UK Pension Transfers to France | QROPS France

UK Pension Transfers to France

For British expats who want to retire abroad in Europe for five years or more, it may be worth considering moving your UK pension scheme into a QROPS based in Europe.

Transferring a UK Pension to Europe for Residents in France

For residents in Europe, we recommend transferring a UK pension scheme to a QROPS in Malta. This is a regulated pension scheme and retirement benefits can be received anywhere throughout the European Economic Area (EEA) with no tax deducted at source.

Moving to France | UK Pension Transfers to a European Pension Scheme

If you are moving to France, it is advisable to transfer your pension from a retirement portfolio based in GBP to a retirement portfolio based in EUR.

We recommend moving your pension to a QROPS in Malta. Pensions in Malta are regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).

Your pension monies will be paid out in EUR to a bank of your choice.

Why Transfer to a QROPS in France?

Reasons you may want to move your pension fund (also known as a ‘pension pot’) overseas to a QROPS:

  • you’re moving to France and want to move your pension to a European pension scheme
  • you are already resident in France and want to move your pension to a European pension scheme
  • you want to move your pension out of the UK and into a regulated pension scheme in Europe
  • you want to move your pension out of a GBP denominated retirement portfolio in the UK to a EUR denominated portfolio in Europe, so that exchange rate movements do not negatively affect your retirement portfolio
  • your UK pension scheme is being closed or wound up
  • you want to transfer to a better pension scheme
  • you have pensions from more than one employer and want your pensions managed in one place

Tax on a Malta QROPS for Residents in France

  • No tax on death at source
  • No tax on growth
  • There is a double taxation agreement between France and Malta
  • Local taxes in France apply when receiving retirement benefits

Tax on Transfer

There is no tax upon transfer under current rules.

However, there is an Overseas Tax Charge (OTC) which can apply if you leave the European Economic Area (EEA) within five years of transferring your pension scheme.

The European Economic Area (EEA) is made up of any EU member state including France, as well as Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland.

So, only move your pension scheme to a QROPS in Malta if you intend to stay in Europe for a period of five years or more, otherwise there is a 25% Overseas Tax Charge or “exit tax” which will be applied.

How to Transfer My UK Pension to a QROPS

Please contact a regulated adviser who will provide you with the necessary forms to give to your UK pension scheme administrator to begin the process. Your adviser will guide you through the process and make recommendations based on your circumstances.

What happens to my QROPS in Malta if I return to the UK?

If you ever return to become resident in the UK, you have the ability to transfer your pension back to a UK Self Invested Pension Plan (SIPP) or you can leave your pension in a QROPS in Malta, but it would incur UK income tax.

Please contact us for more information.

How to Transfer a UK Pension to France

UK Pension Transfers to France

UK pension transfers to QROPS in France haven’t been allowed for many years now.

You used to be able to transfer a UK pension to a QROPS in France back in 2017 into a PERPS (Plan d’Epargne Retraite Populair), but that is no longer possible.

However, you can transfer it to a QROPS in Malta with no tax charge upon transfer. Qualifying Recognised Overseas Penison Schemes in Malta are regulated by the MFSA.

Malta is a European country with over 70 Double Taxation Agreements with countries around the world. 

You need to seek professional advice before deciding whether to transfer a pension offshore or not. Each case is unique and there isn’t a one size fits all solution.

How to Transfer a UK Pension to a QROPS in Europe

It can take several months to transfer a pension to QROPS in Malta. An adviser can guide you through the process.

Please contact us for more information.