All QROPS Articles, Brexit and Pensions

UK Pension Transfers to Europe


UK pensions can be transferred to a QROPS in Malta.

Malta is a European country with over 70 Double Taxation Agreements including all the European Economic Area (EEA) countries. A QROPS in Malta is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Both private and some public pension schemes can be transferred to Europe.

Unfunded public pension schemes such as the NHS, police, armed forces and civil service pensions cannot be transferred to a QROPS in Europe.

List of European Economic Area Countries

A QROPS in Malta has a Double Taxation Agreement in place with the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Tax will be deducted at source in Malta and local taxes will apply.

Can a State Pension Be Transferred to a QROPS?

State pensions cannot be transferred to QROPS, but state pensions can be paid into your local bank account in Europe. Please click below to claim your pension abroad and get a pension forecast.

https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad

https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad

Can I Get My State Pension Paid into the UK and in Europe?

No, you must choose which country you want your pension to be paid in. You cannot be paid in one country for part of the year and a different country for the rest of the year.

Your UK State Pension can be paid into:

  • a bank in the country in Europe where you are currently living or
  • a bank or building society in the UK

You can use:

  • an account in your name
  • a joint account
  • someone else’s account – if you have their permission and keep to the terms and conditions of the account

You’ll need the international bank account number (IBAN) and bank identification code (BIC) numbers of your bank account in Europe.

You’ll be paid in EUR – the amount you get may change due to exchange rates which will fluctuate over time.

Will I Still Get My UK State Pension Paid Abroad after Brexit?

Yes. Retirees will still be entitled to the state pension they have built up, but it may be that those pension payments are frozen. Under current rules, if you live in the European Economic Area, your pension rises with inflation under the “triple lock” rule.

The arrangements to apply in future have been part of the negotiations under Article 50 on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. A joint report on progress published on 8 December 2017 said that, with the caveat that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, the Withdrawal Agreement would include a commitment to social security co-ordination.

.. As a result, UK state pension payouts should not be affected in any material way by Brexit. You can read the full parliamentary paper here.

The Financial Times includes a statement from Baroness Buscombe, undersecretary of state with the department for work and pensions , that UK State pensions will increase in line with inflation in 2019/20 despite a “no deal” Brexit.

It is still unclear whether exiting the EU will mean the end of the triple lock arrangement for state pensions in the long run, as the UK would need to negotiate reciprocal arrangements with individual EU nations.

Will My Company Pension Scheme Be Affected by Brexit?

Defined benefit, occupational or final salary pension schemes are based on an arrangement between an employer and employee. As a result, they should not be affected in any material way by Brexit. However, if you move abroad to Europe, you may wish to consider moving your pension to a regulated European pension scheme.

Please read the following article about moving a final salary pension scheme abroad.

Will My UK Pension Scheme Be Affected by Brexit?

Huw Evans, director general of the Association of British Insurers, raised serious concerns about UK pension payments if there is a hard-Brexit.

He said several EU nations currently do not have legal frameworks in place to deal with UK pension payments in a post-Brexit world.

He said the Bank of England has estimated that there are about 38 million pension and life policyholders who will be affected by this issue.

“This is highly material, and there is the related issue that in future, if UK citizens retire to an EU country and they have an insurance-based pension which is paid to them in the domestic bank account of the current country in which they reside, that may also be deemed illegal if there is not an arrangement found for this route,” Evans said.

A ‘No Deal’ Brexit could mean that private UK companies have problems paying out, for example, an annuity to a UK citizen in the EU. There could be cost issues and the question of exchange rates for companies transferring money. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) states that this issue can be solved by a ‘cooperation between EU and UK regulators’, but this issue has not been resolved yet. If this were to happen, expats could continue to draw out their private pensions without issue.  

UK Pension Transfers to a European QROPS

If you are moving to Europe and intend to retire permanently in Europe or abroad, you may wish to consider moving your pension out of a regulated penson scheme in the UK and into a regulated pension scheme in Europe.

You can move your pension out of a pension set up in pounds sterling and into a pension scheme set up in euros. Between the summer of 2015 and 2018, the pound lost over 20% in value against the euro.

For more information, please contact us.