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April 19, 2021

Transferring your UK Pension back to Ireland


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Many Irish people live or have lived in the UK and worked there for a number of years. In fact, as of 2020 it is estimated that 320,000 Irish nationals reside in the UK. During this period many will have amassed pensions through an employer sponsored plan or in a personal capacity. With many people returning permanently back to Ireland each year to settle down it is fitting to discuss the practicalities on leaving and transferring your UK Pension back to Ireland.

Can UK Pensions be transferred back to Ireland?

This is not as straight-forward a question as one might assume. While the majority of private sector pensions, occupational and personal pensions, are transferrable, certain public sector pensions cannot be transferred back to Ireland. If you are considering transferring your UK Pension back to Ireland the treatment of schemes also differs with Defined benefit schemes valued at over £30,000 requiring the consent of a regulated UK Financial Adviser.

Availing of a Qualifying Regulated Overseas Pension (QROPS)

A QROPS is a pension scheme that is approved by the HMRC (UK’s Revenue and customs office) for transferability of UK pension benefits to Ireland in a tax free manner in the eyes of the UK revenue once certain criteria is met.

The Benefits of a QROPS transfer

  • It allows the user to avoid a UK tax liability on transfer.
  • The scope of a QROPS covers Occupational and Personal Pension policies as well as Self Invested Pension Plans (SIPP).
  • A useful means of consolidating all UK pensions to Ireland.
  • Ireland’s Standard Fund Threshold (SFT) is substantially higher than that of the UK allowing access to greater benefits upon retirement.  

What will you need to apply for the QROPS Pension:

  • Your UK address details and
  • Your UK National Insurance Number, or
  • Your UK employment details, and
  • A copy of your current payslip
  • The fee of €100

Can I bring my UK State Pension with me?

Yes, if you are in receipt or entitled to the UK State Pension due to your number of years worked in the UK, you can claim the UK state pension benefits and have this payment transferred to Ireland. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will be able to assist you in the claiming of this entitlement.

A substantial number of Aspire Wealth Management’s client’s, both Irish and UK nationals, have transferred their UK pension’s to Ireland based on our advice best suited to their personal circumstances, all with great success as a part of their overall financial planning. In some cases because they already have substantial pensions built up in Ireland we sometimes may recommend leaving the UK pension in situ in order to avail of the UK’s Lifetime Allowance, currently £1.07m, as well as the Irish Standard Funding Threshold of €2m.

Call us today on 01-8455827 or schedule a 15 minute chat through our website www.aspire-wealth.com to discuss your needs in more detail.

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