Repatriating Your Pension Fund

Oh, the things you gained when you worked abroad.

A deeper and wider world view.

A propensity to slow your words and lengthen your vowels, to be seamlessly understood.  

The complete Cold Chisel back catalogue.

There were also some things that you left behind. 

Your umbrella, abandoned on the Tube, when you got distracted by that message and almost missed your stop.

A little scrap of your dignity, on the dancefloor in that nightclub in Darling Harbour (don’t worry – no more shall be said).  

Your fondness for bush turkeys and squirrels.

During your time in the big wide world, there’s one more thing that you gained and then left behind.  Something far more useful than being word-perfect to Khe Sanh.

I’m referring to your retirement fund.

Retirement planning must include your foreign pension 

Be it your Aussie Superannuation or your UK Pension, it often makes more sense to bring them home to the gentle embrace of your New Zealand Kiwisaver fund or a suitable ROPS investment scheme.

Kathryn points out that the problem with having your foreign pension or superannuation off site is that it is also out of mind.

“If it’s here in New Zealand, you have control over it, so that you’re investing it in a way that makes sense for you at your current stage of life,” she says.

“It’s much easier to factor your foreign pension value into your long-term financial planning.”

Should you leave it there or transfer your pension now? 

Small amounts of money left languishing in Australian Superannuations can eventually end up with the Australian Taxation Office, which means that it is harder to track down and transfer out and will also be gaining no value – not even inflation – as it is no longer invested in anything. 

Your UK pension, on the other hand, remains invested, but with every year that passes, a higher level of tax is applied when you do eventually move that money home.  

“If you’re going to transfer your UK pension, the sooner the better,” Kathryn summarises. The next important step, she says, is “making sure it’s invested well”.

“Your strategy beyond that is going to depend on several factors – your stage of life, your current investments, your other financial commitments and goals. There are several things to balance.  It’s useful to get some professional guidance to help you make the best personalised plan.” 

For advice and assistance with your superannuation transfer, and your subsequent investment strategy afterwards, call in and chat with the experts at Castle Trust Financial Planning. 

By Elise Vollweiler

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