FAQs

We understand that financial planning can be complex, and it's natural to have plenty of questions. We've answered some of the more common ones we tend to asked below.

General

Our advice and firm in the UK is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Our Australian firm is authorised by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Yes, some of our planners are, and our licence details are below:

UK Licence bdhSterling Ltd is a company registered in England and Wales. Company Registration Number: 6849498. All of our UK qualified Financial Advisers are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registration Number: 499460.

bdhSterling Pty is a Corporate Authorised Representative (462704) of bdhSterling AFSL Pty Ltd. bdhSterling AFSL Pty is an Australian Financial ServicesLicensee. AFSL number 222266.

We do not charge for an initial meeting. If you engage our services, after the initial meeting, our charges would be applicable for a financial planning report, for implementation of any recommendations and for our ongoing services. The charge will depend on each individual’s situation and would be fully disclosed before we begin working with you.

We always love to meet you in person and this can either be held at one of our offices or remotely.

Yes. We firmly believe that the key to successful financial planning lies in a long-term relationship between the financial planner and the client.

Pension Transfers (UK to Australia)

Yes, we can assist with almost all pension transfers from the UK to Australian superannuation funds, subject to that receiving fund being a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). There are other requirements that need to be met to enact this type of transfer and this will be discussed.

Yes, pension funds from other countries can often be transferred from the country they are based in. A no obligation consultation (at no cost to you) with bdhSterling will provide an answer to your global pension transfer enquiry.

Currently, you may transfer up to $100,000 a year as non-concessional contributions (NCC), or you can bring forward up to two years’ contributions and submit $300,000 over a period of three years. Once you reach 67, you may no longer bring forward contributions. These are limited to $100,000 a year, subject to you meeting a "work test”. There is also opportunity to transfer a taxable amount to Australia, called Applicable Fund Earnings (AFE), if applicable to your situation. This is addition to the NCC limits.

All fees are discussed in an initial complimentary meeting with your financial planner. Your personalised charges are then presented with the advice document. All of our client’s financial requirements are unique and we tailor a solution to suit their exact needs.

If you can’t directly transfer your UK pension funds to Australia now, it's due to one of the below:

  • Being under 55
  • Having a crystallised pension balance in excess of the non-concessional contribution cap for superannuation
  • Exceeding the total superannuation balance cap
  • Being over age 67 and not meeting the Work Test
  • Being over age 75

bdhSterling have licensed UK financial planners and we can advise you on:

  1. Where to invest these funds (either in the UK, Australia, NZ or offshore), and
  2. How to invest the proceeds (i.e. in a multi-currency portfolio that matches your attitude to risk and return). If/when these funds can be transferred to Australia, bdhSterling takes care of everything for you.

While leaving these funds where they are may be in some clients' best interests, it can also have serious long-term consequences on the value of your retirement savings. These include:

  • Decreasing value of Defined Benefit (DB) Schemes
  • Foreign Exchange (FX) Implications
  • Underperforming funds
  • Unnecessary Administration fees
  • Minimising future taxation liabilities

We do not advise clients to establish a QROPS SMSF, and subsequently, shut it down after the transferred UK pension funds arrive. It’s important any advice relating to the establishment of an SMSF, whether it is QROPS or not, is an ongoing concern. Although it’s not prohibited to close down an SMSF soon after opening, it’s not best practice and we do charge a fee to wind down any SMSF (which is outlined in our Australian Advice document).

Yes, your money is safe during every step of the transaction process. Your pension funds are remitted directly from your current pension fund into your Australian superannuation fund. The process is entirely secure and safe for your convenience and peace of mind.

The first step is to download the UK pension transfer pack. If you’d like more information on the changes relating to the changes that came into effect on 6 April 2015, please speak with one of our planners who can assist by providing more information.

Glossary of terms

This glossary will help you understand terms you may come across when dealing with your finances during an emigration:

An investment, purchased with a lump sum that guarantees to pay a set income for either an agreed number of years, or for life. Generally, your money is locked away for a fixed period or for life, though some annuities allow early withdrawals or for a ‘residual capital value’. The income payments may be indexed each year, often in line with inflation.

The national corporate regulator.

Usually represents the minimum performance objective for an investment portfolio and used for comparisons.

Usually represents the minimum performance objective for an investment portfolio and used for comparisons.

If you sell an asset, you will usually make a capital gain or a capital loss. Tax can apply on a capital gain, which is the increase between the cost of an asset and sale price. When you make a capital gain, it is added to your assessable income and can increase the tax you need to pay.

Superannuation contributions made from before–tax income for which a tax deduction can be claimed. They are also referred to as deductible contributions. Concessional contributions include employer Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contributions, additional employer contributions (salary sacrifice) and contributions made by the self–employed for which they claim a tax deduction.

These are restrictions placed on superannuation funds for how and when preserved benefits can be paid. A condition of release must be met before a benefit is paid. The following conditions of release have nil cashing restrictions.

This is the limit on the amount of contributions that can be made for an individual. Contributions in excess of the cap will be subject to excess contributions tax. Concessional and non–concessional contributions have different cap amounts.

Whether or not you can invest in securities as an individual with the fund, rather than as part of an aggregate group.

The amount a company pays out to its shareholders from its after tax earnings. For individual shareholders, the payout is in proportion to the number of shares held. When company profits are down, the company may decide to pay a reduced dividend, or no dividend at all.

A tax of 47% on your super contributions over the concessional contributions cap.

Investing for capital gain through company earnings.

A superannuation interest is said to be in the growth phase if the member has not satisfied a relevant condition of release (see definition above) or the member has met a relevant condition of release but no benefit has been paid in respect of the superannuation interest.

Insurance that pays benefits to you if you are unable to work due to illness or accident.

Costs for insurance in the event of death or TPD (total and permanent disability).

How much you must pay your investment manager, or the MER % (see definition below). This typically depends on the investment option you choose.

A benefit payable as a single cash payment or as several part payments rather than as a pension or annuity.

How much it costs to pay the fund for managing your super balance, this is usually tiered by balance level.

Dependant on earnings, this is payment from your salary that goes towards funding free healthcare for Australians. There are different levy amounts depending on taxable income.

The management expense ratio, or what proportion of your investments you must pay your investment manager. For example: In an equity fund where the historical gross return might be 10%, a 1% expense ratio will consume approximately 10% of the investor’s return.

Superannuation contributions made from money that you have already paid the tax on. Non-concessional contributions include spouse contributions and contributions made under the Super Co-contribution Scheme. They also include the non-taxable element of transfers from overseas schemes, including UK pensions.

Obtaining a higher investment return than a benchmark or other measure against which that return is compared.

Product disclosure statement.

How much you have to pay your investment manager for exceeding benchmarked performance.

An investor’s range of investment holdings. Usually it refers to its composition, i.e. the mix of different asset classes or, if in a single asset class like shares, the mix of different sectors and shares.

Those approaching retirement with a large super balance and who are looking for a more conservative approach toward retirement investment.

The minimum age, at which members can access their superannuation benefits, provided you have permanently retired from the workforce.

An agreed arrangement between an employer and an employee whereby the employee agrees to sacrifice a part of their gross salary in exchange for a benefit, such as extra employer contributions to superannuation. An annual contribution limit applies.

A trust that you can manage yourself, to provide future retirement benefits.

Employer contributions are usually called Super Guarantee (SG) contributions. Currently the minimum level of SG contributions is the equivalent of 9.5% of ordinary time earnings, subject to earning a minimum amount. This money is not taken out of your wage or salary; it is paid in addition to your wage or salary. An annual contribution limit applies.

An available income stream that you can use before you are 65, subject to reaching your preservation age, in order to transition into retirement by working fewer hours and supplementing your salary with income from your super.

Investing in an asset that is seen as undervalued and selling when the asset is overvalued.

Peak of their earnings period, have accumulated a significant sum in their super fund and are looking to accelerate growth.

The return of an investment, expressed as a percentage. Can also refer to the profit that an investment is likely to return.