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AMP launches QROPS product

Migrants looking for someone to help transfer their pensions to New Zealand are not necessarily in the market for a big-name provider or the cheapest fees, it has been argued.

Tuesday, August 16th 2016, 6:00AM

Therese Singleton

AMP has launched its Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) product within its New Zealand Retirement Trust (NZRT). This will enable members to transfer their UK pensions to New Zealand and to AMP from their existing QROPS in New Zealand.

NZRT members have access to 27 investment funds, including nine new funds recently launched within the scheme.

Therese Singleton, AMP’s general manager of insurance and investments, said: “Customers want a QROPS solution that is backed by a company with the strength, scale and the trusted brand of AMP. Through AMP’s extensive network of aligned advisers and integrated distribution model we are offering a complete end-to-end QROPS solution.

“In particular, we are aware that customers want to do business with a top-tier provider like AMP, which is already licensed under the Financial Markets Conduct Act. As the new regulatory regime takes effect and potentially impacts other QROPS, it is important customers select a provider they will be comfortable with in the long-run.”

AMP is promoting the product as competitive on price.

It charges no contribution and withdrawal fees and has some of the lowest investment management, trustee and administration fees in the market. Some other participants charge up to 5% in entry fees and up to 2.5% in exit fees.

“Despite the current exchange rate volatility, we see a continued upwards trajectory of migration from the UK to New Zealand, and providing a QROPS solution for our members is a natural fit and compliments the wide range of market-leading products and services AMP already offers,” Singleton said.

But John Milner, formerly of competing pension transfer provider Britannia Financial Services, said few migrants were worried about having a big brand manage their transfer. “They are looking for someone who is competent in that area.”

He said having access to high-profile fund managers would not be enough to tick that box. “A good outcome is a cohesive strategy that may or may not include those fund managers.  It’s like giving kids matches to play with without a cohesive strategy or philosophy who knows what the outcome might be?”

He said other providers had entered the QROPS market advertising a cheaper price but many were no longer in it. “Price is important but it’s not everything. There is so much more than the price.”

Some advisers might question what would be left in it for them to build a business if the focus was on providing the client with the cheapest offer, he said, “There’s got to be money made someone where by someone.”

Alun Rees-Williams, who now runs Britannia, agreed those looking for a transfer were not yet price-sensitive. “They just want to see the transfer completed and managed by a ROPS specialist but I suspect that in future pricing may be looked at more closely.”

Tags: QROPS

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