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On the 6th April 2016 Her Majesties Revenue & Customs (HMRC) introduced something called QROPS, an acronym for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes and was an approval process whereby HMRC would recognise a pension fund in another country and in appropriate circumstances allow a transfer of a UK qualifying pension scheme to that particular plan.
Since 2016, QROPS rules have changed and developed numerous times and a many of the original overseas retirement plans with QROPS status have now been removed from the HMRC approved list.
Again, the reasons for this are numerous, but there still exists opportunities to transfer your pension should you be living overseas.
These opportunities could include a local plan if it has what is now known as ROPS (Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) approval and various qualifying standards apply.
Our advice to people considering transferring their pension overseas is that they must take personal advice, particularly where a client lives in an overseas territory that does not have a local ROPS approved pension plan as there may be other alternatives that available.
In the USA or France or example, there are no ROPS approved plans, so we developed two UK Self-Invested Personal Pension arrangements called AMVE$T and €uVEST; in both cases these plans largely mirror the pension benefits offered from local plans in both those countries with underlying investment funds and ultimate benefits denominated in US dollars and €uro’s respectively. Both of these plans are as tax efficient as possible using current tax treaty allowances.
For more information about this complicated picture and QROPS in the USA, please contact us.
One final word of warning the transfer of any pension from the UK to overseas must be overseen and certified by an FCA regulated UK adviser. Do not deal with firms who are not UK regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.