Bob Hendry from deVere-France gives an update on QROPS and how it could help British expats living in France.
What is QROPS?
A Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is a HMRC-recognized pension transfer scheme that is based in a jurisdiction outside the UK but still keeps the same standards or equivalent as a UK pension.
If you are thinking of moving away from the UK but have a local pension, then those savings are easily transferable into a QROPS, provided that the overseas scheme of your choice is registered with HMRC and fully compliant with the standards of the jurisdiction it is domiciled in. The popularity of QROPS schemes has risen considerably following the introduction of new pension rules in 2006 by HMRC.
Is a QROPS suitable for me?
If you have left the UK or are planning to leave, then a QROPS is almost certainly likely to be suitable for you. That being said, it is always essential to consult a professional and get the advice you need before taking steps to set up a pension transfer. Here at deVere Group, one of our professional independent financial advisers will be assigned to assess your financial and personal situation. That way he or she can ensure that the scheme of your choice is the best one for you and fully compliant with HMRC rules and standards.
Why should I choose a QROPS?
A QROPS provides you with more control over your pension fund investments. With a QROPS you can also combine various smaller pensions into one large pot. Additionally, you can even do away with purchasing an annuity thanks to this scheme.
QROPS will also let you bestow the rest of the fund to your beneficiaries without any deduction of UK tax upon death, as long as you have spent ten years or more living outside the UK.
What are the key benefits of a QROPS through the deVere Group?
- No need to buy an annuity
- Funds fully conferred on to heirs after death (after ten full tax years of non UK Tax residency) your pension will no longer be liable to UK income tax or death charges of up to 45%
- Your pension can be paid in a flexible choice of currency
- Up to 30% pension commencement lump sum
- Secure jurisdictions
- Investment flexibility
- Transparent charges
- Greater investment freedom
- Succession planning
- Pensions can be consolidated into one
- Free from UK lump sum death benefit charge
- Some jurisdiction allow your pension income to be paid gross.
As a resident of France, which is the best QROPS jurisdiction for me?
Following the Finance Act 2012, the QROPS jurisdiction of choice for residents of France is Malta. A highly-regulated member of the European Union, Malta has a sophisticated and transparent tax system that makes it ideal as a QROPS jurisdiction.
NEWS FLASH! HMRC give with one hand and take away with the other
Having established the QROPS in 2006 in order to provide pension freedom for UK pension holders living abroad, the HMRC have now realized that they have created a ‘cash cow’ that they are now intent on milking.
In the recent 2017 budget the HMRC have:
- Closed Qrops in certain countries altogether
- Imposed a 25% ‘off the top tax’ on others. Although this does NOT currently apply to EEA countries it does not take a financial Einstein to see that with Brexit looming, it very soon could
In view of this we are urging people who have UK personal or company pension schemes to investigate this valuable option while they still can.
For a free pension review with no obligation or to learn about QROPS and how it can help you, email Bob on firstname.lastname@example.org or call +33 670 474 457
DeVere-France is a business that aims to support expats by creating, growing and safeguarding their wealth wherever they may live. Bob lives and works in the southwest of Occitanie and has lived in France for over 10 years. Prior to moving to France, he was a business financial consultant for 13 years in the UK. His role then was just as it is now, to provide sound, professional financial advice. Bob prides himself in really listening to his clients’ needs and then providing the best solutions for them.