HAVING worked in Guernsey since leaving school, I am permanently relocating to the United Kingdom. I have a retirement annuity trust scheme and would like to transfer this to a UK-registered pension scheme and continue to make savings. Is this possible?
Sean Gillease, business development manager, Sovereign Trust (Channel Islands) Ltd, replies:
Yes, it is possible to transfer from a Guernsey retirement annuity trust scheme into a UK-registered pension scheme in order to consolidate your pension and to continue making savings. However, you should be aware that a number of UK scheme providers will not accept pension savings which have been accumulated from outside the UK because it can cause administrative challenges for them.
Such a transfer is, however, legally and technically possible and there would not be any tax charge applied for transferring out of the Guernsey RAT to a UK-registered pension scheme. The key factor would be identifying a pension provider able and willing to accept such a transfer of non-UK sourced pension savings.
Often this requirement will exclude the largest providers in the UK, who rely on simplicity and consistency. Certain providers who also have an international exposure, such as Sovereign, provide UK-registered pension schemes via their licensed and regulated UK pensions businesses. As such it can make it easier to approach a provider who has a Guernsey, an international and a UK presence – and generally such firms will be able to accept such a transfer.
Speak to your financial adviser, who will be able to assist you in identifying a suitable UK-registered pension scheme provider. They will also be able to assist with the transfer process and any costs that may be involved.
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