frequently asked questions

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PENSIONS

What are the criteria I need to meet to be able to transfer?


You will need to have permanent residency status and be here in NZ. You will need an NZ QROPS plan open.




Does it matter if I haven’t got a NZ superannuation scheme?


Not initially, however the UK regulations require there to be an NZ Superannuation Plan in place prior to the transfer of the UK benefits. We will assist with this as part of our service.




Who handles my money and how safe is it?


BritsNZ Ltd does not handle client’s transfer money. All transfer proceeds are paid directly by your UK pension fund to your NZ Superannuation fund.




Can the transfer value be paid straight into my bank account?


No, it is a requirement of the UK legislation that funds are only paid directly to an approved superannuation scheme in New Zealand.




Can I do it myself?


You can try but you must appreciate that this is a specialised and complex process and you should retain the services of a professional proficient in such business – there are serious tax consequences of not getting this right. This is BritsNZ Ltd area of specialisation our Authorised Financial Adviser has both the UK experience and NZ experience to enable you to get the best advice available.




Are there any circumstances where I should not transfer?


Yes, there may be some instances.

There are a number of complex historical plans in the UK and our advice should be sought.

Everyone’s circumstances are different and so the timing of any transfer is very individual. We will look at YOUR circumstances and advise as appropriate!




How long does it take?


Without being smart or rude, how long is a piece of string?

Generally speaking the average transfer takes between 3 & 4 months but there will be occasions when it will take more or less time.

You should NOT make any financial decisions or commitments based on when you are hoping the transfer will have arrived. We are in the hands of UK pension Trustees and Companies and cannot readily control the speed at which they will react.




I've already started to draw my UK pension, can I still apply for a lump sum transfer?


No, once your pension has come into payment there is nothing you can do.....other than look at ways to get the income paid across to NZ which lessen the impact of exchange rate fluctuations. We can assist with this aspect!




What are the criteria I need to meet to be able to transfer?


You will need to have residency status and be here in NZ. You will need an NZ QROPS plan
open.




What is a QROPS plan?


QROPS stands for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme and is an NZ plan that
meets various criteria set out by the UK HMRC and which allows the tax free movement of
UK schemes to an NZ scheme.




Does it matter if I haven’t got a NZ superannuation scheme?


Not initially, however the UK regulations require there to be an NZ Superannuation Plan in
place prior to the transfer of the UK benefits. We will assist with this as part of our service.




Who handles my money and how safe is it?


BritsNZ Ltd does not handle clients’ transferred money. All transfer proceeds are paid
directly by your UK pension fund to your NZ Superannuation fund. It is as safe as can be as
it passes through the banking systems.




Can the transfer value be paid straight into my bank account?


No, it is a requirement of the UK legislation that funds are only paid directly to an approved
QROPS scheme in New Zealand.




Can I do it myself?


You can try but you must appreciate that this is a specialised and complex process and you
should retain the services of a professional proficient in such business – there are serious tax
consequences of not getting this right.
This is BritsNZ Ltd area of specialisation our Authorised Financial Adviser has both the
UK experience and NZ experience to enable you to get the best advice available.




Are there any circumstances where I should not transfer?


Yes, there may be some instances.
There are a number of UK and NZ tax issues to be aware of that might mean the costs of
transferring are prohibitive and hence advice should be sought!
There are a number of complex historical plans in the UK and our advice should be sought.
Everyone’s circumstances are different and so the timing of any transfer is very individual. We will look at YOUR circumstances and advise as appropriate!




How long does it take?


Without being smart or rude... how long is a piece of string!? Generally speaking the average transfer takes between 3 to 4 months but there will be
occasions when it will take more or less time.
NOTE: You should NOT make any financial decisions or commitments based on when you
are hoping the transfer will have arrived. We are in the hands of UK pension Trustees and
Companies and cannot readily control the speed at which they will react.




I've already started to draw my UK pension, can I still apply for a lump sum transfer?


No, once your pension has come into payment there is nothing you can do other than look at ways to get the income paid across to NZ. This can lessen the impact of exchange rate fluctuations. We can assist with this aspect!





VISAS

Is the new points threshold of 160 permanent?


No. The automatic selection mark for EOIs may be adjusted as necessary to manage the goals of the New Zealand Residence Programme.




Will I need to provide full medical and x-ray certificates to INZ? What if I’ve already provided these in a previous application?


Some visas will not require you to undertake medicals and x-rays but ultimately anyone planning on being in NZ for more than one year will likely need to provide both. Even on Visitor Visas some people may be asked to provide a chest x-ray. Be sure to ask early to ensure you meet the appropriate criteria. If your previous medical and x-ray certificates are less than 36 months old, you may not need to submit new ones. Please refer to the following link, for guidance on when you need to provide medical and x-ray certificates: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/tools-and-information/medical-info.




What police certificates do I need to provide? What if I’ve already provided these in a previous application?


In simple terms if you plan to be in NZ for more than 24 months then a police check will be necessary from your current country of living, country of citizenship and any other that you have spent more than 12 months within in the last 10 years. If your previous police certificate is less than 6 months old on the date you submit your new application, you do not need to provide a new one. Please see INZ’S website to find out how to obtain a police certificate from a specific country: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/tools-and-information/tools/police-certificates




Where can I get copies certified?


Note: except for police certificates which must be originals (and which will not be returned), INZ prefer to receive certified copies of all other documentation, especially passports. A certified copy is a photocopy that has been stamped or endorsed by a person who is authorised to take statutory declarations in the applicant’s country or in New Zealand. They will confirm that the copy is a true copy of the original document, upon sighting original documents, and must give their name, address, date and sign it and use their official stamp, if they have one! In New Zealand, Justices of the Peace, Notaries Public and lawyers can certify copies of documents. You can find Justices of Peace, Notaries Public and lawyers in your area in the Yellow Pages. In NZ JP services are free of charge.




Do I need to submit my original passport with my application?


No. To meet lodgement requirements, you need to submit a certified copy of the biographical page of each applicant’s passport. Original passports may be requested later, subject to an Immigration Officer’s assessment.




What is an eVisa?


An eVisa is a visa issued without a physical label (sticker) in your passport. Your visa record is held in Immigration New Zealand’s electronic system. INZ can issue eVisas for all visa application types. Physical visa labels are generally only issued by request. You MUST keep your eVisa with your passport at ALL times. You can also be granted an eVisa when transferring your original Resident or Permanent Resident Visa to your new passport. This means you will not have a physical visa label in your passport. You can use your eVisa to travel to, enter and stay in New Zealand for the time allowed by your visa. If you are currently outside New Zealand, you may only arrive in New Zealand on or after your visa start date. You should print your eVisa letter, keep your eVisa with your passport, keep it in a safe place, and bring it with you when you travel to New Zealand.




What happens if you get a new passport?


Your visa details are linked to your passport. If you have been issued a new passport since your New Zealand visa was granted, you must notify INZ of your new passport details. If you don’t advise us of your new passport details, you will be delayed when travelling to New Zealand.




How long are visa processing times?


This is the “how long is a piece of string” question! INZ do set out the processing times for various visas which are only guidelines but they have a tendency to promise long and deliver short BUT in 2018 the timelines for visa processing were pushed out (and in some cases quite significantly) so this is definitely a moveable feast. Follow this link to see current processing times: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/policy-and-law/how-the-immigration-system-operates/visa-application-process/how-long-it-takes-to-process-your-visa-application





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