Welcome to the Financial Column on Boyletoday.com in association with the award winning Money Plus, Bridge St., Boyle.
Q. With the Brexit outcome from the UK referendum I am concerned about my existing UK pension funds. I worked in the UK for over nearly 23 years, 10 of which was as an NHS employee and 12 years as a company employee. I am a deferred member of this company’s defined contribution pension scheme. I returned to live and work in Ireland in 2008 and am now 52 years old.
I read in answer to a previous question that you can transfer UK pensions to Ireland.
Can I do this with my UK pensions and how do I go about this ?
A. The good news is that, as you are a deferred member of the UK company defined contribution (DC) pension scheme, you are entitled to the value of your pension fund held under this company’s scheme. In addition, due to changes to UK pension legislation you can now access your UK pension funds from the age of 55. It should also be possible to transfer this UK pension to Ireland.
However, in relation to your NHS pension, unfortunately it is not permitted to transfer this to Ireland although you will be entitled to receive a pension from this.
To transfer your existing UK pension fund held as a deferred member of your previous employer’s defined contribution scheme there are a number of conditions which have to be met.
In order to agree to transfer this pension from the UK to Ireland, you will need the pension scheme’s trustees to confirm that this is permitted under the scheme’s rules. Assuming that this is the case you will be able to transfer the value of your pension fund to a Personal Retirement Bond (also known as a Buy Out Bond) with a Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) provider which must be an approved provider 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.
As there is great uncertainty about how the UK intends to exit the European Union and there are no indications yet as to how and when this will happen, we would not recommend making any rash decisions over transferring your UK pension to Ireland until things become clearer. Sterling has fallen considerably in value against the Euro with the result that the current transfer value of your UK pension fund will have fallen significantly over the past week or so. Whether sterling will recover some of this or fall further in the short term remains to be seen. On this basis we would caution making a decision on progressing such a transfer at this time.
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]