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Pension Transfers to Greece | QROPS Greece

UK Pension Transfers to Greece | QROPS Greece

Pension Transfers to Greece – You can transfer a UK pension to Greece to get your UK pension monies out of the UK tax net. In fact, you can transfer any UK, Irish, Dutch or Pillar II European private pension fund to Greece. Greeks who have worked in the UK or any other nationality for that matter, who hold a Greek pension, can transfer their UK pensions offshore to get their assets out of the UK tax net.

Greece itself only has one registered Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (ROPS, formerly known as QROPS) with HMRC. That is the Prostheto Pension Plan in Greece which is a plan devised by the National Bank of Greece which provides a guaranteed pension plan for life. I couldn’t find any information on the internet about the plan and it seemed to fail some of the ROPS rules, but anyone who works for NBG can email me if that is not correct.

For most people in Greece, we recommend transferring your pension to Malta, Hong Kong or New Zealand. All these countries pay zero tax at source and you have to pay Greek income tax on your retirement benefits, but there are some differences.

The Malta QROPS will require your Greek tax identification number in order to pay your pension plan out tax-free and then your payments will be made directly to a Greek bank account.

A New Zealand QROPS also requires your Greek tax identification number.

A Hong Kong QROPS does not require your Greek tax identification number, can be paid to any bank account anywhere in the world of your choice, has high privacy and security protocol and you must declare any income tax to the Greek authorities yourself.

Best QROPS Jurisdiction for Pension Transfers to Greece

Please see below with regards to the access you are allowed of your pension after 55. Malta gives the highest access, you get full pension flexibility, which means in effect, you can cash-in your entire pension at 55, but we highly recommend against it, unless you have further retirement provisions which can pay you an income for life.

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* correct at September 2016

Why Transfer a Pension Offshore as a Resident in Greece?

Each client has unique circumstances, so there is no one fit all solution, it depends on the access you want to your pension, if you want protection from death and inheritance taxes for your heirs, currency exchange issues and security.

Summary of Best Pension Transfers to Greece

A Malta QROPS is suitable for pension transfers to Greece if you want full access to your pension at 55 years of age.

A New Zealand QROPS is suitable for pension transfers to Greece if you want to pass your entire pension pot onto your heirs, whilst still retaining the right to draw an income from it if you wish.

A Hong Kong QROPS is best for privacy and security, as well as leaving your investment options open and if you are unsure where your final retirement destination will be in old age, as many of the Double Taxation Agreements that HK holds mean your pension will be taxed only in Hong Kong, although for Greece, you would be taxed on income in Greece.

Income Taxes on Pension Transfers to Greece

Resident in Greece are taxable on their worldwide income. Foreign pensions are taxable in Greece on income remitted into Greece.

A Greek resident is anyone who lives in Greece for 183 days within any 12 month period.

In May 9, 2016 a new set of emergency measures were voted in the Parliament by the SYRIZA/ANEL government covering income taxes in Greece. These changes include new income tax rates as well as new solidarity tax rates.

Income Tax Rates in Greece for 2016

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There are tax deductions for:

15% credit on a mortgage for the first residential apartment
15% rent paid on the main residential apartment up to maximum
Donations to public, religious and other institutions
Compulsory payments to social security

For pensioners living in Greece above the age of 65, you can enjoy a higher tax free zone of €9.000, provided that your total annual income does not exceed the amount of €9.000.

For corporation taxes and other taxes in Greece, Deloitte has a nice summary.

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