There has long been pressure on the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) industry since the HMRC started cracking down on the offshore pension vehicle. There are now growing signs that consumer attention is increasingly turning to QROPS lesser known cousin Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes (QNUPS).
The main reason for this is the difference in the relationship between HMRC on the one hand and QROPS or QNUPS providers on the other. All QROPS products need to be registered with HMRC and the UK tax authorities also keep a register of all compliant schemes. When HMRC are displeased with the actions of a scheme or the rules regarding QROPS change then any offending schemes will become delisted.
This uncertainty has had a demonstrable and detrimental effect on the QROPS industry. However, QNUPS products don’t have the same regulatory and reporting requirements with HMRC. While this has made the alternative more attractive to expats, consumers need to understand that QNUPS also do not confer the same benefits at QROPS products.
For instance, it is not possible to transfer a UK pension into a QNUPS and it is also does not attract the same tax relief. Conversely they are flexible in that you can transfer a wide range of assets including your own home and also take out a loan from a QNUPS.
For more information on offshore options for your pension and other financial asset make sure that you consult an IFA.