A statement has been released by HMRC that offers a touch of clarification to the new QROPS rules.
According to HMRC themselves it is indeed still possible for an individual who is a member of a QROPS to be resident in a different country to the one in which the QROPS is established, but the benefits tax relief test must be met. How the benefits tax relief test will apply in practice depend on the tax rules in the country in question.
A spokesman said: “QROPS are intended to be the equivalent of UK registered pension schemes, the normal tax-favoured pension schemes established in other countries.”
“From April 6, 2012 one of the conditions a pension scheme must meet to be a QROPS is that if there is a tax relief for non-residents on benefits paid from a pension scheme then the same, or substantially the same, tax relief must be available to residents. This is known as the benefits tax relief test.”
“A pension scheme that can have only residents as members will meet the benefits tax relief test. Pension schemes will need to meet the new conditions to be a QROPS.”