NHS Pension Transfers

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NHS Pension Transfers for British, Irish, Indian, Pakistani, African, European and Foreign Doctors

News flash (2015): The latest NHS pension changes – Unfunded pension schemes can now be transferred again to a QROPS, but this loophole will be permanently closed if you don’t act immediately.

Are you an Indian doctor or Pakistani doctor who has worked in the NHS? Are you a Flipina or Irish nurse or midwife? Are you one of the African, Polish or European clinical staff who has worked at the NHS in the UK? If you are a British NHS worker or if you are a foreigner who has been employed at the NHS, but now considering moving abroad, we can help you avoid UK taxes.

You can transfer any NHS pension to a Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) to reduce your tax bill on your hard earned pensions if you intend to retire outside the UK.

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Indian & Pakistani doctors, Flipina nurses, Irish midwives, Polish & Nigerian clinical staff, Zimbabweans and Europeans make up 11% of staff in your typical NHS hospital. In fact, people from over 200 countries work for the NHS in the UK.

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Without these hard working staff, the NHS could not operate. Now that these non-domiciles have paid into the UK system, they can now transfer their hard earned UK pension pot abroad if they wish, but they have to hurry up. The pension door slams shut on April 6th, 2006.

“This is the last chance to transfer your NHS pension out of the UK tax system. After April 6th, 2015, transfers are not permitted and it can take 3 months to transfer”.

The proportion of foreign nationals increases for professionally qualified clinical staff (14%) and even more so for doctors (26%), prompting the British Medical Association (BMA) to observe that without the contribution of non-British staff, “many NHS services would struggle to provide effective care to their patients”.

Number of Hard Working Foreigners at the NHS

  • 7,492 NHS doctors are from India with 18,424 NHS workers being Indian in total.
  • 1,971 NHS doctors are from Pakistan
  • 12,744 Filipinos and Filipinas work in the UK as qualified nurses, midwives, health visitors or other NHS staff
  • 12,613 Irish people work for the NHS in the UK as qualified nurses, midwifery, health visitors or other NHS staff.
  • 5,507 NHS staff are Polish
  • 4,911 NHS staff are Nigerian
    Another 8,100 are from Portugal, Germany or Spain.

Many more doctors are registered to work in the UK. Nearly 165,000 foreign doctors are registered to work in the UK with over 25,000 Indian doctors registered to work in the UK.

If you have worked for the NHS, you are entitled to transfer your pension abroad to avoid UK taxes if you intend to retire outside the UK. So, whether you are a British doctor retiring in France or an Indian doctor retiring in India or a Filipina nurse returning home to live in the Philippines, you can transfer your NHS pension out of the UK.

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NHS Doctors are entitled to transfer their pensions out of the UK tax net

If you are British Indian, Pakistani, Nigerian, South African, Nigerian, Egyptian, Greek, Italian, German, Irish, European or any of the other doctors, nurses or NHS staff who have worked for the NHS and are retiring abroad, it is now the last chance to transfer your pension out of the NHS before HMRC close the gates in April 2014. Seeing as it takes 3 – 6 months to transfer a British pension offshore, time is running out.

You can transfer your pension out of the NHS into a secure, stable country outside the UK. You can choose the currency of your choice and target higher returns or even put it all in a bank account or hold in bonds if you want safety.

What Pension Do I Get As an NHS Employee?

The Scheme is a “final salary” scheme. Members in the 1995 Section receive a pension worth 1/80th of the best of the last three year’s pensionable pay for each year of membership. Members who are practitioners as defined by the Scheme Regulations have their annual pensions based upon 1.4% of total pensionable earnings over the relevant pensionable service.

Members in the 2008 Section receive a pension worth 1/60th of the average of the best three consecutive years pensionable pay in the last ten; for each year of membership. Members who are practitioners as defined by the Scheme Regulations have their annual pensions based upon 1.87% of total pensionable earnings over the relevant pensionable service.

What Lump Sum Do I Get as an NHS Employee?

A lump sum is payable on retirement. Members in the 1995 Section receive a lump sum which is normally three times the annual pension payment. Members in the 2008 Section receive a lump sum which may be a maximum of 25% of the value of their pension fund at retirement.

What are the Death Benefits of an NHS Pension?

For members who die in service a lump sum is payable of twice annual pensionable pay, or average uprated earnings for practitioners. For members who die after retirement an amount is payable which is the lesser of 5 times annual pension less pension already paid, or twice reckonable pay less any retirement lump sum taken. Other death benefits are also payable for members who have a deferred pension.

Click here for more info on NHS pension benefits and if you want to speak or meet other Indian doctors working in the UK.

What Would I Get if I Transfer My NHS Pension Offshore to a QROPS?

If you transfer your pension offshore, you avoid all UK taxation. No tax on death, no tax on income in the UK as long as you stay abroad.

You can visit the UK with no tax issues, but if you return to be a UK resident, then you would be back in the UK tax loop.

You get a higher lump sum if you are in the 2008 section. you can take 30% as a cash lump sum rather than the 25% you get in the UK.

Your total tax position depends on where you retire. You may pay a small flat rate of tax of 2.5% or 0% or the income tax could be higher depending in which country you wish to retire.

Furthermore, you can pass the entire pension pot on to whomever you chose, so they would get a large tax-free pension pot on death if they are based outside the UK.

What’s the drawback of moving my NHS pension offshore? Well, you lose the NHS pension benefits. You lose the guaranteed increase in pension income. You lose the indexation of your pension.

We can draw up a pension calculation and comparison for you, so that you can make your own mind up.

Please email us for more information.