia as again it will depend on a number of individual factors) however financial advice is recommended to ensure A) it is advisable to move out of your current scheme and B) to navigate the complexities of a transfer (if of course a transfer is advisable)

Andrew Williams
Financial Adviser (FPA Member AFP ®)
Director - Vista Financial Services -

Authorised Representative No. 322874
Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd
ABN 11 074 608 558
Australian Financial Services Licence No. 234951

Liaise with Andrew on the forum
Visa News ↓

Western Australia skilled migration occupation list (WASMOL)

Following the recent election in Western Australia, New applications for the State Nominated Migration Program are being accepted with an interim Western Australian skilled migration occupation list (WASMOL) targeting those occupations which are of a specialist nature and have compelling evidence of unmet demand at a State level.

The State Government will be consulting with industry to develop a new list which is expected to be complete and operational in late May 2017.

Further information will be posted on the WA migration portal as it becomes available.

All applications received before suspension of the program on 13 March 2017 will be processed according to the criteria that were in place prior to this date. Invitations issued to intending migrants before 13 March will be honoured and their applications processed.

Discuss visa and migration issues
Visa News ↓

SkillSelect Update - Pro Rata Occupations

Results for the 15th March SkillSelect invitation round have been published.

Two occupations have reached their occupation ceiling and most other pro rata occupations are likely to be filled by the end of April.

Occupations Filled in 15 March Round

The following occupation groups reached their occupation ceiling in the 15 March round:

Other Engineering Professionals
Computer Network Professionals

In fact, more invitations were issued than were available in the occupation ceiling in these occupations.

Occupations Likely to be Filled in the Next Few Rounds

Looking at the current invitation rate for pro rata occupations and the number of remaining places, it is forecast when each occupation is likely to be filled:

29 March Round
ICT Business and System Analysts

12 April Round
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers
Software and Applications Programmers

26 April Round

Electronics Engineer
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers
Consequences of Occupations Filling Early

Once an occupation is filled, no further invitations can be issued in that occupation for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 or Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 (family stream) until the program reopens on 1 July 2017.

If no invitations are issued in pro rata occupations between April 2017 and July 2017, this will create a significant backlog of applicants who have lodged EOIs through SkillSelect.

Unless there are increases in the occupation ceilings for the pro rata occupations, it is expected that either the minimum score to be higher for pro rata occupations or for the waiting time to increase for an invitation.

Discuss visa and migration issues
Mobile ↓


Tapatalk has now been enabled on the forum for members who prefer access via the app. Additionally, in the next month, we intend to launch own own Pomsinoz app in the Google and Android App stores (this will be based on the Tapatalk engine and will be free of charge)
Forum ↓

Visit our other forums

Competition ↓


imageThis month's newsletter competition has a Sporting flavor about it. The first correct entry drawn out of the virtual hat will receive $100 AUD or local currency equivalent.

To enter the competition, head over to the forum via this link (login required) then follow the instructions.
image |
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