It’s no secret that many UK expats move to Australia and New Zealand to retire. Indeed, there roughly 1.2 million British expats that now call Australia home.
The popularity of these countries as retirement destinations is also evidenced by the number of QROPS registered in them, so the question must be asked:
Why are New Zealand and Australia such popular retirement destinations for UK expats?
- Firstly, there is 0% tax on fund growth in foreign assets for foreign investors in New Zealand. New Zealand foreign trusts require that the trustee be a resident, while the settlor must be a non-resident. These foreign-based trusts are extremely attractive in terms of tax-efficiency for foreign investors.
- Secondly, members are not obliged to purchase an annuity in New Zealand schemes. This is because these schemes don’t make income payments. Rather, they make capital distributions. What this means for the investor is that they can leave the scheme once they begin to withdraw their “income for life” funds. If the investor chooses to withdraw from the scheme, they will receive the remaining funds upon transfer. Of course, the fund will likely have exit charges, but barring this, the remaining funds are received in full.
- Thirdly, New Zealand’s regulatory environment is incredibly stable and transparent. The Inland Revenue keeps a close eye on tax compliance of superannuation funds, and each scheme is reviewed by the FMA and the Inland Revenue. Likewise, investor interests are at the heart of New Zealand and Australia’s laws on fee disclosure.
Similarly, in Australia, income can be taken tax-free, subject to conditions, of course, as there is no tax relief on contributions. Likewise, if a scheme is structured in the right way, it is possible for UK residents to create a tax-relieved fund and after this, it can be transferred to Australia an income can be withdrawn tax-free.
Furthermore, there are social benefits to retiring in New Zealand and Australia.
- For one, both of these countries are English-speaking, which makes the move and transition much easier.
- Moreover, all documentation is in English, making the process simpler and more transparent for expats.
- Additionally, as there are so many people immigrating to and from these countries, efficient processes have been put in place by governments so that pension funds and property can be transferred with as little hassle as possible.
- This also means that expats are likely to find a community of British people in their new country of residence.
Indeed, the reasons why Australia and New Zealand are such popular destinations for retiring UK expats are numerous.