Thousands of UK pensions in limbo

Thousands of Australian residents have seen their pension transfers frozen.

Thousands of UK pensions in limbo

Further to the UK imposed pension transfer deadline of 6 April for those who had worked in the British public service, 1000s of Australian residents have seen their pension transfers frozen by the UK Government.

Those affected by the transfer freeze include Britons who have been employed as teachers, nurses, police, etc. and have moved to Australia, as well as Australians who have worked in Britain in such public service roles.

The freeze has occurred due to a difference in rules between the two countries in regards to early access of pensions. Under Australian regulations, financial hardship can trigger early access, but this is not available in the UK.

The benefits of transferring UK pensions to Australia include having no restrictions on accessing funds after 60 years of age and having no tax paid on such withdrawals. In the UK, an income stream is generally paid, which is assessable for income tax, and only the first 25 per cent is usually tax free.

For those who have already had pension transferred recently, there could be a British tax liability due to be paid.

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    14th Jul 2015
    Don't forget that there are thousands of UK pensioners living here already that have had their pensions frozen since they had them granted many years ago. We are fighting for equality but no one is listening. We paid for our pensions as we worked now they deny us equality.
    Thai Traveller
    14th Jul 2015
    Aussie pensioners are also being hit. For those of use who've retired in Asia, we're getting 21% less than a year ago, thanks to devaluation of the Oz $.

    14th Jul 2015
    I thought UK citizens living in Australia can claim pensions from Australia and still get UK from pension too.
    14th Jul 2015
    They wont be getting ANY Pension from the UK soon !:-( Id love to tell You why but I wont !!
    14th Jul 2015
    Surely people cannot claim more than one full pension from both countries
    Perhaps this has contributed to the Greek and Australian defecit pressures
    14th Jul 2015
    Any foreign pensions are taken into account by Centrelink and the Australian age pension adjusted (downwards) accordingly.
    14th Jul 2015
    niemakawa is correct. If you are getting a pension from overseas, the country from which you emigrated has contact with Centrelink in regards to your pension - there and here, both countries making adjustments to your pension benefits. Centrelink will be advised of any forthcoming pension indexation changes and will reciprocate accordingly to the overseas provider and, most importantly, to your pension amount. niemakawa is right again - downwards it goes.
    Jim C
    14th Jul 2015
    Dan - you are right regarding a full pension. Those of us over here with "frozen" UK state pensions income have this amount taken into consideration by Centrelink before they decide on whatever Australian part-pension is then payable. Therefore there is no chance of getting a full pension from both countries (unfortunately !!)

    Particolor - spill the beans then, if there are any to spill !
    15th Jul 2015
    Just a whisper, but I think the Bean Tin is nearly Empty ! :-(
    14th Jul 2015
    Yes particolor spill the beans were all interested in what you seem to know
    16th Jul 2015
    Ithink particolor likes to hear himself talking.
    16th Jul 2015
    UK pensioners can claim a British pension and also an Australian Pension provided they have been Australian permanent residents for 10 years. As with all Australian pensions this is means tested, with your assets and/or income taken into consideration. This does not mean that you will automatically get a full British pension AND a full Australian one, as usually the British pension will be counted towards your income and the Australian one may be reduced as a result. You should get a full British pension as long as you have paid the required number of years NI contributions, however this will be taken into consideration when claiming the Australian pension. I am interested in the comment from 'particolor', and would like him/her to explain the reason behind their statement 'they won't be getting any pension from the UK soon'. This statement without qualification could be of concern to some people and needs explaining.
    16th Jul 2015
    If the BAPA group keep fighting for equality in pensions, we may one day, get more , not less , as particolor suggests. Unfreezing our pensions may be long time coming but we can hope. Particolor is talking through his hat.
    31st Jul 2015
    Hi Squirrel, The BAPA group is virtually defunct, however a much larger group is British pensions in Australia (BPiA) and they are working as a member of the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) to have UK State Pensions paid unfrozen for all expat pensioners. Check out their web site at Mike

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