The market for Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Schemes or QROPS has been on a tumultuous ride since the industry’s inception in 2006. Many rules changes since then have seen the products and those that have used them change and adapt to suit the prevailing conditions.
After 5 months of consultation new HMRC rules came into effect in April 2012. These new rules included requirements for twice as long payment reporting to HMRC and a signed acknowledgment from those taking out the scheme that tax may be payable if QROPS rules are breached.
It is also now required that QROP schemes treat resident and non-resident members are treated the same.
British non-residents can transfer their assets from an existing UK pension scheme into an HMRC recognised scheme abroad. You can do this with most pensions providing you’re living outside of the UK, or intend to be within the next 6 months. Your pension should have a total value of at least £25000 to be considered worthwhile to transfer.
For all expats who have paid into a pension in the UK and are looking to gain access to the funds a QROPS may be the right option to take. However, it is vitally important to access advice from a quality assured Independent Financial Advisor. If you would like Expat & Offshore to recommend an IFA please fill in this online form.