Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)
A QROPS is recognised by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an overseas pension scheme that has met certain qualifying criteria, and can accept transfers from UK registered pension schemes. When used effectively, a QROPS may provide generous benefits to clients who have built up UK pensions over their working lives, and have now moved abroad or are considering doing so.
Under the Abacus group of companies, we have applied over 40 years of professional trusteeship experience and know-how to our own QROPS offering. We are the trustees and administrators for our Gibraltar Prosperity QROPS.
The main features and benefits of a QROPS include:
Once you have left the UK, Sterling may no longer be the currency in which you pay your bills. To keep your pension invested in Sterling may therefore represent an exchange rate risk for you that it is possible to eliminate. A QROPS can be denominated in currencies other than Sterling such as Euro and US Dollars.
Unlike a UK registered pension plan, a QROPS is able to pass any residual fund on death through a number of generations, without a tax charge being applied.
- 1) Life Time Allowance Planning
The UK Government have continually reduced the amount that a UK resident can save into a UK Registered pension plan before they become liable to pay what is known as a lifetime allowance charge. The current lifetime allowance is £1,000,000. Anyone who is in sight of this limit and who has left (or is planning to leave) the UK, could transfer to a QROPS to avoid paying this tax charge which can be as high as 55%.
- 2) Gross roll up of investment returns and income tax planning opportunities
Through the use of a range of international investments, the QROPS benefits may grow without the deduction of UK tax, with the exception of some un-reclaimable withholding taxes on dividends. By carefully selecting the jurisdiction in which the QROPS is held, according to your personal circumstances, it is also possible to pay less income tax than you would have done had your pension remained within the UK.
Gibraltar – An Attractive QROPS Jurisdiction
Gibraltar is an HMRC recognised compliant jurisdiction which deducts a relatively low rate of withholding tax from QROPS pension income 2.5%. It is an English-speaking EU territory, and is easily accessible from UK, Spain or Portugal for those with a preference for face to face interaction.
Our Prosperity QROPS offers a fixed initial and annual pricing structure, which is fully transparent and can be more favourable than a percentage based charging structure. This is particularly true for larger schemes.
A QROPS may accept transfers from more than one UK pension scheme, therefore enabling the consolidation of several pensions into one pension scheme, resulting in a simpler, easier to manage solution.
Abacus offers a full QROPS trustee and administrative service and work in conjunction with regulated professional partners to offer our clients expert help and advice regarding the suitability of transferring their UK pensions into a QROPS.
Please refer to our Prosperity QROPS brochure under the Publications section of our website.