Personal Pension  

Aussie pension rules an opportunity for UK advisers

Aussie pension rules an opportunity for UK advisers

Pension specialist and independent pension trustee Momentum Pensions has urged the UK pensions industry to maximise the opportunities the Australian lifetime allowance rules will bring.

The new rules would introduce a $500,000 (£255,000) lifetime cap on contributions to superannuation - the term for Australian pension schemes - from 2017, prompting fears wealthy British expats would be unable to transfer the full value of their pensions Down Under.

Under previous rules, Britons moving to Australia simply had to comply with an annual cap of $180,000 (£91,500).

Andrew Hains, senior client adviser of IFA Montfort International, who specialises in advising British expats moving to Australia, told FTAdviser such fears were premature, as the rules could be scrapped at the country’s July general election.

But if the changes go ahead, Momentum Pensions suggested they will provide an opportunity for UK advisers and Sipp providers to work together to maximise clients’ funding ahead of time.

Another business stream may come from Australian advisers, who will be reliant on UK pensions advice, a complex area they will not have detailed working knowledge of.

Pensions will also need to be structured so that up to $500,00k (£255,000) can be transferred across.

In terms of the impact it will have on Australia, the new legislation has been compared to the UK’s pension freedom rules.

Official figures show that in 2013, Australia was the biggest destination for those emigrating from Britain, with 43,000 British people moving there according to the Office for National Statistics in 2013.

Stewart Davies, chief executive of Momentum Pensions, said: “A good provider with solid Qrops and UK Sipp options will be well-placed to work with advisers who need a non-Australian pension option to complement the newly-capped Australian schemes – and when you think about the significant number of people who emigrate to Australia every year, the rules will affect a lot of people.

“In addition, there is a strong opportunity also to work with advisers on the current basis to maximise funding until the changes are implemented next year in July.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com