Exchange Rates

UK Pension Transfer Service Insight - by NZ Funds


NZ Funds’ new UK Pension Transfer Service aims to become market leader

A market in need of a fresh approach

For many years, the United Kingdom pension transfer market has been a murky backwater, with little transparency or regulatory oversight. Transfers to a number of prominent incumbent providers can involve fees of up to 5% of the value of an immigrant’s entire accumulated pension. Digging still deeper, many incumbent providers also include a markup on currency transfer rates (with the difference being kept by the provider), and charge additional fees when clients wish to withdraw their money or transfer to a new scheme. Add to that the fact that many existing schemes are old with high ongoing fees and difficult transfer rules, and you have an industry ripe for a shake up.

Don’t be fooled by the ‘free assessment’

Many incumbent providers lure clients in with offers of a ‘free assessment’. A free assessment offers little or nothing of value but is often mistaken as an offer of free advice, or better still, free transfer, which it is not. Another claim is a transfer success rate of 99% or 100% - not surprising really, when the free assessment will easily identify those UK pensions that cannot be transferred. There is no grey zone. The skills of the transferee cannot influence the outcome, as is the case when receiving immigration advice for example.

Clients who are unaware of these nuances continue to be lured into United Kingdom pension transfers at extremely high prices.

NZ Funds business model: Free transfer & competitive management fees

NZ Funds is a privately owned wealth management firm, founded to run Lion Nathan’s pension scheme in 1988. It has a 30-year track record of managing New Zealanders’ wealth in various forms including superannuation, KiwiSaver and managed funds for retirement.

NZ Funds entered the UK Pension transfer market with a simple proposition. Using its in-house management team and nationwide network of offices, NZ Funds offers a free UK Pension transfer service, subject to the type of pension being transferred. Defined contribution pensions can be transferred for free, while the more complicated defined benefit pensions may incur UK advice costs due to UK regulation.

 Clients have a choice of keeping all or part of their investment exposed to pounds sterling, and all clients receive wholesale exchange rates with no markup going to NZ Funds. NZ Funds does not charge exit fees on any of its funds, so if clients wish to move to another scheme they are free to do so, so long as they transfer to another registered superannuation scheme approved to take UK pension money.

NZ Funds overwhelmed by demand for its new service

Since entering the market NZ Funds’ QROPS-registered Managed Superannuation Service has snowballed in size to over $30 million. Ellie Jarvis, who joined NZ Funds from EY in 2018 as a UK immigrant and expert in United Kingdom high net worth tax, heads NZ Funds UK Pension transfer team. The team receives, on average, one or two new transfer enquiries a day with transfer values ranging between $5,000 and close to $5 million and have a further transfer pipeline of over $20 million work in progress.

They regularly receive referrals from accountants, lawyers and tax specialists throughout New Zealand, helping them to transfer their clients’ pensions within the four-year tax-free window New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department offers new immigrants..

Ellie - photofilter UK Pt.jpg

If you would like NZ Funds to review your situation please do not hesitate to contact Ellie Jarvis:

 T. 09 918 9784

M. 022 061 1033


Ellie’s advice is of a general nature, and she is not responsible for any loss that any reader may suffer from following it. A copy of Ellie’s disclosure statement is available on request, free of charge.

New Zealand Funds Management Limited

Level 16, 21 Queen Street

Private Bag 92163, Auckland 1142

New Zealand

T. 09 377 2277




For a PDF download of this report, please click here.

Your NZ money transfers in an uncertain UK market

Our Partners Moneycorp have given us this insight into how Brexit, and the continuing uncertainty in the UK market has affected your NZ money transfers:


"So after the hype and hysteria all year, the vote has come and gone.  In June, the UK voted to leave the EU by 52% to 48%.  Leave won the majority of votes in Wales and England - every council in Scotland saw Remain majorities.  The result was unexpected by a lot of people and shocked the financial markets.  As a result the pound weakened considerably against all currencies including the Kiwi Dollar. 

Further to the result, David Cameron officially resigned as the UK Prime Minister causing political instability.  With the Labour party also in crisis there was a political vacuum at a time when the country most needed to show leadership. The combination of the Referendum result and the resignation of David Cameron caused major worries and the pound has remained largely much weaker against the New Zealand dollar.  This leads us to the question, the majority of people have voted for Brexit so what happens next?

Following the result, the only certainty has been the uncertainty.  And uncertainty is never good for the financial markets.  Theresa May becoming Prime Minister has helped provide some degree of stability but many unanswered questions remain which we currently don’t the answers to, some of these key questions are below.

  • When and will we trigger Article 50 to formally notify the EU that the UK is leaving?

  • Will we still have access to the single market?

  • What does Brexit really mean for the UK economy? 

  • Will Scotland hold another Independence Referendum?

All these questions are important because they affect businesses in the UK and how they can plan ahead – also for investment in the UK from other countries it’s important the message is that we genuinely are still open for business. What happens next will also heavily affect the exchange rates and the pound against the New Zealand Dollar. 

Of little surprise on Thursday, The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) made an interest rate cut by 25 basis points to a record low of 2.0 percent.  A strong kiwi Dollar drove the RBNZ to make the change, however the reduction was smaller than expected, with some going into the policy meeting with expectations of more aggressive easing and a larger 50 basis point cut.  

On the back of the smaller than expected cut, the New Zealand Dollar surged in strength to its highest in more than a year.  With sterling under further pressure from poor UK data releases, the New Zealand Dollar strengthened further as the exchange rates continued to fall.

If you need to transfer money overseas

In this climate of change and uncertainty, if you need to transfer money to or from New Zealand, it is more important than ever to speak to an expert foreign exchange company. 

Exchange experts Moneycorp provide free expert guidance and information on the exchange rates - they offer competitive exchange rates, often beating the banks by up to 4%. Importantly they also provide expert guidance on when to transfer your money.  As the exchange rate is always moving this is an important feature which can help you to save even more money."

You can register for a free Moneycorp account here.  Once registered, you will have your own account manager who can discuss your money transfer requirements in detail.

Alternatively, you can speak to our Account Manager, David Newson on 0207 828 7000 or email on