Before transferring your pensions to the United States, there are some things you have to consider. You should know that not all types of pensions are transferable. Depending also on your pension scheme, the cost to transfer it from the UK to the US could vary. Some benefits may not be transferable either, so you may lose out in some aspects.
There are two different ways to transfer your pension out of the United Kingdom: via Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme or QROPS, or Self-Invested Personal Pension or SIPP.
When transferring pensions to a SIPP, there are a few questions that may faze you. Here are some examples:
1. Who can transfer pensions to a SIPP?
As long as you have an existing personal pension or one that was previously under a previous employer scheme, you are eligible to transfer your pension to a SIPP.
2. Which pensions can be transferred?
Personal pensions, stakeholder pensions, deferred defined contribution occupational schemes, pension drawdown plans, free-standing additional voluntary contribution plans, and executive pension plans.
3. Which pensions cannot be transferred?
Defined benefit schemes such as final salary schemes, additional voluntary schemes connected to defined benefit schemes, and employer-sponsored schemes that are still being contributed to currently.
Usually, pension transfers to SIPP would take 8 to 10 weeks to complete. However, with the upcoming pension freedom, more and more people would attempt to transfer their pensions, probably resulting in more applicants and a longer time to finish.
Transferring pensions would usually require some paperwork to go with it such as an estimated transfer value of your pension (that can be provided by your current pension provider), the scheme name and policy number of your current pension scheme and administrator, your national insurance number, and your bank details if you plan to make additional contributions.
If you are unsure of the move you are about to make regarding your pension transfers, it is advisable to contact authorized financial advisers such as Tim Carroll UK Pension.