NZ super fund eyes Australian QROPS opportunities

New Zealand-based Lifetime Asset Management Limited has talked up the launch of its Garrison Bridge Superannuation Scheme in Australia at the same time as announcing former NZ Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Michael Cullen, had joined its board.

The company issued a statement this week in which its chief executive, Ralph Stewart, expressed optimism about the Garrison Bridge Australian play.

“We see huge opportunity in the Australian market with our Garrison Bridge scheme, launched late last year to meet growing demand from investors with UK pension savings,” he said.

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The Garrison Bridge scheme is a New Zealand Superannuation Scheme with dual registration in New Zealand and Australia.

In pointing to the company’s strategy, Stewart pointed to the recent problems encountered by Australian superannuation funds in terms of the UK’s approach to qualifying overseas pension schemes (QROPS) and changes announced by HM Revenue and Customs in 2015.

He said UK expatriates in Australia were hit hardest with the previous 1600 schemes reduced to just one.

Stewart said since that time, a growing number of individual self-managed super funds (SMSFs) had registered to receive pension transfers, but such a solution was mainly focused on the over age 55 sector.

“Combined with our expertise in the QROPS space, and the new flexi access rules that are expected to be implemented in April 2017, we expect to ramp up our Australian operations,” he said.

“Adding Sir Michael Cullen to our board will help us do just that.”

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