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cs259cr

NHS Pension

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Hi all,

I am looking for some advice. I worked for the NHS for just over 5 years and have emigrated to Australia and cant see myself ever going back to live in the UK. I am thinking of transferring this pension to my Australia fund but I am unsure.

i rang my pension provider here, HESTA, and the telephonist said she wouldn't send. Form but it would take approx 4 months, oh and she said it will take this long as no one is totally sure how to do it!?! She didn't mention any fees etc. if I had a pension less than 2 years I could have taken a lump sum, it's a shame that I can't just receive a lump sum :sad:

would appreciate any advice, thanks, Cx

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Hi all,

I am looking for some advice. I worked for the NHS for just over 5 years and have emigrated to Australia and cant see myself ever going back to live in the UK. I am thinking of transferring this pension to my Australia fund but I am unsure.

i rang my pension provider here, HESTA, and the telephonist said she wouldn't send. Form but it would take approx 4 months, oh and she said it will take this long as no one is totally sure how to do it!?! She didn't mention any fees etc. if I had a pension less than 2 years I could have taken a lump sum, it's a shame that I can't just receive a lump sum :sad:

would appreciate any advice, thanks, Cx

Take good advice. Australian superannuation is a glorified savings account where the value can go down as well as up. If you have a UK public service pension you get defined benefits - i.e. either 5/80 or 5/60 of your final salary (index linked) depending on your scheme. It might not sound much but it might give you more than it would get invested in Australian superannuation. Plus, if you ever do return to the UK you could add to the years' service and if you come back at a higher pay grade you may well get more bang for your five years already served. Also, don't dismiss a UK pension just because it looks small using today's exchange rate - relative values between UK and AUS may alter radically between now and retirement.

 

I'm not saying there's a right or a wrong answer but I am glad to have 15 years in a UK public sector pension scheme that values years at 1/60 of final salary.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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OK we have just done this with our pension. From the point of writing to request transfer [last Jan 2012] it took about 5-6 months to come over. I can only talk about our Teachers Pensions and I'm not sure how it works in other sectors so ask around and do your homework!

 

We had our pension with "Teachers Pensions" in UK and VicSuper here in Melbourne. The transfer has to go fund-to-fund so you never see it. Pension funds here DO know about this because Brits do it all the time. I think you need to speak to someone else at HESTA who knows how to do this for you!

 

We originally wanted to leave ours in UK as it was index linked and growing well. But then with GFC and Cameron making noises about changing pensions legislation we began to feel worried that all our retirement money was over there.

Additionally we heard that if I were to die, my UK pension wouldnt pass to my husb and vice versa. We heard this from a couple of sources. Here if I were to die my husb gets my pension plus additional benefits and vice versa.

 

The down side is that Oz ATO taxes you on the GROWTH of your pension from the day you left UK till the day its transferred.

The ATO has various ways of collecting the tax and it's reasonably flexible:

VicSuper gave us a growth figure of 6% from 2008-2012 [which was nonsense given the negative growth in the GFC!!!] and the tax bill from ATO on VicSuper's advice was about $25K for us both combined!

The other option is that the ATO allows you to get a "statement of growth" from your UK pension fund and then calculates the amount of tax due. It can take a year and it is organised by the Oz pension fund so ATO is happy to let this happen. We decided to do that and there will be a charge for it but its about £250 each. A snip if it means we save thousands.

 

Of course if you emigrate and transfer your pension in the first six months you avoid paying tax at all on it. But who is as certain as that???

 

 

PS I need to stress [for the benefit of another poster who got shirty with this comment yesterday] that I'm NOT a financial guru. This is just my experience! So please read in the spirit its intended not as Gospel!

Since posting this, I checked with my husb about the end figure for TEACHERS from Teachers Pensions: it used to be calculated on average of last three yrs of teaching service. Then Cameron decided to change it to the average of your career, which for somone like me who taught my last three yrs was as Head of Dept in a large school [but I'd taught over the years part-time on maternity leave] it made a MASSIVE difference. So we rushed our pension over while the old legislation was in place.

 

PPS The other thing to bear in mind is that in Oz as part of the Transition To Retirement process you are allowed to release I think 10% of your pension for investment purposes ie for a deposit on a 2nd property for rental...

Edited by Ali B

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This one interests me too. I moved too Oz after working 26 years in the UK, the last 11 for the NHS, so are we saying it is best to leave things as they are?

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Take good advice. Australian superannuation is a glorified savings account where the value can go down as well as up.

I'm not saying there's a right or a wrong answer but I am glad to have 15 years in a UK public sector pension scheme that values years at 1/60 of final salary.

 

Yes this is so true. Our pension fund here has about eight different growth options and some are dizzyingly high risk. Make sure you take a steady option that literally isnt a gamble.

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OK we have just done this with our pension...

 

We had our pension with "Teachers Pensions" in UK and VicSuper here in Melbourne...

 

The down side is that Oz ATO taxes you on the GROWTH of your pension from the day you left UK till the day its transferred.

 

You probably lose less on the tax on growth of the UK pension than you would have lost if you had had the money in Vic Super. Vic Super has a knack of turning dollars into cents.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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This one interests me too. I moved too Oz after working 26 years in the UK, the last 11 for the NHS, so are we saying it is best to leave things as they are?

NO!

 

Forgive the shouting - but I am not a financial advisor and different people are in different circumstances. What is right for me may be wrong for you. And mostly it is dealing with uncertainty anyway. You should take advice from a professional and decide based on his or her advice, not some bar room accountants on a web forum.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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NO!

 

Forgive the shouting - but I am not a financial advisor and different people are in different circumstances. What is right for me may be wrong for you. And mostly it is dealing with uncertainty anyway. You should take advice from a professional and decide based on his or her advice, not some bar room accountants on a web forum.

 

This sounds like an attack. And unnecessarily so. You should have stopped at the word "professional". This whole PIO forum is merely tips. I've read some really interesting and helpful ideas but I dont think anyone would or should take anything YOU say or I say as "Gospel".

Everything to do with pensions is uncertainty, from length of service, to growth to salaries to whether some geezer on the NY stock exchange messes the world up.

Dont be rude. We none of us know about each others circumstances.

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You appear to be in furious agreement with me.


Feb 2010 Prospective Marriage Visa | Nov 2010 Temporary Partner Visa | Nov 2012 Permanent Partner Visa | Jan 2015 Australian Citizenship

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This one interests me too. I moved too Oz after working 26 years in the UK, the last 11 for the NHS, so are we saying it is best to leave things as they are?

 

Take specific financial advice without doubt, but speaking as someone who worked for (and was a member of) a UK public sector defined benefit fund for many years, and who now works in superannuation in Aus, I would be *very* wary of transferring - I won't be.

 

You should have got a deferred benefit statement from your UK fund after leaving which will show the benefit value and how it will increase now you have left. Read that carefully. Make sure you tell them your new address for future annual statements.

 

Mine (the Local Government Pension Scheme) increases each year in line with the HICP (harmonised index of consumer prices, a slightly inferior version of the RPI).

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Hi all,

I am looking for some advice. I worked for the NHS for just over 5 years and have emigrated to Australia and cant see myself ever going back to live in the UK. I am thinking of transferring this pension to my Australia fund but I am unsure.

i rang my pension provider here, HESTA, and the telephonist said she wouldn't send. Form but it would take approx 4 months, oh and she said it will take this long as no one is totally sure how to do it!?! She didn't mention any fees etc. if I had a pension less than 2 years I could have taken a lump sum, it's a shame that I can't just receive a lump sum :sad:

would appreciate any advice, thanks, Cx

 

 

 

Hi Cx

 

There are some very good replies already to this thread but also have a look here as it may help http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/pension-transfers-ask-vista/169401-uk-pension-transfers-information-thread.html

 

Generally going direct to the Superannuation Fund means that there will not be a fee as they are not providing advice on the transfer merely administering a transaction into their product.

 

Understanding whether it might be a strategy that suits you requires in depth analysis of your situation and fund, there are good and bad points for either leaving it in the UK or transferring it to Australia and so professional advice should be sought in this instance.

 

Also you may wish to take investment advice so that the monies are invested in line with your investment strategy, most people opt for the default position which can be very weighted to shares, up to 80% in some cases and this may or may not be right for you.

 

They are right in that it can take up to 4 months, sometimes longer than this in cases.

 

It isn't possible to take the cash unfortunately, even if you were to transfer however one of the advantages of Superannuation in Australia is that 100% of the money can be taken at retirement (minimum age 55 currently), although this could be unwise due to tax advantages and other potential advantages.

 

Regards

 

Andy

Edited by Andrew from Vista Financial

Financial Adviser (FPA Member AFP ®) Specialising in UK Expat Advice and Pension Transfers / AR-322874 /AFSL-234951

SMSF Accredited Adviser / UK SIPP Authorised Adviser 

Director  - Vista Financial Services – www.vistafs.com.au 08 8381 7177

 

Please note that my advice is general advice only and professional financial advice should be sought for your own personal situation.

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OK we have just done this with our pension. From the point of writing to request transfer [last Jan 2012] it took about 5-6 months to come over. I can only talk about our Teachers Pensions and I'm not sure how it works in other sectors so ask around and do your homework!

 

We had our pension with "Teachers Pensions" in UK and VicSuper here in Melbourne. The transfer has to go fund-to-fund so you never see it. Pension funds here DO know about this because Brits do it all the time. I think you need to speak to someone else at HESTA who knows how to do this for you!

 

We originally wanted to leave ours in UK as it was index linked and growing well. But then with GFC and Cameron making noises about changing pensions legislation we began to feel worried that all our retirement money was over there.

Additionally we heard that if I were to die, my UK pension wouldnt pass to my husb and vice versa. We heard this from a couple of sources. Here if I were to die my husb gets my pension plus additional benefits and vice versa.

 

The down side is that Oz ATO taxes you on the GROWTH of your pension from the day you left UK till the day its transferred.

The ATO has various ways of collecting the tax and it's reasonably flexible:

VicSuper gave us a growth figure of 6% from 2008-2012 [which was nonsense given the negative growth in the GFC!!!] and the tax bill from ATO on VicSuper's advice was about $25K for us both combined!

The other option is that the ATO allows you to get a "statement of growth" from your UK pension fund and then calculates the amount of tax due. It can take a year and it is organised by the Oz pension fund so ATO is happy to let this happen. We decided to do that and there will be a charge for it but its about £250 each. A snip if it means we save thousands.

 

Of course if you emigrate and transfer your pension in the first six months you avoid paying tax at all on it. But who is as certain as that???

 

 

 

Hi Ali B

 

 

Thanks for your input.

 

I Just wanted to pick up on a couple of points and also ask some questions if possible?

 

In relation to the death benefits, generally UK final salary schemes pay 50% of the annual benefit to spouses and maybe a lump sum depending upon if death occured pre or post retirement.

 

Superannuation in Australia pays the balance of the fund, not sure what these other benefits you are referring to are? Perhaps this is any life insurance in the fund?

 

Also regarding the tax bill can you confirm the method Vic Super used to calculate this? There's been some greyness around this recently and I wonder if they are still using what some refer to as the old method.

 

You also mention that altenatively you could pay 250GBP and it may be less, are you referring to obtaining historic transfer values here?

 

I guess that you might not wish to reply to this thread if some of the info is private so happy for you to pm if better.

 

 

Regards

 

 

Andy


Financial Adviser (FPA Member AFP ®) Specialising in UK Expat Advice and Pension Transfers / AR-322874 /AFSL-234951

SMSF Accredited Adviser / UK SIPP Authorised Adviser 

Director  - Vista Financial Services – www.vistafs.com.au 08 8381 7177

 

Please note that my advice is general advice only and professional financial advice should be sought for your own personal situation.

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Guest littlesarah

Am I right in thinking that an NHS pension can only be transferred into a QROPS? I left the UK 3 years ago, and have just been made properly permanent in my current job (which has a QROPS super scheme), so I'm thinking I should take some advice about what to do with my 10 years' worth of NHS pension.

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Am I right in thinking that an NHS pension can only be transferred into a QROPS? I left the UK 3 years ago, and have just been made properly permanent in my current job (which has a QROPS super scheme), so I'm thinking I should take some advice about what to do with my 10 years' worth of NHS pension.

 

Hi Sarah

 

Yes, you are right a transfer out of the UK must be made to a QROPS scheme.


Financial Adviser (FPA Member AFP ®) Specialising in UK Expat Advice and Pension Transfers / AR-322874 /AFSL-234951

SMSF Accredited Adviser / UK SIPP Authorised Adviser 

Director  - Vista Financial Services – www.vistafs.com.au 08 8381 7177

 

Please note that my advice is general advice only and professional financial advice should be sought for your own personal situation.

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Both my hubby and I hail from Liverpool and have been here 5 years. I previously had a small pension with Royal Life Insurance Limited and a larger one with Teachers pensions (after working for Knowsley Education Autority) and he had a pension with Liverpool City Council. Last year we had both pensions transferred over here to OZ. We basically decided that we were never going to return to the UK (love it here) and wanted to be able to manage all our pension from one point. As far as we are concerned we got a pretty good deal and our superannuation funds here now look pretty healthy. We contacted our accountant and they put us onto a fantastic company in West Perth (even though we are in NSW) who specialise in UK pension transfers. The process was very easy from start to finish and I would highly recommend them if you decide to proceed.

Remember you need to seek professional help yourself - these points are just general personal experiences. If you would like the company details send me a private message and I will message them to you. No free advertising on here lol

Good luck fellow scouser :)

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Hi everyone,

thanks for all your responses I was just seeing what peoples experiences/ opinions are before I sought out professional advice. All very informative. I love the way the Poms in Oz family help ach other out :-)

Cx

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Take specific financial advice without doubt, but speaking as someone who worked for (and was a member of) a UK public sector defined benefit fund for many years, and who now works in superannuation in Aus, I would be *very* wary of transferring - I won't be.

 

You should have got a deferred benefit statement from your UK fund after leaving which will show the benefit value and how it will increase now you have left. Read that carefully. Make sure you tell them your new address for future annual statements.

 

Mine (the Local Government Pension Scheme) increases each year in line with the HICP (harmonised index of consumer prices, a slightly inferior version of the RPI).

 

This is a very personal decision. Teachers Pensions may not work the same as LGPS and the articles [we were sent by old friends in teaching] this time last year indicated that Govt was looking to stop increasing in line with HICP. Additionally, as said above in my PS, the calculations for teachers changed. It takes so long to administer the transfer we didnt want to be caught out by a whim of govt.

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