If you have migrated to Australia from the UK or have built up a UK State pension you may be asking whether you still qualify to draw your UK Pensions in Australia. Provided you have fully paid into UK National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s), then you are likely to qualify for a UK State pension.
The UK State pension is separate to private pensions schemes or workplace pension schemes and a UK State pension cannot be transferred to a QROPS but may be drawn and paid into your bank account in Australia.
To qualify for a UK State pension in Australia you must have paid at least 10 years of National Insurance Contributions.
Private or company pensions are usually paid in sterling into a UK bank account or payment and you are still eligible to receive them if you retire to Australia. However, receiving your pension this way can be costly after considering the impact of taxation.
There are many benefits to transferring your UK pensions to Australia, but it is always recommended that sound independent financial advice is sought prior to make any changes to ensure that you understand the ramifications of making changes and make the most of the opportunity any available benefits.
A common issue that arises for those about to retire is the tax status of any lump sum payments they may take from their UK pension scheme. While living in the UK you are allowed to withdraw up to 25% of your retirement savings without being liable for any tax, so making the withdrawal before leaving. However, should this occur after you have moved from the UK you may be liable to pay tax on any withdrawals made from your UK retirement savings.