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Transferring your UK pension to Canada

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I know what it is like to be an expat since I am one. I never thought that I would move from the United States and move to Canada. My husband got a job transfer and I thought to myself, why not it is only a couple of years. 2.5 years later my husband and I are planning on becoming permanent residents and then hopefully Canadian citizen. While being an expat, I have learned how hard it is to start again and become settled.

While in Canada I have decided I wanted to work and help people with their financial situation…so I became a financial advisor. Now that is my story.

During this awesome adventure, I have slowly and surely started understanding the tax and financial implications of living outside of your home country. Some good and some bad. I know for being a United States citizen it is a bit more complicated than other countries.

One interesting thing that I found out was about QDROPS. A QROPS is a Qualified Registered Overseas Pension Scheme as defined by the UK government. The purpose of such a plan is to provide former UK residents the opportunity to move their pension from the UK to Canada. Canada’s Registered Retirement Savings Plan is a recognized QROPS. Given the requirements are all met, the money can be deposited into a qualified RRSP.

Why would someone want to do this?

  • A former UK resident decides to retire in Canada
  • Payments from a UK pension are converted at time of payment to Canadian dollars. Because the currency fluctuates, income that is received may not be predictable
  • Automatic spousal rollover at death
  • The benefits and features of segregated funds

If your family has a pension that they would like to move to Canada this might be a good program. I found out this information by accident and I am hopeful that this information can be useful to you and your family.

The segregated plans mentioned are not part of Security Financial, rather Capital Insurance.

Maya Wariyar is a financial advisor with Security Financial and Capital Insurance Services. Her email address is m.wariyar@securityfinancial.ca