As per Section 305-70 of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act, the transfer of your UK Pension fund to Australia is a taxable event. The growth (applicable fund earnings) of your UK Pension fund since the date of your Australian residency is taxable. With your signed election to do so, the growth will be assessed as a taxable contribution and the 15% superannuation fund tax to be paid from the receiving fund. If you do not make this election, the growth will be assessed as personal income and taxed at your marginal tax rate for the financial year end.
Non-Concessional Contributions Limits:
Please note that fund value as at date of Australian residency will be received as a Non-Concessional Contribution (NCC).
Effective from the 1″ July 2021 the NCC cap is $110,000 pa thus $330,000 bring forward.
If you have more than one UK pension transfer, the sum of the values of your UK Pension funds as at the date of Australian residency will contribute to the NCC cap.
HMRC Amendments – in relation to transfers received on or after 6th April 2017.
Recent UK regulation changes (retrospective to 6th April 2017) now dictate that transfers received on or after the 6th April 2017 must remain in the ROPS environment (a ring-fenced transfer) for the longer period of either:
This means that even if the member has been non-UK resident for longer than 10 full UK tax years, the member payment charges (unauthorised payment) can still apply if it is less than 5 years since the funds were transferred from a registered UK pension scheme.
Therefore, if you were to rollover to a non-RO PS fund (prior to satisfying either of the above), it will be deemed an ‘unauthorised payment’ and taxed up to a maximum of 55% by HMRC.
Furthermore (until satisfying the abovementioned requirements), there are limits as to the amount you can access in retirement (assuming the Australian ‘preservation’ rules are met).
Overseas Transfer Charge • UK Budget (9th March 2017)
A Statutory Residence Test (SRT) that determines whether someone is considered a UK resident for tax purposes came into force on 6th April 2013. Given the significance of this issue and the comprehensive new detail, please refer to this link for the details of SRT.