Entitlements to a Foreign Pension
State and social security pensions - such as those provided by overseas Governments, including age pensions - are not available for transfer into Australian superannuation. However, they should not be neglected by expatriates returning home to Australia or migrants to Australia - both of whom may have built up entitlements while working abroad. These should be viewed as valuable potential annuities and maximised wherever possible.
Determining whether you have an entitlement can be complicated and dependent on a number of factors - including whether you have met minimum residency and social security participation requirements in the country in question and if that particular country, and Australia, have concluded a Social Security Agreement. If you have a right to receive a pension then you may also be entitled to make additional payments to increase your entitlements. This applies particularly in respect of UK pension entitlements.
Consider the following example:
An Australian citizen had been self employed in the UK for 10 years during the 1970's and 1980's and needed 11 years to qualify for a minimum 25% pension. He paid 12 years worth of contributions at a cost of £2,690 in 2008 and as a result from January 2009 (at age 65) became entitled to a 50% pension of about £45 per week. In addition, his wife is now entitled to a pension equal to 60% of his pension.
These sums may not look enormous, but the additional payment of £2,690 meant that he went from a nil entitlement to one which returns over AUD5,000 for life. That is a very high rate of return and is not exceptional in these sort of cases.
If you would like us to review your State pension entitlement in the UK please make an Inquiry and we will respond accordingly. Fees will apply for any work done in assessing your entitlements, and for advice in terms of how they can be optimised. As usual, you will receive a quote in advance of any work being carried out.
In terms of other (non UK) State pensions and entitlements, we have experience with a range of nationalities and social security systems, but the sheer range of countries and individual situations means that we may not be able to assist in all circumstances.