Settlement Services

NZ Funds’ UK Pension Transfer Tips

NZ Logo.png

NZ Funds offers a free comprehensive UK pension transfer service that helps clients every step of the way until their pension is re-located to New Zealand.

NZ Funds began offering a transfer service in 2017 when our Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme was registered with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. Since then we have transferred over
$30 million of UK pensions.

Below are our top tips for those considering whether to transfer their pension from the UK to New Zealand.

Can my pension be transferred?

Generally, most pensions are transferable, irrespective of the amount. However, there are a few exceptions to this. If you do not fall into one of the following categories your pension should be transferable!

The UK State Pension, which is the equivalent of New Zealand’s NZ Super – paid for by the Governments of both countries – is not available for transfer. However, if you have relocated to New Zealand you may be eligible to receive NZ Super payments. Some rules and exceptions apply.

Public sector pensions, which are funded by the UK Government and are commonly referred to as unfunded public sector pensions, are currently not transferable. These include organisation such as NHS, Police, Firefighters, Armed Forces, Teachers and other Civil Services.

Annuities, which are currently in payment, are also not transferable. Defined Benefit schemes (explained below) have many of the same characteristics as an annuity but are transferable unless they are already in pay out, or in some cases where they are within a year of the policy’s retirement date.

What kind of pension do you have?

All pensions are not created equal. There are in fact two types of pensions: defined benefit and defined contribution. So long as you don’t fall into one of the categories above, both are transferable to New Zealand.

Defined Contribution Schemes (which are also known as Money Purchase Schemes) are similar to New Zealand’s KiwiSaver Schemes. Members, often helped by their employers, save a percentage of their income each year in preparation for retirement. How much is available to spend in retirement (or transfer) depends on how much you have saved and how well the investment portfolio has performed.

Defined Benefit Schemes (which are also known as Final Salary Schemes) are Schemes where the pension is not defined by the member’s contributions, and often there are no member contributions at all. These offer an annual pension amount from the Normal Retirement Date until death. In general, these types of schemes, which effectively offer a fixed income in retirement guaranteed by the company you worked, for are becoming rarer and rarer. The good news is they can be transferred as well, however there are two downsides to consider when transferring them.

First, most members will need to obtain financial advice in the United Kingdom before their pension provider will agree to transfer this type of pension. NZ Funds can help co-ordinate this specialist advice for you, but there is usually an additional charge by the UK-based adviser for this service and this is not covered by
NZ Funds. Second, when Defined Benefit Schemes are transferred, members lose their annual guaranteed income and instead receive a single lump sum amount, based on the value of the scheme at the time of transfer.

When is the best time to transfer?

To start with, pensions should not be transferred to New Zealand until the member has become a New Zealand tax resident and intends to remain in New Zealand permanently.  If the member is not a New Zealand tax resident or ceases to a be New Zealand tax resident within five full UK tax years of the transfer, their pension may be subject to a 25% overseas tax charge.

Once you become a New Zealand tax resident New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department gives you a four-year window to transfer any overseas pension funds to New Zealand tax free. After that taxes usually apply.

While this sounds like a long time, you should factor in plenty of time to work with your chosen transfer organisation, and bear in mind that once the paperwork has been completed, transfers themselves can take up to six months, or in some cases even longer!

But what about the exchange rate!

Concerns around the exchange rate should not stop you considering a UK Pension transfer. Many approved Qualified Recognised Oversees Pensions Schemes (or QROPS, which are schemes approved by HMRC to accept UK Pension transfers) offer a Sterling Strategy within their schemes. This allows you to transfer your pension to New Zealand but keep it either in Sterling or exposed to Sterling until you are comfortable with the New Zealand dollar, Great British Pound exchange rate.

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.

Ellie - photofilter UK Pt.jpg

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.

What to consider when choosing an international removals partner

So you’ve decided to emigrate, you have looked into job opportunities and considered the visa application process; but how do you go about moving your life overseas?

Obviously moving abroad isn’t quite the same as moving within the same country and can be a hugely daunting task if not thought through properly. International transport options for moving your household contents, excess baggage, vehicles and even pets are, whether by sea, road or air; slightly limited.

If you plan on moving to a new continent, then the bulk of your possessions will need to travel to your new home by container ship. Most migrants are pleasantly surprised to discover how quick the transit time actually takes to arrive at most far-flung destinations. Some arrivals can be as quick as 4 weeks with a maximum wait of 12 weeks. Should the transit time take between 8-12 weeks, it is strongly recommended that you take advantage of the airfreight or express service to ensure that anything urgent arrives at your destination as quickly as possible.


With all of this in mind, recruiting a professional, reliable and organised removals company, experienced at assisting with international relocations is a wise decision to make. If you are not on a relocation package that includes the services of a specific removal company, you’ll need to find your own; but how do you go about choosing the right one?

Start by researching as soon as possible because the process can take between 3-6 months. Once you begin gathering quotes, each company will most likely give you an estimate. To get a true, accurate quote, the company will look to book you a free household removal, excess baggage and car shipping quote to calculate precisely how much needs to be packed. If you’re receiving several quotes, be patient as there will be many factors to consider!

As a minimum you should select an international mover that has achieved the highest level of service within the industry by attaining FAIM ACCREDITATION which is the only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry.

You should also ask if the company is a Member of the FIDI Global alliance, British Association of Removers Overseas Group, and BAR OVERSEAS, which is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for your financial protection.

If at all possible, ask friends and colleagues to recommend a company they may have used in the past or do your own rigorous research and contact two or three for an initial quote. Always make sure you judge each company on whether they can provide the services you need, which areas they cover nationally and internationally, scan for favourable reviews on and offline and research into whether they are reputable members of the various professional associations (such as BAR OVERSEAS and FIDI) or not.


The company will usually then send over a consultant to explain how it all works, discuss what’s most important to you, your overall volume of belongings, some estimated costs and answer any burning questions you might have.

Once you’ve spoken to all, review each company thoroughly and make sure you’re comparing price on a like-for-like basis. Did each offer similar or differing services, who seemed the most professional/knowledgeable and which offered the best value for money to get your home to your new destination in one piece?

Bear in mind that an international removal company should always offer insurance to cover against loss or damages during transit and most will offer deals as part of their quote for tailor-made transit cover or marine policy for example.


Seriously consider choosing a removal company that includes a packing service. It won’t break the bank and can save a huge amount of stress, time and energy. Furthermore, your chosen removal company will have all of the relevant contacts and partners in place to deal with the customs clearance for you and once everything has cleared, your goods will either be placed into temporary storage or delivered to your new home.

PSS International Removals are UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of customers move to many destinations throughout the world. All PSS Staff have been professionally trained in export procedures and work entirely on overseas removals.

PSS specialises in:

  • Full or Part Household shipments
  • Motor Vehicle shipments
  • Baggage Shipments
  • Airfreight/Express Service
  • Shipping Service from anywhere in the UK to Anywhere in the World

PSS also charges for part loads. This means you only pay for the space you fill. They are able to offer you all of the services listed above including additional visa, employment, banking, currency, pension transfer, pet shipping, tax rebate, education, flight and property advice through their network of trusted partners.

So if you are thinking about moving to New Zealand and want to find out more about what you should expect, get in touch with PSS for a free survey and a chat with one of their experienced consultants who will be happy to help you.

Visit to find out more or contact them today for a free quote.

Sending Pets to New Zealand

The requirements to move your dog or cat to New Zealand may seem daunting, but it needn't be. With careful guidance from your pet shipper, the move will be smooth and stress free, for you and your pet/s. Please allow as much notice as possible for the arrangements to be made, a minimum of 6 weeks.

Airpets uses the direct Air New Zealand flights, this is the quickest route there. You do not need to be on the same flight as your pet, in fact it may be easier for you if your pet arrives 1 or 2 days after you. This allows you to go straight home after your flight, then simply return to the airport to collect your pet. Once your pets have cleared through customs, they are yours to take home, there is no quarantine for pets arriving directly from the UK.

The travel kennel for your pet will allow plenty of space to stand, turn and be comfy. We also recommend that we take a favourite blanket / towel for your pet to fly with, something that smells of home. We do not recommend that you try and get the pet “used” to the kennel before departure. Your house will have a level of anxiety and stress and the pet may develop a negative association to the kennel. We cannot sedate any pets for the flight, but you may use herbal / homeopathic remedies eg, Rescue Remedy / DAP / Feliway spray, if desired.

It is best if your pet travels on an empty stomach, he/she is much less likely to need to go to the toilet in the travel kennel. Water is available throughout the journey. All the pets are checked on during the touch down in either Los Angeles or Hong Kong and the water is topped up.

The veterinary requirements are quite complex, but do not worry, we are here to guide you through every step. Once a date of departure has been set, we will send you a detailed veterinary schedule telling you and your vet exactly what tests to do and when. Here is a basic idea of the requirements.

  1. Permanent identification (Micro Chip).
  2. DOGS ONLY Blood test for Leptospirosis, Brucella Canis, Ehrlichiosis and Heartworm within 30 days of export. All blood extraction will be done with your own Veterinary surgery and then sent to The Veterinary Laboratories Agency’ New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey. A further 2 blood tests are required for Babesia within 10 days of export. Approx costs for all dog testing £400 – £500 / dog, please ask your vet for a quote. NB, if a booster vaccination is due before departure DO NOT vaccinate against Leptospirosis, this may affect the blood test results
  3. Two faecal tests at least 14 days apart but within 30 days of export with negative results for Hookworm. All faecal samples can be collected by you or your vet and then sent to ‘The Veterinary Laboratories Agency.
  4. Treatment against internal parasites, 2 x treatments within 30 days of export but at least 2 weeks apart. Treatment for external parasites within 10 days of export
  5. DEFRA Export Health Certificate signed within 96 hours of export.

A PETS passport is NOT required to move your pet to Australia / New Zealand, however, if you feel that you may be returning to the UK at some point, we do strongly advise that you obtain the full PETS passport. This can be arranged through your local vet practice.