UK Pension Transfer QROPS for British Expats
If you intend to remain overseas, then the opportunity exists for you to transfer your pensions to an offshore plan – a QROPS. Such pensions give you even greater freedom and control, allowing you to situate the plan in a tax favoured country. The QROPS also gives you complete investment control allowing you a much wider investment scope (e.g. residential property) and there is no need to buy an annuity at age 75. The holder can even pass the fund to a nominated beneficiary on their death.
Who is eligible?
- UK Expatriates/UK nationals who have emigrated abroad.
- UK nationals who are committed to emigrating from UK within 12 months.
- Foreign nationals who have previously worked in UK and have now moved back to their home country or to another non-UK country
- Foreign nationals who are currently working in the UK, but are committed to returning to their home country or moving to another non-UK country within 12 month and have existing accumulated UK pension.
“Your retirement could last decades. It’s time to start thinking about your future.”
In order to transfer UK pension rights to a QROPS, the member must have left or intend to leave the UK for tax purposes. A UK pension can then be transferred outside of the UK into QROPS in the same way as pensions can be transferred in the UK.
When benefits are transferred to a QROPS they do not suffer a UK tax charge unless they are over the lifetime limit.
Tax free income and withdrawal benefits can be taken after 5 years of you being a non UK resident as there are no reporting requirements to HMRC after this time frame.
A UK pension may be transferred into QROPS either before the owner starts to take the benefits or after they have come into payment. This includes most types of pension including income drawdown and protected rights, which are pensions which have accrued as a result of UK national insurance rebates.
By moving UK pension benefits to a QROPS, assets are effectively removed from the UK tax net and introduced to a new tax environment depending on the member’s new residence. For many expatriates the avoidance of UK taxes on pension income and the dangers of additional pension tax levies are an important planning consideration.