Move Your Pension With You to New Zealand

Transferring UK Pension Benefits to New Zealand

There is a lot to consider when deciding to transfer your pension from the UK to New Zealand

Firstly, are you certain that you will retire in New Zealand? There can be tax consequences if you transfer your pension to New Zealand and then move to another country.

If there is any chance you may return to live in the UK, then you should leave your pension benefits where they are.

Everything you need to know to make your decision can be found below.



What information do you need to provide to transfer your UK pension?

You will need to write to or preferably email your UK pension provider and request a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value (CETV). This is the first step in considering if a pension transfer could be the right option for you.

For a money purchase scheme this is quite straight forward as your funds will most likely be invested in a unitised fund which is valued on a daily basis.

For a defined benefit scheme, the calculation is a lot more complicated and requires an actuarial calculation of the regular pension you would receive in your retirement capitalised as a one-off lump sum payment.

Your provider will then send you this valuation together with forms required to transfer to a QROPS.

Requesting a valuation does not commit you to any action at this stage.

Knowing your tax position in NZ

You also need to consider the length of time that you have been a tax resident in New Zealand.

Transferring pension benefits within the first four years of your residency in New Zealand will normally mean that your UK pension will not be subject to tax in either the UK or New Zealand.

After the four-year period there will be an increasing foreign superannuation tax liability for each tax year you have resided in New Zealand.

We can refer you to an appropriate tax adviser to help you establish your potential tax liability before you make the decision to transfer or not.

What type of UK pensions can be transferred?

Your pension benefits in the UK will have been accumulated by being a member of either a money purchase scheme arrangement such as a Personal or Group Pension Scheme, or a defined benefit scheme.

Transfer of a money purchase scheme is relatively straight forward as you will be transferring from one managed investment scheme in the UK to a managed investment portfolio in New Zealand.

However, the transfer of pension benefits from a defined benefit scheme (also known as a final salary scheme) requires much greater analysis. This is because defined benefit schemes provide a lifetime guaranteed income based on a cash value, and you will be transferring this amount to a managed investment portfolio in NZ with a level of uncertainty around potential returns.

Engaging with a UK Pension Transfer Specialist

Because UK pension transfer analysis is complex, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK requires clients wishing to transfer their defined benefits to a New Zealand superannuation scheme to engage with a UK-regulated adviser.

This approved UK adviser can compare the UK benefits being surrendered with the perceived benefits of investing a cash lump sum in a New Zealand superannuation scheme. This is a highly specialised area of financial advice and we will help you work with an appropriate firm of UK advisers who can provide this service to NZ residents.


UK Pension Transfer


Avoid paying large transfer fees

Transfer costs should be a major consideration as you do not want to lose a proportion of your transfer value in fees.

Clients with defined benefits will have the additional cost of engaging with a UK adviser. However, to make the pension transfer process as cost-effective as possible for all clients, Hamilton Hindin Greene doesn’t apply any transfer, administration or establishment fees for funds being transferred. 

This means the full value of your pension transfer will be invested on receipt in New Zealand.

Transfer your UK pension and get access to the best possible investments

Most of the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (or QROPS) in New Zealand are proprietary scheme arrangements, meaning you are restricted to an often very narrow choice of investment options offered by the funds management company.

Unlike these product providers, Hamilton Hindin Greene only recommends superannuation schemes which provide a custodial service giving you access to the full universe of investments including UK-listed investment trusts, direct equities and bonds, and low-cost exchange traded funds.

This typically means that not only are your holding costs lower compared to being invested in a managed fund, but you can create your own bespoke portfolio of world-class investment assets.

Talk to an experienced professional

Jeremy Simpson has spent nine years as the pension transfer specialist for a national firm of financial advisers. He holds the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate (G60) in Pensions from the Chartered Insurance Institute and spent four years working in London as a broker for pension firm Clerical Medical Investment Group.




Jeremy Simpson

Investment Advisor | BA. GradDipBus (PFP) |

Telephone: (03) 353-0792

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David Hayes

Director / Investment Advisor

Telephone: (03) 353-0793

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