Right now, but subject to change, if the total lump sum value of your UK Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution* pension plans is £30,000 or less you can withdraw the Defined Benefits amounts in cash and bring it to Canada. The amount transferred would be subject to tax in Canada.

What a cheek calling a pension of £30,000 trivial! Nonetheless, click here to find out more.

*A Defined Benefit (DB) plan, is a retirement account for which both an employer and employee make contributions that promise the employee a set payout at retirement e.g. two thirds of final salary. You do not have your own retirement pot but instead have a defined income.  A Defined Contribution (DC) plan is a retirement account where both an employer and employee make contributions to an employee’s own individual retirement pot – the employee has flexibility to take the income any way they wish but the amounts depend on how much was contributed and how those contributions were invested.

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Did You Know?

Understanding pensions and their terminology requires large doses of Alphabet soup.

QROPS, HMRC, RRSP, CRA, DB, DC - find out what it all means.
Did You Know?

If you live in Canada and intend to retire there too, there is little value of having a UK pension that allows you to take a tax free lump sum.

Many UK pension plans allow the beneficiaries to make a withdrawal of 25% on reaching the retirement age. In the UK that 25% lump sum is not taxed. Unfortunately, most withdrawals from a pension plan are taxable for Canadian residents.
Did You Know?

When your pension plan starts paying out, the amounts received will be taxable in Canada whether you leave the pension in the UK or have it transferred to Canada.

If you transfer your UK pension to Canada, it may qualify to go into a special type of RRSP. There is no tax on the lump sum transfer and you would only pay tax when you take some money out.