QROPS, QROPS New Zealand

QROPS Fees and Tax Confusion in New Zealand

QROPS Fees in New Zealand and NZ Tax Explained

Kiwisaver schemes have been delisted from QROPS, please email us for the latest QROPS fees in New Zealand and we will explain which NZ QROPS are acceptable. Due to new rules and regulations in New Zealand, many British expats who have decided to retire in New Zealand are effectively being forced to transfer their offshore QROPS (eg in Malta) into a Kiwisaver plan (a QROPS in NZ) in order to avoid further taxes down the road on their pension benefits in New Zealand.

“The NZ Inland Revenue is now taxing offshore pensions (even offshore QROPS) that are being paid into New Zealand. If you’re a New Zealand tax resident, generally you will have to pay income tax on the increase in value of any investment in an overseas pension scheme or on the payments or transfers from the scheme.”

“You get a pass for the first four years you live in New Zealand and are effectively treated as a non-resident.”

It is known as the four year transitional tax redemption. This also applies to returning New Zealanders who have been offshore for more than ten years.

But, before you transfer your UK pension to New Zealand, you should check out the options and the fees on a QROPS in NZ.

It is not only the QROPS fees to consider when transferring a UK pension to a Kiwisaver scheme, but also how it is distributed, the fees on the investments and most importantly, the performance of the funds themselves.

A transfer from a UK pension to a QROPS in New Zealand is quite restrictive of where you can place your monies as most schemes need a discretionary fund manager based in New Zealand.

You can transfer to some of these Kiwisaver plans yourself simply by contacting the relevant Kiwisaver scheme directly and filling in all the forms to release your pension from your current UK pension provider, as well as filling in the Kiwisaver plan application forms and filling in the necessary HMRC forms. Although, some companies require you to have a financial adviser attached.

Most savers enlist an adviser though to choose the best Kiwisaver programme and make sure their pension funds are parked in the right place. I have heard advisers charging anything between 3% and 10% with the median QROPS fees at around 5 – 6%.

Here is a list of the latest Kiwisaver plan QROPS fees for 2014:

QROPS qualified schemes
Transfer FeeEntry FeeExit FeeAnnual Mgmt FeeSwitch FeeOther FeeType
AMP KiwiSaver Scheme0000.184% to 0.60%0

$2.95 p/mth

0.35% to 0.525% p.a

Admin FeeMember Fee
AON KiwiSaver Scheme$0 tsfr IN, up to $150 OUT plus all other reasonable transaction costs0.05% to 0.32%0.05% to 0.32%0.39% to 0.81%

$4.15 p/mth

0.2% p.a

Admin FeeAudit, legal, Investment Consultancy fees all deducted from unit price
Ascot New Zealand0As agreed on joining0As charged by the investment managers.


NZ$5 per month and 0.3%p.a.

Administration fee

Blueprint Portfolio Superannuation Fund (formerly Perpetual Trust)02% of amount withdrawn in in year 1 of membership and 1% of amount withdrawn in year 2 of membership. No fee after year 21.60%0.05%

Trustee Fee

Britannia Superannuation Scheme 2012up to 5%0.95%0.4% & 0.39% to 1.01%

Plan B Issue Fee and underlying fund management fees

Brooklands (NZ) Superannuation Scheme No.1 300 GBP set up 0% 60 GBP1.40% 15 GBP300 GBP per year Trustee fee and underlying management fees
Clarke Investments 2012 Ltd Superan Fund
Craigs IP kiwiSTART Defined Scheme1.25%1.25%0.75% to 1.25%0$60 p.a.

Admin Fee

Craigs IP kiwiSTART Select Scheme1.25%1.25%0.75% to 1.25%0$60 p.a.

Admin Fee

Craigs IP SuperStart Schemeeither up to 1% or 2.5% depending on schemeeither up to 1% or 2.5% depending on scheme0.75% to 1.25%0
Fidelity Super – Super Plan Number 3up to 5%*

0 for first withdrawal; $60 per withdrawal in same calendar month thereafter

1% if lumpsum withdrawal inside 1st year following deposit; 0.5% if withdrawal made inside 2 years

max of 1.08% (after tax)0 for first switch; $60 thereafter if switch in same calendar month

0.70% pa


Discretionary management feeContribution increase fee charged on difference between old and new amounts
Fisher Funds Growth Kiwisaver Scheme0001.08% to 2.24% (before tax) based on current Total Fund Fees (TFF)up to two free switches per annum$3 p/mthKiwiSaver member fee.Performance fee may be paid to the manager from the various funds and this is currently included in the TFF
FMS Superannuation Fund
Forsyth Barr Kiwisaver Scheme0001% + up to 0.2% scheme expense feeup to two free switches per annum then $25 per switch subject to minimum lump sum switch of $500$3 p/mth

KiwiSaver member fee

GBP International Superannuation Scheme
Generate Kiwisaver Scheme0001.27% to 1.76% based on sum of  listed fees but before performance fee0$3 p/mth

KiwiSaver member fee

GMI Superannuation Scheme000

Max fee of 1.5% p.a. (min fee is $120 p.a.)

Fees based on sliding scale which reduces as sum invested increases

Grosvenor KiwiSaver Scheme


Financial adviser may charge a fee for advice on suitability of transferring to KiwiSaver

000.5% to 1%0

$3.33 p/mth

0.18% p.a

1.1% p.a


0.04% p.a

KiwiSaver member feeAdministration feeGearing fee (for Geared portfolio)

Withdrawal fee per withdrawal

Trustee fee

i-Select Superannuation Scheme5%*0.4%??%Annual trustee feeAdmin fee
Kiwi Wealth Kiwisaver Scheme000max 1% of member balance p.a subject to min of $50 p.a0
Koinonia Fund
Lightfoot Ltd Superannuation Scheme
Medical Ass. Society Retirement Savings Plan00up to 5% for early withdrawal0.5% to 1%First switch free then $50 per switch

$6,000 p.a

0.02% p.a

Trustee fee paid by various fundsVarious expenses and operating costs
Medical Assurance Society Kiwisaver Plan00up to 5% for early withdrawal0.5% to 1% or min $50 which ever is greaterFirst switch free then $50 per switch

$6,000 p.a

0.02% p.a

Trustee fee paid by various fundsVarious expenses and operating costs
Milford Kiwisaver Plan000max of 1.05% + performance fee for Active Growth Fund – not included in annual management fee cap


$3 p/m

KiwiSaver member and admin fee

NZ Endeavour FundNZ$1500 or £750 establishment feeNZ$500 to NZ1,000 for residents &£100 to £500 for non-residents1%£32.50 per quarter








£50 p.a


max 1%


Management Fee paid to fund manager (TAM)Nominee/custody fee paid to TAMClearing House Automated

Adhoc withdrawal fee

Foreign exchange fee

Payment System transfer fee

Account closure fee

Professional fees debited against member account

Financial adviser fee for monitoring and advice

NZ Funds Kiwisaver Scheme$100 per transfer001.15% to 1.50% (Strategy fee target)$37.48 transfer fee to another KiwiSaver provider$3 p/m

KiwiSaver member and admin fee


Portobello Motels (2012) Ltd Superan Fund
Smartshares Kiwisaver Scheme000

$40 p.a.

0.65% to 0.85%

Stonebarrow Ltd Superannuation Fund
Super Trustee Fund
Superlife Kiwisaver Scheme00$100 may be charged0.3% to 0.86%0 at present

$2.75 p/m & 0.2% p.a.


KiwiSaver admininstration fees

Trustee fee paid by the various funds

Tait Electronics Ltd Kiwisaver Scheme
Westpac Kiwisaver Scheme000

0.3% to 0.7% (excludes Capital Protected Product range)

0$2.59 p/m0.04%

KiwiSaver member and admin fee

Trustee Fee

* = Part or all of these fees go to advisers

Original table can be found at interest.co.nz

NZ Kiwisaver Scheme Fund Performance 2014

We can’t stress enough that fees are not the only issue. You would have to look at the FUND PERFORMANCE as well. There is no point transferring to a fund which has low fees of less than 1% per year to find your funds parked in bonds or cash and perhaps making less than 3% per year. Those with a larger risk appetite, especially younger savers may do better paying slightly higher fees, but with access to US ETF’s and mutual funds for example.

Most of these Kiwisaver schemes under QROPS rules have the same attributes, which is 30% cash lump sum available upon transfer with the rest of the pension monies to provide an income for life.

“There is no tax on pension income from a QROPS scheme which is based in New Zealand.”

However, there are tax problems if you have an offshore QROP scheme such as the ones in Malta or Gibraltar. If you are sure you are retiring to New Zealand, you should contact a tax specialist and see if you can transfer your offshore QROPS into an NZ QROPS compliant Kiwisaver scheme.

There are over 100,000 pensioners who live in New Zealand who hold an offshore pension scheme and are thinking of transferring to a Kiwisaver scheme. Brits, Aussie and South Africans also need to consider what to do with their domestic pensions and whether to transfer their pensions to New Zealand.

Even Kiwis who have worked abroad in the UK, Australia or South Africa and built up pensions overseas should be looking into the tax consequences of not moving those pensions back to New Zealand.

You need to look not just at the Kiwisaver rules, but also the offshore pension rules.

For example, for New Zealanders, a Kiwisaver saver scheme allows members to dip into the fund for house purchases or and allows you unrestricted access after 65.

However a QROPS in New Zealand must follow HMRC-approved QROPS rules. If you try to buy residential property for instance, you could be on the wrong end of a 55% unauthorized payment charge.

The British Inland Revenue has to authorize a Kiwisaver Scheme. It must be HMRC-approved in order to receive UK pension monies.

Tax in New Zealand on Foreign QROPS (ie. non-NZ QROPS)

Taxation of foreign superannuation

New Zealand’s Inland Revenue changed the rules in July 2012 and now overseas pension schemes can be taxed in New Zealand; this includes UK pension transfers parked in a QROPS in Malta, Guernsey, the Isle of Man or Gibraltar.

Under the new rules, pension benefits will no longer be taxed on accrual under the foreign investment fund (FIF) rules or on distribution from a company or a trust. Instead, pension benefits will be taxed under a new set of rules specific to foreign superannuation.

Lump sums will be taxed. This includes cash withdrawals and money transferred into Kiwisaver schemes.

There is no tax if the lump sum is withdrawn during the first four years of residence.

After the four-year exemption period, a person’s tax liability on a withdrawal will generally be calculated using a new “schedule method”. Proposed new schedule 33 provides a particular fraction based on how long the person has been a New Zealand resident before making the withdrawal.

“These amendments apply from April 2014. You used to be able to pay a flat 15% tax on the lump sum. That expired in March 2014.”

To work out the schedule 33 rates for working out your tax bill on your foreign pension, please click the link here.

Tax on Foreign Superannuation Example

Tax has to be paid in NZ on a UK pension drawn in New Zealand or a foreign superannuation such as a QROPS in Malta in which retirement benefits are taken in New Zealand. This covers NZ residents such as a British expat who has lived in New Zealand for five years already.

Jenny has been living in New Zealand for five years. The first four years she is treated as a non-resident and there are no taxes during that time period.

Jenny’s assessable period begins on 1 August 2020. She withdraws a lump sum of $50,000 on 27 January 2024. There are three income years beginning in Jenny’s assessable period, so Jenny is required to use the schedule year fraction for year three.

The corresponding schedule fraction is 14.06%, so her assessable income will be $7,030 (being $50,000 x 14.06%). Assuming Jenny’s tax rate is 33%, she will be liable to pay $2,319.90 of tax on her $50,000 lump-sum withdrawal. If the number of income years beginning in their assessable period is zero (that is, in the part-year in which their exemption period ended but before the start of the next income year), the person should use the schedule year fraction associated with year one.

“These NZ taxes would apply to both an offshore QROPS (e.g. Malta QROPS) or a UK pension scheme if you are NZ resident.”

What does this all mean for British expats retiring in New Zealand?

  • For those retiring in New Zealand, you should consider moving a UK pension to a NZ QROPS
  • If you have lived in New Zealand less than four years, take your full lump sum immediately
  • For those working or temporarily living in New Zealand, but retiring elsewhere, you should consider moving to a Malta or Gibraltar QROPS.
  • For those with larger pensions, you need to weigh up the restrictive rules in NZ with no tax vs parking pension monies in an offshore scheme with greater investment flexibility, but higher taxation down the road
  • Anyone who was locked in to the old FIF rules can continue to apply the old rules or apply the new rules instead

These can be tricky waters to navigate and you should contact QROPS specialists to navigate the waters.

QROPS Fees and Tax Confusion in New Zealand by

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