Pensions within the UK are the equivalent of superannuation in Australia. Every company will have different pension policies, but the main stuff you need to know is:
- Auto-enrolment is something that has only recently been introduced to the UK. This means that your employer is now required to pay money into a pension on your behalf, and so are you. That is, unless you opt out. From April 2019 the contribution rate has increased to 3% for employers and 5% for employees. The actual rules and qualification criteria are quite complex, but this is something you'll want to check with your employer before you start work. Unlike Australia, though, YOU will be paying a portion of your own pension (super) contributions, and this will impact your take home pay.
- You can opt-out of paying your pension contributions - this means neither you or your employer will make contributions to your pension. You need to be enroled within your employer's pension scheme but you can immediately opt out. You'll be required to do this again once every three years if it is something you want to do
- You can transfer your UK pension back to Australia when you move back, but recent changes to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) rules mean this process has become a lot more involved. You now can't transfer your pension to Aus until the age of 55. QROPS transfers can be quite an involved process and we would recommend you seek help from a QROPS expert if this is something you're considering
Overall, your pension entitlements and options is something you should talk to your employer about before starting work. We're not pension experts, but if you've got any questions be sure to post them on our page or in the group and members of the community will be able to help.