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Transferring pension

(11 Posts)
Newjobthankgod Mon 25-Apr-11 19:39:55

I just need some advice really. I came to the UK from the USA shortly after qualifying as an RN and have been working for the NHS for over decade. I have paid into the pension scheme all that time... and with every paycheck.... as I thought we might stay here.

Well we are back to the US now.

I was hoping to take my pension contributions with me back to the United States and put it into a retirement account there.

NHS has said no way. I can't have it. It's gone. Unless I move back to Britain and start paying into it again and retire here.

Is this right? I kind of wish I had hung onto that money now and saved it myself.

Earlybird Mon 25-Apr-11 19:46:07

I have no professional knowledge on this, but couldn't the NHS simply pay your pension into a UK Bank account when the time comes for you to start claiming it?

flowery Mon 25-Apr-11 19:48:20

What do the terms and conditions of the scheme say? The money won't have 'gone', but there will be information in the scheme t&cs about conditions under which it will or will not be paid out and to what kind of bank account etc.

suzikettles Mon 25-Apr-11 19:49:56

NHS pension scheme is called superannuation so is different from other types of pension. I don't think you can "cash it in" or take the value out as such.

I doubt you'll lose it though. It will be deffered until you reach retirement age, although 10 years contributions won't amount to a huge sum - better than nowt though.

suzikettles Mon 25-Apr-11 19:51:08

here's some info

flowery Mon 25-Apr-11 19:51:39

You say you wish you'd hung on to it and saved it yourself - surely there are some sigificant NHS contributions there though that you wouldn't have benefited from had you not joined the scheme? It won't have gone.

RancerDoo Mon 25-Apr-11 19:59:19

The money won't have gone. It is yours and will be paid out on retirement- the NHSPS can make payments into overseas bank accounts. The reason you can't transfer it to an american scheme is that any contributions will have received beneficial tax treatment. That treatment exists to encourage people to save for a pension: taking it out is deemed "risky" as you might not use the money for pension. Some US schemes (I believe) allow people to withdraw the money early. UK HMRC approved schemes don't allow this as it defeats the object of the tax benefits given.

The NHSPS is a form of defined benefit scheme and your benefits are calculated by reference to service and salary rather than contributions. It is therefore not as simple as taking your contributions out even if HMRC and the pension scheme trustees would allow this). Moreover, you might get a better pension from the NHSPS than you could from putting it in a 401K for example and hoping for decent investment return.

LCarbury Mon 25-Apr-11 20:10:24

AFAIK you can't transfer into a US 401K pension as it's not really like a UK pension, as you can take out loans against a US pension etc. so it doesn't meet the tax criteria for a UK pension plan. However, you can transfer into a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme (QROPS). There are various providers for this, if you google QROPS you will find them e.g. Torygraph and sales.

See if you can get Mr Anchovy on this thread, it's the kind of thing he would know.

LCarbury Mon 25-Apr-11 20:12:36

Ah x-posted with RancerDoo, if it is a defined benefit scheme you may well lose out if you try to transfer it.

Found a thread on moneysavingexpert too

Newjobthankgod Tue 26-Apr-11 08:25:52

Thanks guys!!

expatworld Tue 28-Jun-11 11:19:11

Hi, you can actually transfer your UK pension to a Qrops recognised by the IRS, I used these guys

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