QROPS List – All the QROPS Providers on HMRC’s List
The QROPS list below shows the schemes which have been approved by HMRC.
The QROPS list is important because if the QROPS pension scheme you sign up for is on the list the date you apply for a transfer and you act in good faith concerning the rules of the QROPS, you should be protected. This normally provides just and reasonable grounds for HMRC to discharge any liability of the member to any unauthorised payments surcharge in the future.
QROPS Fee Comparisons for those on the QROPS List
Here is a QROPS list and QROPS fee comparisons from some of the major providers. There are hundreds of QROPS available and you can email us for the latest fees.
Capital Corporation CC HK ORS. HK QROPS
Set Up Fee: £2500
Annual Fee: £1500 or 0.5%
Boal & Co. Isle of Man QROPS.
Set Up Fee: £1250
Annual Fee: £1250
Concept- Skandia. Guernsey QROPS .
Set Up Fee: £995
Annual Fee: £995
Close. Guernsey QROPS.
Set Up Fee: £750
Annual Fee: £1000
Marlborough Shearwater. Guernsey QROPS.
Set Up Fee: £1500
Annual Fee: £1500
Sovereign Atlantica. Guernsey QROPS.
Set Up Fee: £850
Annual Fee: £1000
Sovereign Calpe Retirement Benefit Scheme. Gibraltar QROPS.
Set Up Fee: £850
Annual Fee: £1000
STM Malta. Malta QROPS.
Set Up Fee: £1350
Annual Fee: £1350
Gower Horizon. Guernsey QROPS.
Set Up Fee: £1000
Annual Fee: 0.75% of fund value.
Other Popular QROPS Providers:
Fairburn, Bourse, Gower Horizon, STM Gibraltar, Windsor, Brooklands, Momentum.
We have access to any of the QROPS providers from this QROPS list and many more.
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HMRC QROPS List
As an expat abroad, you need to explore your options. It may be best to leave your pension in the UK, but for those with larger pensions, it is often best to transfer to another jurisdiction, outside of the UK tax net. For certain countries, notably Australia and New Zealand it is best to transfer to those countries. But, for other countries such as Thailand, it is often best to transfer your pension to a more tax neutral jurisdiction such as Gibraltar and have your income paid into the local bank of the country you live in.
So, you could live in Thailand or Spain, but have a QROPS in Malta or Gibraltar.
How to Choose Your QROPS Provider from the QROPS List
Please email email@example.com for more information on which jurisdiction will suit your pension needs from the QROPS list. Everyone has different pension circumstances and we will find a QROPS provider to fit your individual needs.
How to Choose the Best QROPS Jurisdiction from the QROPS List?
It is important to find the optimal offshore location for your QROPS to get the maximum benefit from your pension. An updated QROPS list (4th April, 2011) shows that there are QROPS schemes in the following countries:
Czech Republic QROPS
Hong Kong QROPS
Isle of Man QROPS
New Zealand QROPS
Russian Federation QROPS
South Africa QROPS
Sri Lanka QROPS
St Lucia QROPS
St Vincent and The Grenadines QROPS
Trinidad and Tobago QROPS
The Isle of Man and Guernsey QROPS schemes used to be the most popular schemes, but due to changes in QROPS regulations they have fallen out of favour. Some 300 Guernsey schemes were closed and the Isle of Man scheme now attracts a 20% income tax. New Zealand, Malta and Gibraltar QROPS tend to be more widely used now.
You can email us for a full QROPS list and we can find the best value QROPS from the main QROPS providers to maximise tax efficiency and increase return on investment based on your risk profile, your type of pension, your size of pension, where you currently reside as well as where you plan on retiring.
Where Can I Find the Maximum Tax Free Lump Sum from the QROPS List?
QROPS Jurisdictions and Maximum Lump Sum Allowed
|Malta||30% + 50% of any increase in the pension pot every 3 years after transfer|
|Isle of Man||30%|
|New Zealand||30% + 100% of increase in the pension pot after transfer|
N.B. The 30% lump sum can only be taken if you have been offshore for more than 5 years, otherwise you can only take 25% as Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS), the same as under UK rules.
You need to be offshore for 5 years and non-resident to take advantage of the extra drawdown (otherwise the extra 5% would be considered an unauthorized payment by the Inland Revenue and would face be taxed heavily).
If you intend to move into a QROPS, you should also intend to retire abroad at the time of moving your UK pension into a QROPS. But, for those returning to the UK later in life, a QROPS can still help mitigate the bulk of taxes depending on your situation.
One of the main advantages of QROPS is the drawdown in retirement along with the benefits you receive upon death, avoiding UK income tax and UK inheritance tax.
You can opt whether to purchase an annuity or not. Assuming the member does not wish to buy an annuity, the table below shows the drawdown you can expect in retirement before 75 and after 75.
|UK||IOM||Gibraltar, Malta, NZ|
|Before 75||0-150% UK GAD rates||0-150% UK GAD rates||0-150% UK GAD rates|
|After 75||ASP 55-90% GAD||35-120% UK GAD rates or Actuary Calculation||Annuity Quote or Actuary Calculation|
What are UK GAD Rates?
GAD is the Government Actuarial Department. They work out the pension you are allowed to withdraw based on 15 year UK FTSE Gilts. A typical drawdown might be around 4% – 6% per year of your pension pot which would increase as you get older.
One of the great things about QROPS is that you don’t have to be locked in to an alternatively secured pension (ASP) like you do in the UK, which means you can withdraw more (or less) of your pension after 75. The flexibility and choice is in your hands rather than the taxman’s!
N.B. The new budget rules in 2014 now mean you have more control over your income as well.
Taxation of Your Pension
The UK has in place over 100 Double Tax Agreements (DTA) with international countries, but it is a fact that key countries that are destinations for retirement for British expats are missing from this DTA list. Furthermore, pension income is excluded from many of these treaties. The list of countries falling into one of these DTA black holes includes:
• Hong Kong
This means if you have a SIPP and are no longer offshore, you could get taxed on your pension even if you live offshore in Thailand or Dubai for example. A QROPS will protect you from UK income taxes and most importantly the 55% tax upon death that the UK currently imposes, although this may be set to change in 2015.
IOM QROPS: There is no personal allowance since 2010 in IoM for non-residents. QROPS income would be subject to a 20% tax rate on the full amount. However, this can be paid out tax-free at source for countries which have a Double Taxation Agreement with the Isle of Man, currently that is Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Malta, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Slovenia, UK.
There is a 7.5% tax upon death for an IOM QROPS whilst in drawdown.
NZ QROPS: There are no taxes on an NZ QROPS.
Malta QROPS: taxes are between 15% and 35%, But, if you are in one of the 65 countries which has a DTA with Malta, the tax could be reduced to zero at source in Malta, although you would have to pay income tax in the country you live in.
Gibraltar QROPS: there is a flat rate of tax of 2.5% on a Gibraltar QROPS.
So, a QROPS can avoid the UK income taxes imposed on SIPPs based in the UK.
Pension Benefits Upon Death. Avoidance of IHT
Possibly the largest benefit of moving from a UK pension scheme to a QROPS occurs upon death. In the UK, if you are in drawdown and hold a defined contribution pension scheme, you will be taxed upon death. In fact, as it stands in 2014, that tax is 55%! HMRC want a large piece of the pie upon death.
Luckily, QROPS allows you to pass on 100% of your pension pot upon death as a cash lump sum to whichever beneficiaries you choose to name.
The table below shows the benefits payable upon death.
|UK||IOM||Gibraltar, Malta & New Zealand|
|Before Retirement||100% of Fund||100% of Fund||100% of Fund|
|Retirement before 75||Fund – 55% Tax||Fund – 7.5% Tax||100% of Fund|
|Retirement After 75||Fund – 55% Tax||Fund – 7.5% Tax||100% of Fund|
The new UK pension rules as of April 6th, 2014, mean that upon death, there is a 55% tax charge if your spouse decides to take a lump sum. A QROPS allows you to pass the entire pot on with no charges.
UK Financial Advisers
Whilst QROPS had some teething problems when first launched in 2006, the rules are now much stronger and companies have to register a scheme ID with HMRC and schemes in the past which have allowed 100% lump sums have been punished or closed down.
This led to many companies in the UK to only allow their advisers to push UK SIPPs. Unfortunately, this has meant many UK advisers have limited or no knowledge of offshore QROP providers and the range of offshore funds and options available.
QROPS are often the best solution for British expats living abroad. Not only does it allow them investment freedom whilst allowing one easily manageable place to put all their pensions, but it allows them to avoid UK taxes on their pension whilst abroad.
The flexibility of a QROPS combined with family protection for the pension part of the estate make it an important scheme for financial planning for British expats living abroad.
For access to the best schemes from the QROPS list, please contact us.
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