As a British ex-pat, transferring your UK pension to Canada is straightforward, however, it is a process that does take time and is best handled by a specialist advisor. Here’s what’s involved in the pension transfer process.
Initiating the QROPS Process
Only a qualified Canadian financial advisor can conduct a QROPS transfer of a UK pension into Canada, and British ex-pats with pensions in the UK cannot deal with the full process themselves.
The pension transfer process is initiated when the individual with the pension authorizes an advisor to review any pension schemes in their name and authorizes the advisor to request the transfer paperwork directly from their UK pension scheme. Alternatively, the client can contact the UK pension scheme directly to request the QROPS overseas transfer paperwork.
The Next Steps
Once the transfer paperwork has been received, the advisor will arrange with the client to complete both the UK pension paperwork and to set up the RRSP for receipt of the pension funds. As part of this process applications will be completed to set up the RRSP , risk profiles and fund choices will be discussed and implemented, and the UK transfer paperwork will be completed.
A UK pension that is moved to Canada must be transferred into an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) with a Canadian provider that has QROPS status
RRSP vs RRIF?
Transfers of UK pension fund can only be received into an RRSP, therefore it is imperative that a transfer is initiated before the end of the year that the client turns 71. In Canada, all RRSPs need to be turned into RRIFs by the time a person is 72 years old, therefore, if you are already 72 years or age or older, you will be unable to transfer your UK pension into Canada using QROPS.
QROPS Forms and Paperwork
Part of the transfer process will involve organizing and sending the requisite paperwork to the proper authorities. These may include:
- Signed termination/transfer forms for the UK Pension administrator
- A UK Pension transfer application
- RRSP investment application forms
- Official documentation to verify your ID and Canadian address
Your advisor will help you through the process and ensure that all of your paperwork is in order before submission to avoid delays in transfer.
Other QROPS Requirements
Note that a person must be at least 55 years old to transfer their UK pension to Canada with QROPS. The transferred funds will be requested in British Pounds, and the receiving RRSP institution in Canada will convert the sum to Canadian dollars. The exchange rate that applies will be the banks client prevailing rate on the day the funds are deposited into the RRSP providers bank. It’s also important to know that if you have multiple UK pension providers, all pensions can be deposited into one RRSP QROPS account.
If you have questions about your UK pension and you’d like advice on how to transfer it to Canada, contact us today.