Tel: +34 93 665 8596 | info@spectrum-ifa.com

Linkedin

Transferring Irish Pensions Abroad

By Craig Welsh - Topics: Malta, pension transfer, Pensions in Malta, UK Pensions
This article is published on: 7th December 2021

Irish expatriates, or indeed anyone who has previously worked in Ireland, may have accumulated Irish pensions along the way. If it’s unlikely that you will return to the Emerald Isle, it may be worthwhile looking into moving these pension pots.

At Spectrum, we can help you with that.

First, there must be a bona fide reason for wishing to transfer those pensions away from Ireland. It cannot be done just to circumvent Irish taxation. Professional advice from a regulated adviser should be sought.

You may be able to transfer your Irish pension to either a Malta QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension) or a UK SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension). And no, you don’t have to be living in either Malta or the UK to do so. Moving them can give you far more flexibility by allowing ‘income drawdown’ and avoiding the need to buy an annuity.

Maybe you have more than one pension scheme in Ireland? In that case, you might benefit from consolidating them into one pot. Again, that makes things a bit easier to manage; we can then help you manage the investment side too.

irish pension

So, a bit more detail;

  • Drawdown option; no need to buy an annuity. Withdrawing money from an Irish pension can be complex and inflexible, with some pretty complicated rules. For instance, you will find it difficult to access an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) or an Approved Minimum Retirement Fund (AMRF) if you are non-resident in Ireland. And without an ARF / AMRF you will most likely have to buy an annuity, with no ‘drawdown’ option. Transferring out means you can access lump sum and drawdown options with no requirement to buy an annuity
  • Pension benefits can be accessible from age 50 upon a transfer, and a lump sum of 30% could be taken. How the lump is assessed for taxation depends on where you are resident, so again, advice is essential
  • Easier to manage when you live abroad. UK SIPPs and Maltese pensions are a bit easier for ‘expats’ to manage. In Ireland you must firstly transfer €63,500 to an AMRF/Annuity, unless you are receiving €12,700 p.a. in lifetime guaranteed pension annuity. On the other hand, UK and Maltese products have no annuity requirements
  • No Irish taxation. Even if you live abroad, income from your Irish pensions will be taxed at source, as income in Ireland. Withdrawing from a UK SIPP or a Malta QROPS instead means that this income can be paid gross, with no tax at source. This depends on where you are resident however and if a double taxation agreement (DTA) is in place. Again, professional advice should be sought
  • Death benefits. Irish pensions, once in payment, are liable to Irish inheritance taxes (CAT) on death, even if you are no longer resident there. With a Malta QROPS there is no Maltese inheritance tax on the remaining pension pot, although tax may be payable in the country of residence of the deceased or beneficiaries

Basically, transferring out could make your life easier. Each situation is different however, and a full review of your circumstances should be carried out.

If you do have an Irish pension and do not intend to return, please feel free to contact us at Spectrum for a no-obligation, initial discussion where we can explore your options.

Contact Craig Welsh direct about: "Transferring Irish Pensions Abroad"

    The Spectrum IFA Group is committed to building long term client relationships. This form collects your name and contact details so we can contact you about this specific enquiry. For further information, please see our Privacy Policy.
     

    If you are in the Malta area

    Click here to contact
    Craig Welsh
    If you are based elsewhere

    Click here to contact
    The Spectrum IFA Group