Overseas Pensions

The Process And Fees For Transferring Pensions Overseas

Pensions, or retirement funds, are a convenient way to save for your future by the time you reach retirement age. Whether you have an employer-sponsored pension plan or private savings, the time may come when you decide to transfer your pensions overseas. For many people retiring abroad, this is the best option because it maximizes their funds & provides financial security in their new country of residence. This blog post will discuss how it’s possible to transfer pensions overseas – including what fees are involved & how long the process takes.
Overseas Pensions

Transferring A Defined Contribution Pension Abroad

The process of transferring pensions is similar for both defined benefit and defined contribution pensions.

The benefits are assessed according to international regulations, which may involve converting them into a different currency depending on where they’ll end up being held; there will also be fees payable by both parties involved in the transfer – from those who receive pension payments through their new provider as well as those who initially provided them with these funds; and finally, all relevant paperwork must be completed and signed.

Imagine this:

Transferring a defined contribution pension abroad is a straightforward process. The first step is to contact your pension provider and advise them of the pension transfer request, which will then be processed by transferring funds from one country’s currency into another.

This process can be expensive, however. The pension fund size will dictate how much is paid in conversion and administrative fees, but it should not exceed 20% of the total sum transferred.

The size of your pension pot determines the overseas transfer charge1 for this process. For amounts up to £50,000 (approximately $75,000), there is a fee of £200 or roughly $272. The transfer may take around one month and incur an additional charge if it exceeds €250,000 ($345k).

Transferring A Defined Benefit Pension Abroad

Transferring A Defined Benefit Pension Abroad

Let’s get down to business:

This one is a complicated process. First, contact your pension provider and advise them of the request to transfer funds from one country’s currency into another.

The provider will then ask for a written confirmation from the receiving country’s pension company. If this is granted, your funds are transferred to that nation and converted into their currency.

A defined benefit pension plan2 provides benefits based on salary or years of service with an employer. This type of pension typically earns interest over time which can be worth more than one of the other pensions.

You see:

This process can be expensive but should not exceed 20% of the total sum transferred. The overseas transfer charge is determined by how much you have in your pot – if it is up to €50k ($75k), then it will cost just over $280 euros or roughly £200 (approximately AU$350).

This may take around one month, which could incur an additional charge if more than €250 thousand pounds (£200k) are being moved across borders.


If you’re transferring a defined benefit pension – where your monthly payout depends on factors like when you retired and how much money was in the fund at that time – then things get more complicated because the benefits can’t be guaranteed until they’ve been assessed according to international regulations.

You’ll need to arrange this with both your current provider and any new providers who come into the picture.

The good news is that pensions transfer for defined benefit pensions are exempt from the UK’s Pension Freedoms Act, which means you don’t have to take any money out of your pot.

Transferring Multiple Pensions Overseas

Transferring Multiple Pensions Overseas

The process for transferring multiple pensions overseas is the same as just one, except that each retirement will need to be assessed individually. Again, this should happen during the transferral of your first pension.

One important consideration when it comes to overseas pension transfer is the overseas transfer charge.

In some cases, they may be charged at both ends for converting currencies; in others, they are only incurred on one end (the point where you need to access your money).

Fees can range anywhere between 0% – 20%.

Ultimately it depends on the type of pension and the country it’s being transferred to.

On the other hand:

In terms of process, there are two pension options: a local transfer or an international transfer. The process can be slightly different depending on which option you choose, so make sure to seek financial advice beforehand to understand this decision fully.

Tax When Taking Your Pension Abroad

If you are considering taking your pension abroad, it is important to be aware that the tax treatment will vary depending on where in the world it is being taken. If you want to take a portion of your benefits overseas as an income-to-capital transfer (as opposed to transferring all of them).

Turns out:

You will need to consider two things: how much can be transferred without incurring any tax charges and what type of taxation system there will be when they reach their destination country. When looking at countries outside Europe, for example, some have higher rates than others for people coming from high-tax nations like those in Western Europe or North America.

Common Questions

Can I transfer UK pension to USA?

What happens to my UK state pension if I move abroad?

Can a UK resident transfer to a QROPS?

Can I transfer my pension to another country?

In conclusion

In short,

It can be worthwhile to transfer your pension before retirement if you are looking to spend time abroad in the future. There are processes that will vary depending on your circumstances. Pension transfers allow people who have a UK-based pension to take that money with them when they retire or work overseas for a period of time.


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