Welcome to the Financial Column in association with Money Plus, Bridge Street, Boyle
Q. I worked in the UK for a number of years, first as a company employee and then I set up my own business which I ran for 12 years. I returned to live and work in Ireland in 2010. I am now 48 years old. I have two UK pensions – I was a member of the company’s pension scheme which I believe was a defined contribution scheme. Then when I became self-employed I set up a pension in my own name. I stopped contributing to this pension when I returned to Ireland.
I have two questions which you might be able to help me with :
Do I still have any pension entitlements from my previous employer in the UK ?
Is it possible to transfer my UK pension(s) to Ireland ?
In answer to your first question :
The good news is that, as you were a member of your previous employer’s company defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, you are classified as a deferred member of this pension scheme. This means that you are still entitled to the value of your pension fund within this company’s scheme. Due to changes to UK pension legislation from April 2015 you can now access your UK pension funds from the age of 55.
On the question of whether it’s possible to transfer your UK pensions to Ireland :
In general it should be possible to transfer your existing UK pensions to pension arrangements in Ireland. However there are a number of conditions which have to be met before your existing UK pension
provider can carry out a transfer request.
You state that you are a deferred member of a company DC pension arrangement. In order to agree to transfer this pension from the UK to Ireland, the pension scheme’s trustees will need to confirm that
this is permitted under the scheme’s rules.
In the case of your UK personal pension you should be able to have the value of this pension fund to be transferred to an Irish provider.
In both instances, if you are permitted to transfer these to an Irish provider then, as you are not still contributing to either UK pension, the transfer value on each has to be invested in a single premium
Personal Retirement Bond (also known as a Buy Out Bond).
The process to transfer UK pensions to Ireland has a number of steps, the most important being that the Irish pension provider to which you wish to transfer your UK pensions to, must be a Qualified
Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) as recognised by the UK Revenue. UK Revenue (HMRC) has a list of authorised QROPS to which it will permit pension transfers provided the conditions for
such transfers are met.
For further information and advice on transferring UK pensions to Ireland you should consult Belinda McCauley at Money Plus, your local independent financial broker. Belinda and her colleagues at
Money Plus, Bridge St, Boyle would be delighted to assist. Belinda can be contacted at 071-9194000/ 086-7847827 or by email: [email protected]