For people considering a move Down Under advice son their UK pension funds is not always high on their list of things to do. Even those people who may have contemplated receiving advice on a UK pension transfer to Australia or New Zealand may have dismissed it as unnecessary or an unwanted expense – particularly when you consider the cost of migrating as a whole.
In the long term the cost of not considering your options with your UK pension could be higher than taking the advice. Many people know someone who has already migrated and their advice from them may be ‘wait until you get there’ or ‘I didn’t need advice, I just got my employer to transfer my UK pension to Australia (or New Zealand)’. However, this in itself is advice and not necessarily well conceived advice. You would have to ask yourself, did your friend do the right thing in the first place? Did they migrate on the same visa as you (as this affects your tax status)? Are the pension fund sizes identical – as yours could be affected by the Australian cap whereas your friend’s fund was not affected? What exchange rate did the funds transfer over on? Does your Australian employer have a scheme capable of taking UK pension transfers in? ie is it a QROPS?
Sweeping aside the issue of UK pension advice before you migrate to Australia or New Zealand could prove expensive if you are not fully aware of the tax or exchange rate issues.