Irish Pension Transfer Service

Transferring Irish Pensions to the UK, Overseas for Non-Irish Residents

Have you acquired an Irish pension at some point in your working life, but now you want to take your money and move elsewhere? If so, you need to understand how to transfer your Irish pension abroad.

Transferring Irish Pensions to the UK, Overseas for Non-Irish Residents.

What You Need to Know.

The AES Irish Pension Transfer Service helps Irish expatriates (and other individuals with Irish pension schemes) who plan to retire overseas, have accumulated Irish pensions that have a value (known or estimated) of above €250,000 and have a bone fide reason for wishing to transfer their Irish Pension away from Ireland*.

Transferring your Irish pension to a UK SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) or a Maltese Retirement Trust (QROPS – Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) gives you far more flexibility with your savings. We can help you consolidate your Irish pensions into one pension scheme, allowing you to draw steady income or lump sums with far less hassle.

UK & Maltese Pensions versus Irish Pensions

While UK SIPPs and Maltese pension plans have a few key differences (see the following sections), they differ from Irish pensions in a few key ways.

  • Easy to manage when you live abroad – UK SIPPs and Maltese pensions are far less complex to manage when you live abroad, and you can draw your money in whatever local currency you prefer.
  • No Irish Income Tax – Even if you live abroad, if you continue to draw from your Irish pensions, you’ll lose money to Irish taxes. Simply put, income withdrawn from an ARF / AMRF is assessable to Irish Income Tax, Universal Social Charge, and Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI), which is deducted at source. However, UK SIPPs and Malta Retirement Trust products avoid this taxation.
  • Flexibility with withdrawals – Withdrawing money from your Irish pension can be complex and inflexible, with a whole host of complicated rules. For instance, you must firstly transfer €63,500 to an AMRF/Annuity, unless you are receiving €12,700 p.a. lifetime guaranteed pension annuity. On the other hand, UK and Maltese products have no annuity requirements, and you can withdraw money as and when you wish.
  • Death benefits are simpler – Irish pensions come with high inheritance taxes and complicated rules for spouses and children, making local tax advice essential. Both UK and Maltese pension products offer far more streamlined succession planning, detailed below.

The Facts About UK SIPPS

It’s important to understand how UK SIPPs operate when it comes to accessing your money, taxation, and succession planning.

Accessing Your Money at Retirement

You can access your retirement funds as soon as you reach age 55, and you can take a lump sum of up to 25% of your funds without paying UK income tax. In addition, you can withdraw money from your SIPP at any time, which helps you avoid the hassle and headache of an Irish Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) and the Approved Minimum Retirement Fund.

Taxation on UK SIPP products

UK SIPPs are free from capital gains tax, so you will pay no tax on any investment income generated. You also won’t face any Irish Income Tax, Universal Social Charge or PRSI on your SIPP payments or pension income. SIPP income payments are assessable to UK income tax at source, but if you live in a jurisdiction with a UK Double Taxation Agreement (DTA), you can request a ‘No Tax Code’ from the HMRC.

Taxation on UK SIPP products

UK SIPPs are free from capital gains tax, so you will pay no tax on any investment income generated. You also won’t face any Irish Income Tax, Universal Social Charge or PRSI on your SIPP payments or pension income. SIPP income payments are assessable to UK income tax at source, but if you live in a jurisdiction with a UK Double Taxation Agreement (DTA), you can request a ‘No Tax Code’ from the HMRC.

The Facts About Malta Retirement Trust Products

Here are the key facts about Malta Retirement Trust Products. As you can see, they share some fundamental similarities with UK products, but differ on the age at which you can access your funds (50 for Malta products and 55 for UK SIPPs). This could be a determining factor in your decision – when do you want to start drawing your pension funds?

You’ll also notice that succession planning is much more straightforward with a Maltese fund, without the age 75 restrictions, which could be another consideration.

Accessing Your Money at Retirement

It’s easy to access your retirement benefits any time between ages 50 and 75, and you can take an initial lump sum of up to 30% of your fund (which is exempt from Maltese tax). Like a UK SIPP product, this helps you avoid the complexities of establishing an Irish Approved Retirement Fund (ARF). You can continue to draw regular income payments from your pension or take larger lump sums (if applicable).

Taxation on Malta Retirement Trust products

When it comes to taxation, investment growth within Malta Retirement Trust products is free from Maltese tax. Just like UK SIPPs, they do not deduct Irish Income Tax, Universal Social Charge or PRSI on the pension payments, which makes it far easier than trying to reclaim your Irish Income Tax paid in Ireland. In most cases, income payments are assessable to Malta Income Tax, usually at non-resident rates.

However, in many jurisdictions, Malta has an effective Double Taxation Agreement in place. This means your pension income will only be assessable in your country of residence. Therefore, it’s essential that you seek tax advice.

Succession Planning with Maltese Pensions

Succession planning is simple with a Malta Retirement Trust product. Your remaining funds can be paid directly to your beneficiaries, and they are all exempt from Maltese Tax. They are also typically exempt from Irish Capital Acquisition Tax. However, your country of residence might charge inheritance taxes, and so local tax advice is essential.

The Benefits of Transferring to a Maltese or UK Scheme

As you can see from the information above, if you’re planning to retire abroad, it makes sense to transfer your pension away from your Irish scheme to a more versatile Maltese (QROPS) or UK scheme (SIPP).

  • Consolidate multiple Irish, UK, and overseas pensions into one SIPP or Malta Retirement product
  • Avoid the complexity and cost of establishing an Irish Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) product, which can be a massive headache
  • Manage your currency risk
  • Avoid high succession taxes
  • Widen your investment options to suit your needs
  • Access your retirement benefits at any time between the ages of 50 and 75
  • Take an initial lump sum payment (30% for Malta, 25% for UK) exempt from taxation
  • Draw regular payments or lump sums from your pension pot

Why You Should Work with a Pensions Expert

It’s crucial that you enlist the services of a pensions expert to help you with an Irish Pension Transfer Service. Not only do they understand the ins and outs of the different products, but they can also assess your specific situation and provide you with relevant advice.

Why choose AES International to Help with Transferring your Irish Pension Overseas? 

  • Have won multiple awards
  • 100% fee-based – we take no commissions from any of the product providers we use
  • Fully regulated in the UK by the FCA (and hold licenses outside of the UK)
  • Experts in providing financial planning to individuals around the world
  • Fully independent and transparent

If you are thinking about transferring your Irish pension plan to a more versatile and uncomplicated UK SIPP or Malta Retirement Fund product, contact us today for a fee-free initial discussion regarding the Irish Pension Transfer options that are available to you.

We look forward to hearing from you.

*It is important to note a transfer of Irish pension benefits overseas can only be made for bona fide purposes (e.g. no longer living in Ireland, pension consolidation etc) and not for the purpose of circumventing Irish pension tax rules.
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About AES International

AES International advises expatriate clients worldwide on all financial planning matters including retirement planning, offshore bank accounts, savings and investment, insurance, pension transfers and generating income, from wealth accumulated, to support retirement.