Members of Australian superannuation funds that have transferred UK retirement monies need to ensure for 5 full UK tax years that UK authorised benefit requirements are met with any payments. Since 6 April 2010 the normal pension age in the UK has risen from age 50 to age 55. There are a few exceptions including severe ill health problems. This requirement must be met to avoid making an unauthorised member payment with the consequential tax implications.
There are significant pension reforms underway in the UK. State pension age is being increased. The annual limit on tax deductible pension contributions is due to be reduced. Virtually all employees are going to be "auto-enrolled" into a qualifying scheme, much like our Superannuation Guarantee requirements. The employee contributions is designed more along the lines of the NZ KiwiSaver opt-out provisions. There is a major consultative process underway in the UK for substantial changes to be introduced from April 2011 to take into account the move towards income drawdowns rather than annuities.
Advisory and administration firms would be sensible to ensure not only can they manage the current administrative requirements for QROPS monies but that they are ready for pending developments such as the Trans Tasman Portability Scheme.
The NetActuary Team