Numerous Kiwis are returning home to NZ. Emigrating to New Zealand, especially after having lived abroad, is a huge task, and you will find yourself making hundreds of important decisions. In this blog, we want to give you some tips to help you sort out the financial aspects of your move so that you are sorted before you return.
Your current insurance policies:
If you have a health insurance policy from another country, it will generally only cover you in that country, however, do check with your insurer as you may have some cover while abroad. We strongly recommend that you arrange a new medical insurance cover for you and your family in New Zealand. On the other hand, life insurance policies can often be valid when living abroad, so check with your insurer to make sure.
Consider getting copies of all your medical records that you have accumulated while overseas, this will help in the application process when back in New Zealand.
Sorting your insurance before you return home:
The right insurance will help protect your family’s health and welfare. Reviewing your insurance requirements when you arrive in New Zealand is essential to ensure that you and your family have adequate financial protection. You may find you need new covers put in place or a review of your covers to make sure you have enough now you are back in New Zealand. In addition, you may want to review how much you are paying when considering exchange rates.
Investing in personal insurance cover is an excellent way to insure you and your family against the unpleasant things that occasionally happen. Many migrants get a pleasant surprise when they sometimes discover that personal insurance products can be cheaper than in the UK, for example. In an ideal world, everyone would get income replacement insurance when they started providing for themselves and life insurance when someone depended on them. The exact amount of personal insurance you require will vary throughout your life as your circumstances change – it is worth speaking to one of our advisers to review your insurance annually to make sure that your cover reflects any changes to your circumstances.
We can help find out what pensions you have in the UK and then have discussions about your options. We have access to expert tax accountants who can advise on the UK and NZ tax implications of transferring or not transferring UK pensions.
We also utilise the expertise of a firm of stockbrokers who will work with you to put together an investment portfolio should you wish to transfer your UK pensions to NZ. We work with several schemes that are Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) now known as ROPS. This is the status that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK, have given sign-off to allow UK pension transfer without UK tax being applied.
In a New Zealand pension scheme, your final pension fund is determined by the performance of your investments. This may be more or less than the income that would have been provided to you in your final salary scheme, but you lose any guarantee of your level of income in retirement. UK pension funds, for example, are not taxed on their growth, although the tax credit on dividends can no longer be reclaimed. New Zealand pension funds are taxed on the income produced (dividends and interest) and offshore capital gains. The income you take from your pension fund is then regarded as “tax paid” – you will not be subject to further New Zealand income tax charges.
Make a file for all your important financial documents and bring it with you in your hand luggage when returning home to NZ.
Essentials you will need:
- Passports and any relevant immigration documentation.
- Your driving licences.
- Bank account details and internet addresses and logins.
- New Zealand and UK tax details (your IRD number) and documentation.
- Travel insurance documentation.
- Copies of any documentation if you are relocating your pets too.
- Medical records.
- Car insurance no claims certificate.
- Immunisation records for your children.
- If coming from the UK, get a current statement of your UK State Pension Entitlement.
- Get current statement(s) from all your Company, Personal and Stakeholder Pension schemes. Also, let the respective companies know your new address. (If you are thinking of transferring your pensions, don’t get transfer values until later – possibly even until you are in NZ. It generally takes a while to get there, and they will probably be out of date by the time you need them. Sometimes you will be charged if you ask for them a second time.)
If you are returning home to NZ and you think you may need some advice with your insurances, contact us to speak to one of our advisers. Travelling can be stressful at the moment. Getting someone to help you sort some of the small stuff allows you to focus on what’s important getting home safely!
For more information, head to hendersoninternational.co.nz who kindly provided us with the information for this blog.