Top 10 Best Retirement Destinations for British Expats

The Best Retirement Destinations with Low Tax on Pensions

We will be looking at the best retirement destinations for British expats to look for when retiring abroad.

We look at the top 10 retirement destinations for Brits living abroad. We are searching for countries with low tax on pensions as well as low or no income tax or low living costs.

In light of the new “exit taxes” by HMRC, many retirement destinations are not quite so attractive for your pension(s), but we will look at the different destinations and make pension recommendations.

The Top 10 Retirement Destinations for Brits Abroad

Click on the links below for detailed descriptions on how to transfer your pension(s).

Please note for pension transfers to QROPS, you need to remain resident in these countries for 5 years following a transfer or you face a retrospective “exit tax”.

  1. New Zealand – you can transfer your pension to New Zealand and pay no tax on any retirement benefits you receive whilst resident in New Zealand. Your pension is usually invested in GBP, but paid out in New Zealand Dollars. There is also no tax on death. It’s also about 15% cheaper for rent and housing and eating out is slightly cheaper as you can see in this comparison. It is also a bit more British than Australia.
  2. Australia – you can transfer your pension to Australia and there is no tax on income or death. Your pension will be transferred to Australian Dollars, although there are limits on the transfer.  If you still want to work, wages are slightly higher than NZ. House prices are high now though in Australia and the conversion to Aussie dollars from the pound isn’t generous anymore.
  3. Portugal – you can transfer your pension to an EU QROPS as a resident in Portugal and you will pay no tax on your pension on growth and death. Your pension will be paid out in EUR to your local bank account in Portugal. Thanks to the Malta-Portugal taxation treaty, your pension will be taxed on retirement income in Portugal, which is currently 0% for 10 years if you apply for Non-Habitual Residence in Portugal, which means renting an apartment or buying a property in Portugal. Restaurant prices are around 20% cheaper in Portugal than Spain.
  4. Spain – you can transfer your pension to an EU QROPS as a resident in Spain. Your pension will be paid out in EUR to your local bank account in Spain.
  5. France – low tax on pension lump sums if you move your UK pension to an EU QROPS. See UK pension transfers to France
  6. Malta – Foreign pension income is taxed at a flat rate of 15% and only if it is then sent over and paid into a Maltese bank account. Additionally, foreigners resident in Malta aren’t subject to income tax on any foreign sourced capital gains, even when they remit these gains to a Maltese bank account, for example capital gains made by buying and selling shares on foreign stock markets.
  7. Cyprus – If you move a UK pension to an EU QROPS, you are only taxed at 5% on your pension income in Cyprus.
  8. Italy – there is a new plan being putting in place which means that you could pay 0% income tax on your pension in Italy if you move your pension to a QROPS in Malta. However, currently income taxes are high. You can read more here about QROPS for residents in Italy.
  9. Bulgaria – one of the cheapest places to live and buy houses in Europe. Income tax if a flat rate of only 10%. Click here to see more about UK pension transfers to Bulgaria.
  10. South East Asia – Thailand/Malaysia/Philippines/Indonesia/Vietnam – there are no pension transfer options to Asia. However, you could transfer to an International SIPP for currency or investment purposes. Also, Philippines is the only place that has a Double Taxation Agreement with the UK, so the state pension isn’t frozen.

Also, check out our top tips for moving to Europe.

These are the best pension option(s) for retiring abroad, but if you are looking at low cost options as far as price of living, we suggest the following countries.

top retirement destinations

Top 14 Retirement Destinations for Cheap Living

Please note, this isn’t a definitive list or order, just suggestions.

  1. Malaysia – Enjoy delicious curries, seafood, Muslim culture, a multi-cultural population, R&B, Perhentian islands & top quality healthcare. Sip a Teh Tarik whilst grabbing a Naan bread and a chicken masala or take a visit to the many bars and street life of Kuala Lumpur or Penang.
  2. Thailand – The home of Thai boxing, spicy Thai salads, sandy beaches and jungle. Sit in a hammock sipping your Sangsom & coke or explore the hills sipping tea & drinking mulberry wine. However, note that Thailand is now becoming a much more expensive place to live than Malaysia & Vietnam.
  3. Costa Rica – Known in the States for its quality medical tourism and universal healthcare insurance, you can set up businesses on a tourist visa, foreigners & locals have the same rights for property ownership, you can find cheap apartments, surfing, beaches, rainforests and wildlife. Chow down on Tamale, Casado, Gallo Pinto, Chifrijo and sip on a Guaro Sour whilst sitting looking over the Caribbean sea.
  4. Panama – There are all sorts of discounts for living in Panama as a pensioner. Also, if you want to set up your other investments in a tax advantageous way, please check out our guide to retiring in Panama coming soon…
  5. Ecuador – If you like ranches & horses, this is your place. Eat Empanados or Llapingachos (potato omlettes) whilst sipping on Canelazo (Cinnamon Spiced Rum).
  6. Sri Lanka – Sit at the cricket club or visit one of the colonial style hotels in Colombo. Take a trip into Kandy to see tea picking or relax on one of the beaches or float down the river to see the local wildlife.
  7. Philippines – Enjoy the madness of Manila or explore the many white sandy beaches in the islands. Filipinos are known for their singing, so don’t move here if you don’t like a pop song or two. Eat chicken adobo or Kare Kare (oxtail stew) whilst drinking your San Miguel.
  8. India – Many Brits will have seen the TV show, The Real Marigold Hotel or the movie preceding it. India is a low cost, multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic wonder. Read India Times’ guide to best places to retire in India.
  9. Indonesia – Visit the cultural heritage cities dotted across Asia, go scuba diving in the Islands or hide in the jungles of Indo whilst listening to small groups of locals play guitar.
  10. Bulgaria – You might not be snowboarding, but you can still enjoy the Alpine Forests and afternoon swims in the Black Sea or enjoy the natural hot springs before Apres-ski. Try the Hot Eskimo – a hot chocolate topped off with cream and Cointreau. If you like kebabs and grilled meats, you are in for a treat with Kebapche or enjoy Moussaka with your local red Bulgarian wine.
  11. Vietnam – Visit the paddy fields, sit on the beach in Danang, Mui Ne or Nha Trang, sip the local rum or get a motorbike round Ho Chi Minh exploring the coffee shops and bars.
  12. Mexico – Sip a Tequila, Margarita or Corona in your hammock. You can see a list of the best locations to retire in Mexico here.
  13. Greece – sink a couple of Tsipouros after dinner whilst sitting on the beach overlooking the Aegean sea eating your ripe, juicy tomatoes in a Greek salad accompanied by Souvlaki.
  14. Kenya – Find yourself in Diani, Watamu, Kilifi, Malindi or Lamu in soft white sand with palm trees and empty beaches surrounding you, only an hour from Nairobi. Finish a Safari with a Tusker beer or Dawa vodka cocktail at sunset.

You can also check out this list of tax-free retirement countries and these low tax countries for expats.

If you want more information about moving overseas and want to speak to a consultant for advice, please contact us.

The Race to Retire in Europe

The Race to Retire in Europe

The official “transition date” for Brexit was 29th March, 2019 and many Brits are looking to retire in Europe to try to solidify their EU status and any rights they might have before all the deals are set in ink.

After the official Brexit day on 29th March 2019, the UK will enter an ‘implementation phase’. This will last until 31st December 2020.

The Best Places to Retire in Europe

  1. Portugal – There is a flat rate of tax of 10% on your income for the first 10 years if you move to Portugal. Read more here: UK pension transfers to Portugal.
  2. Spain – Transfer your pension to a QROPS in Europe in EUR. Click here for more information on UK pension transfers to Spain.
  3. France – If you are moving to France, you may wish to consider moving your pension to a regulated scheme in Europe. See UK pension transfers to France.
  4. Cyprus – Foreign income and foreign pensions are taxed at a flat rate of only 5% in Cyprus. See UK pension transfers to Cyprus.
  5. Malta – Foreign income is taxed at a flat rate of 15% if remitted from abroad. There’s no inheritance tax, no gift tax and no wealth tax in Malta.
  6. Italy – There may be some tax advantages for retirees moving to Italy. Read more at QROPS in Italy.
  7. Bulgaria – One of the cheapest places to live and buy houses in Europe. Income tax if a flat rate of only 10%. Read more at UK pension transfers to Bulgaria.

retire in europe

Moving Your UK Pension to Europe | Brexit

The UK state pension cannot be moved to a QROPS, but private sector pension schemes regulated in the UK can be transferred abroad to a regulated pension scheme in Europe.

British expats already resident in France have been told they will retain the right to stay in France and British pensioners have been told they will have their healthcare covered in France.

But, no one knows what the deal will look like for those Brits who want to move or retire in France after Brexit.

It may be the case that British residents in Europe have to purchase their own health insurance.

Under the draft withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU, Brits can move to France legally until the end of the transition period scheduled for December 2020.

The Remain in France Together group, which advises on citizens’ rights of British nationals in France, has this advice for Brits who are thinking of moving to France:

“If you already know that you want to move to France in the future, the best advice that we can possibly give you is to do this before the end of transition period on 31 December 2020.”

“If you do this, you will benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement; you’ll become part of the group whose rights to residence are protected for their lifetimes.”

The existence of the December 2020 cut off point has persuaded many Britons to speed up their move across the Channel.

Anyone retired or not employed would have to show they have sufficient resources, which currently stands at 1,170 EUR per month as well as forking out the hefty sum of €269 for the French residency permit, the Titre de Séjour. In Spain, it is around 2,130 EUR per month and an additional 533 EUR per dependent, whilst in Greece it is only €4,000 per person in savings in a Greek bank account.

retire to europe

Will I Still Get Free State Healthcare in Europe After Brexit?

For healthcare, it may be the case that people who move after Brexit will lose the chance to be treated for free in a European hospital via the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to free access for medical treatment in Europe .There is a chance that in a “no deal” Brexit, the EHIC would be revoked after Brexit. The card covers pre-existing medical conditions as well as emergency care for British expats in Europe, if you have an accident or become ill on holiday.

A House of Lords report by the European Union Committee, in March 2018, warned that, “in the absence of an agreement on future relations that covers this topic, the rights currently enjoyed by 27 million UK citizens, thanks to the EHIC, will cease after Brexit”.

As The Independent revealed, medical charities have warned that 29,000 kidney dialysis patients who can currently get the treatment they need while abroad would face costs of more than £800 a week if the card goes, effectively putting holidays and rest breaks out of reach for people on ordinary incomes. As it is a pre-existing condition, insurance companies will not cover the treatment.

In the event of no successor to the EHIC card: “The many people with long-term conditions, including kidney patients, and people with disabilities, will be particularly affected, given the prohibitive costs of travel insurance that they face.”

If that were to be the case, 27 million Brits living in Europe would have to purchase some form of health insurance. This can be quite cheap to purchase social health insurance in some countries, but not others.

Insurance premiums for private health insurance will depend on age, country, deductibles and medical provision received but, you can expect around 700 EUR – 1,000 EUR per month on average for private health insurance in Europe. As mentioned above, it may be cost prohibitive or not cover those with pre-existing conditions.

38 Tips for Moving to Europe

Tips for Moving to Europe

Here is your moving to Europe checklist. If you are thinking about moving to Europe, this is a useful guide of things to know before moving to Europe.

As an expat who has lived abroad for more than 20 years, I wish I had read such an informative guide before moving.

Learn what to buy before moving to Europe and how to organise your finances. Whether you are moving to Europe, working in Europe, living in Europe or retiring to Europe, this guide should help you organise that move.

  1. Booking Flights – Use Skyscanner for cheap flights.
  2. Tell the Tax Authorities You Are Leaving – there are often forms you need to fill out to tell the authorities that you are no longer tax resident in your home country. You no longer need to pay tax on your savings accounts for example as a non-resident. You might also want to keep contributing to National Insurance or your social security payments. If so, you need to sign some forms to continue paying by direct debit.
  3. Keep a Stash of Cash for Emergencies – sometimes banks can lock your debit cards or credit cards when abroad for fraud prevention. Always have a stash of EUR in your room just in case this happens. Also, if you have multiple accounts, this will be less painful if an ATM accidentally swallows your card or your wallet gets lost or stolen.
  4. Get the Emergency Bank & Credit Card Phone Numbers from Your Bank 
  5. Set Up a Local Bank Account – if you are moving to Europe, you will need to set up a local bank account in EUR. Do the research to find the best deals and then contact that bank. This will save you money as otherwise you get hit with ATM charges of up to 3% and currency exchange charges of up to 3% every time you take money out of a hole in the wall. You may also need to set up a corporate account as well for your business. Try to pick a bank and branch office near where you work rather than near where you live. This way you can slip over on your lunch break should you need to take care of an urgent matter.
  6. Set Up a Currency Transfer Specialist – set up an account with Transferwise or other currency specialist. They will be the middle man between your bank account in your home country and your new bank in Europe. This will cut the fees for transferring money.
  7. Sort Out Your Current Pension – what will you do with your current pension plan? If you are moving from the UK to Europe, you can transfer your UK pension to a QROPS in Malta, which is an English speaking EU country. This will get your pension out of the UK tax net and there will be no tax on growth and death. You can also transfer your pension into EUR if you choose. You may wish to do this before Brexit to avoid any possible exit taxes. You can also move Dutch and Irish pensions to Malta. Usually American, Canadian and South African pensions can’t be moved. Australian pensions and NZ Kiwisaver pensions can be moved to Europe after you have been resident 12 months abroad, although it often isn’t advantageous until you have reached retirement age and you are permanently moving to Europe. You might be able to cash in an Australian Super & NZ Kiwisaver pensions and move them to a Malta pension plan after you have reached retirement age.
  8. Set Up a New Pension Scheme – speak to your new employer about setting up a pension plan for you or you can set up a European Union Retirement Benefits Scheme if they won’t set one up for you.
  9. Decide What to Do with Your Current Residence – are you going to rent it out or sell it?
  10. Speak with a Financial Adviser – you are going to need new advice as you may have to move some of your investments around for tax & currency planning purposes. You can contact an adviser here.
  11. Set Up a Direct Debit to Pay Off Your Credit Card – this is one of the smartest things I have ever done. If you don’t have a credit card, apply for one. You will need it to book international flights and for other purchases online which may not accept debit cards. The Barclaycard Platinum travel card has no fees on spending or cash withdrawals overseas till August 2022. Halifax has no fees on spending or cash withdrawals either. Santander Zero has no fees on credit card purchases. You can read UK credit card comparisons here. Capital One in the U.S. has a good reputation. You can read about the best credit cards in the USA here.
  12. Unlock Your Mobile Phone – some providers lock you into their network. You will need to unlock your phone to use a foreign SIM card. It may also be an idea to root your phone. This is really useful if you want to save codes from Google Authenticator which you often need for 2-factor authorisation log-ins.
  13. Get a Local SIM Card – search the internet for the best mobile phone plan deals in your new country of residence.
  14. Apply for a Visa – especially if you are coming from the UK after Brexit or coming from non-EU countries such as Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand or South Africa. Look at what documents you need from the consulate in your country of destination when moving to Europe.
  15. Store Your Belongings – what are you going to do with all your stuff at home? If you can’ store at a friend or family’s house, you can rent a monthly unit in your home town. If you are moving all your belongings to Europe, choose a reliable removals service.
  16. Organise Your Health Insurance – you will need to purchase health insurance when you leave home. Contact a financial adviser to get the best deal on health insurance in Europe.
  17. Organise Your Life Insurance – if you are young and have a family, you will need to get life insurance in Europe to cover your mortgage and getting your kids through university as well as giving your spouse an income in case anything happens to you. Your life insurance back home may not cover you abroad, so contact your insurance company to check.
  18. Have a Medical Check Up Before You Leave – make sure you are up to date with jabs, get a medical and any last trips to the dentist, whilst everything can still be explained in your own language with your own doctors & dentists.
  19. Update Your Driver’s Licence – also, apply for an international driver’s licence, so you can drive abroad.
  20. Renew Any Bank Cards – make sure that your current bank card isn’t going to expire whilst abroad.
  21. Get a Postal Forwarding Address in Your Home Country – you will need this for your banks in your home country and for updated bank cards to be sent out. This can then automatically be forwarded to your new address in Europe
  22. Get a Worldwide SIM or Keep Your Phone Contract – you can purchase a SIM which will forward all your phone calls to your new phone number in Europe and which you can top up online easily.
  23. Think About Getting a Power of Attorney – This could be a family member or a lawyer. They can then have control over your account to pay outstanding bills, pay for outstanding insurance etc, in your home country.
  24. Update Your Will – you will need to update your will to include all your new financial arrangements. This is as good a time as any to set one up if you haven’t done it yet.
  25. Set Up a Living Will – also known as an Advance Medical Directive. This is crucial and something everyone should have. Basically, this document lets your hospital know how you should be treated for end-of-life medical care, in case you become unable to communicate your decisions.
  26. Install Skype on Your Mobile – you can set up a “pay as you go” or monthly plan for cheaper international phone calls. You can even purchase a local phone number in countries around Europe.
  27. Buy an International Adapter – Europe runs on 220 Vaults and plug type C/F. Australia runs on 230 V, but has plug type I, USA & Canada runs on 120V, whilst the UK has plug type G. Click here to see the here the complete vaultage and plug type list by country
  28. Bring a Gift from Home – offer this to your new employers or new friends. Maybe some football shirts, caps or other British memorabilia. It will ingratiate yourself to your new country.
  29. Learn the Language – Rome wasn’t built in a day, but download the language apps and Google Translate for your new home in Europe. Google translate now has a new option where you instantly translate menus. Go to Google Translate, then click the menu button in the top left corner, now put the camera over a menu and boom! It is now in English. You’re welcome.
  30. Join Internations – you can join expat meet-ups for when the new language becomes too much and you just want to speak to a fellow expat from home.
  31. Get Your TV from Home Online – this can be a god send, when local TV is either in a foreign language or has bad TV. You can access UK TV at CatchupTV and Skycards EU. You might also want to subscribe to Netflix for movies and series. You may need to set up a VPN to watch TV at home using your current subscriptions.
  32. Find a Local Lawyer – you will probably need them at some point to certify documents and other matters for your business
  33. Set Up a European Company – if you are self-employed, you will need a local company
  34. Speak to a Tax Attorney – you will need to speak to a local tax attorney and a financial adviser to find out how you can best mitigate tax.
  35. Research Your New Area – check out Google maps and speak to local real estate agents to find out where is the best to stay. You may also need to research local international schools and where the local supermarket is. Get familiar with local transportation. See if there is any deals on bus & train cards.
  36. Rent an Apartment – check out Airbnb.com for apartments or Google “apartments” in the city or town where you wish to move to in Europe.
  37. Print Some Photos of Your Friends & Family – get this done before you go, so you don’t have to explain it all in a foreign language.
  38. Keep Copies of Your ID in the Cloud – keep copies of your passport, lease agreement, insurance documents, airline tickets, bank statements, birth certificate, bank certificate, qualifications, company documents, etc, in the cloud where you can get to them quickly in an emergency. Also useful for bouncers, lol!

 

I’ve lived as an expat overseas for over 20 years and use a financial consulting company regulated in Europe. Please click here to contact a financial adviser to formulate a plan.

 

living in europe

Moving a UK Pension Scheme to Europe

Transferring a UK Pension Scheme to Europe

Transferring a UK pension scheme to the European Economic Area is possible through a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

Please see the links below to find out how to transfer a pension scheme from a regulated UK pension scheme to a regulated pension scheme in Malta in euros.

Malta is the only QROPS in Europe that has Double Taxation Agreements with all the countries in the European Economic Area. It also has Double Taxation Agreements with many other countries around the world.

You should only move your pension to a QROPS if you move overseas for a period of five years or more.

If you are working in the EU for less than five years and move back to the UK, your pension would face an Overseas Tax Charge (OTC) of 25%.

Moving a Pension Plan to Europe

Why move a pension to a QROPS in Malta?

  • Malta has Double Taxation Agreements with over 74 countries around the world including most countries in Europe
  • If you are resident in any country in the European Economic Area, there is no tax at source in Malta
  • You can move anywhere in the world and keep your pension situated in a QROPS in Malta. Tax rates will depend on the Double Taxation Agreements in place
  • Malta is regulated by the Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA)

Countries with Double Taxation Agreements with Malta

The following countries have a Double Taxation Agreement with Malta.

There is no tax at source on a QROPS in Malta if you draw retirement benefits in these countries. Local taxes will apply.

Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Palestine, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA

Countries Waiting for Tax Ratification with Malta

Treaties awaiting ratification: Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kuwait, Oman, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine, Uruguay.

Countries Where a QROPS is Taxed at Source in Malta

Bulgaria and Hong Kong.

Income Tax on QROPS in Malta When No DTA Exists

The withholding tax in Malta is 25% if no Double Taxation Agreement exists.

Income tax in Malta would be taken at source at between 0% and 35%.

Malta QROPS Rules

  • You must be 55 years of age to receive retirement benefits
  • You must be resident in the EEA for five years after the date of transfer, otherwise, there is a 25% Overseas Tax Charge (OTC)
  • Flexible drawdown is available, similar to the UK, so you can take your pension in periodic lump sums or as an annual income.
  • Tax will depend on where you are resident when you decide to draw pension benefits. You will need to look at the Double Taxation Agreements between Malta and the country you reside in
  • You need to show proof of residence in your country of retirement if you want your QROPS in Malta to be paid out gross.
  • There is no tax on growth or death on a QROPS in Malta as long as you do not become UK resident
  • Retirement portolios are professionally managed

Transferring a UK Pension to a QROPS in Malta for Residents in the EEA

Please follow the links below for more information:

Please contact us for more info.

QROPS After Brexit – 25% Exit Tax if You Transfer Your Pension to EU?

QROPS Post Brexit – Exit Tax Issues

QROPS and Brexit. Can you transfer a UK pension to the EU after Brexit? Will there be a tax on a UK pension transferred to the EU after Brexit? Can someone in the EU access their UK pension scheme after Brexit?

There have been two very interesting posts in the Financial times over the last week on September 13th and September 14th. Obviously, with Brexit on the horizon with the actual date of the UK leaving the EU scheduled for March 2019, but likely postponed until December 2020, it is becoming increasingly important for expats and potential expats to re-examine their retirement portfolio set up.

With it looking more and more like a hard Brexit on the doorstep, it is important to try to make sense of what to do with your retirement benefits and make a decision of where you wish to live after Brexit and how taxes might affect your pension plans.

Why Did HMRC Introduce the 25% Exit Tax?

According to HMRC, it was to avoid tax abuses. But, people moving to Australia or New Zealand get an unfair advantage by paying no tax on their pension at retirement. Neither Australia or NZ tax you on retirement benefits received.

If you move to Portugal, you can move your pension to a third country in Malta and only pay Portugese income tax, which is zero for the first 10 years if you become a Non-Habitual Resident, but if you move to Asia, for example, you could be paying both UK income tax and tax in your country of residence in Asia, plus a tax on death despite not living in the UK.

HMRC have skewered the rules in a fashion which makes sense to HMRC, but not many others. QROPS is not a viable option unless you are moving to Australia, New Zealand, India or Europe due to the punitive 25% tax on exit. You can see more here on the history of QROPS and its timeline from 2006 – 2018.

Will There Be a 25% Exit Tax in Europe?

What will happen when Britain leaves Europe? Will there be an exit tax? This has been a question for many pensioners, as well as whether they will face a tax on their European pensions or QROPS if they ever settle back in the UK. Well, no-one knows the answer, but there have been clues from the Treasury.

Exit Tax on UK Pension Transfers Post Brexit

First, let’s get delve into the articles from the Financial Times.

In his answer to a written question from Labour MP for Bristol West, Thangam Debbonaire, the economic secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, stated the tax status of [transfers to QROPS] would depend on the Brexit deal achieved.

He wrote: “The regulations that allow a tax-free transfer of a private pension scheme to a Qrop within the EEA are domestic law which currently comply with EU fundamental freedoms.

“Whether or not these transfers will be exempt from the overseas transfer charge once the UK leaves the EU is dependent upon the terms of future exit agreement between the UK Government and the EU.”

In March 2017, a 25% exit tax on transfers to QROPS outside of the EEA was introduced by then-chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond to deter individuals from moving their pensions overseas to avoid tax.

As mentioned before, this has penalised people who are moving to USA, Canada, Switzerland, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America who do not have any local QROPS options.

The 25% exit charge applies unless both the individual and the Qrops are in the same country after the transfer, or the Qrops is in one country in the European Economic Area (EEA) and the individual is resident in another EEA after the transfer.

In other words, if you are moving to Europe, you can transfer your pension to a QROPS in Malta and usually, you will only pay tax in your country of residence in Europe, for example, Portugal. Currently, many British expats are moving to Portugal, Australia and New Zealand in order to pay 0% income tax on their pensions. HMRC have skewered the results of where expats are deciding to retire abroad.

Since the 25% exit tax, QROPS transfers have dropped by a half.

An overseas pension transfer charge to Europe would kill off what little there is left of the QROPS market. But, if you look a the timeline of QROPS transfers, you can see where this is likely going. HMRC want you to spend money in the UK, taxed in the UK.

Will You Even Be Able to Transfer a UK Pension to a QROPS in the EU (Malta) After Brexit?

The Financial Times continues…

In a written answer to Parliament, Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said the current rights of citizen in transferring their pensions to overseas pension schemes will be maintained, even under a no deal Brexit.

He said: “The UK and EU have already agreed the terms of an implementation period lasting until the end of 2020.

“During this implementation period, access to one another’s markets will remain unchanged and on the current terms, ensuring continuity for consumers and businesses.”

After Brexit, he said, “whether they are a UK citizen or a non-UK EU citizen, they will continue to be able to transfer their pensions to overseas pension schemes.

“Equally, UK pension schemes will continue to be able to receive transfers from overseas pension schemes.”

However, the conditions cannot be guaranteed. In other words, there could be an exit tax and if it is similar to other countries, that will be a 25% exit tax on transferring to the EU. That would keep it “fair” in the mind of HMRC and deter workers from retiring abroad, keeping money in the UK. 

Note: this is my opinion only and in no way reflects the opinion or position of HMRC.

Will I Be Able to Access My UK Pension in Europe After Brexit?

I would guess they will come to an agreement on this, but again it is not a foregone conclusion.

The FT has an article in August, where the government confirmed that about 220,000 UK citizens aged 65 plus living in the EEA could lose access to their UK pension schemes in a no-deal Brexit situation.

It said British expats “may lose the ability to access existing lending and deposit services, insurance contracts (such as a life insurance contract and annuities) due to UK firms losing their rights to passport into the EEA, affecting the ability of their EEA customers to continue accessing their services”.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are 900,000 Brits currently living in the EU, of which 220,000 are aged 65 plus.

A transfer out of a UK pension scheme into a Malta QROPS before Brexit would guarantee your pension is held under EU law.

QROPS History – A History of QROPS 2006 – 2018

The History of QROPS Pension Transfers Abroad

I thought it would be useful to compile a history of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) transfers and how they have been destroyed over the years. It will be a surprise if the QROPS market still exits in a few years and if it still does, what conditions will be imposed on transfers.

Already, QROPS is now not really an option if you are moving to the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Asia, Africa, the Middle East or Latin America. QROPS transfers dropped by 50% in 2017 and after Brexit, transfers may fall again. Below, you can see a QROPS timeline from 2006 – 2018.

A Brief History of QROPS

  • April 6th, 2006 – happy days, QROPS were introduced following the Schengen Agreement which allows freedom of movement of labour and capital in Europe. Most expats are moving their pensions to Guernsey where it is out of the UK tax net and there is no income tax for non-residents. A QROPS in Guernsey also avoided any tax on growth or death as long as members remained resident abroad.
  • May 5th, 2008 – Singapore loses its QROPS status
  • September 8th, 2009 – HMRC freezes QROPS transfers to Gibraltar where there is zero income tax on pensions.
  • March 2010 – First Malta QROPS schemes appear
  • October 10th, 2010 – Isle of Man QROPS launches the 50c, a QROPS which allows a 30% tax-free lump sum.
  • November 10th, 2010 – Isle of Man 50c are closed for new business.
  • January 2011 – HMRC increases QROPS reporting requirements for trustees from 5 years to 10 years following a transfer
  • December 2011 – new QROPS rule making sure 70% of any pension pot provides an income for life for a member
  • April 12th, 2012 – Massive cull of many schemes in Guernsey, the Isle of Man and New Zealand
  • April 15th, 2012 – Cyprus QROPS delisted
  • May 10th, 2012 – Guensey’s new rewritten QROPS 157e is delisted.
  • July 2012 – Guernsey try to rewrite their QROP schemes again, but fail to be listed.
  • July 2012 – Qatar says no to QROPS business
  • June 2013 – HMRC loses Singapore QROPS case to expats, but Singapore QROPS remain delisted
  • August 2013 – Hong Kong QROPS culled
  • June 2014 – HMRC delists all Swiss QROPS
  • April 2015, HMRC now inexplicably renames QROPS to ROPS.
  • May 2015, HMRC closes 40% of Australian QROPS schemes as they allow expats to claim their pension if they have ill health
  • April 6th, 2015, HMRC stops all transfers to QROPS from NHS pension transfers
  • June 2015, many Irish QROPS stop accepting transfers due to ill health clause
  • August 15th, 2016 – Australia QROPS 500,000 AUD pension cap and you must be over 55 to transfer.
  • December 2016 – French and Italian QROPS are removed, but Malta QROPS are still allowed
  • March 9th, 2017 – The day it all changed. 25% exit tax hits QROPS. If you are not moving to Europe, Australia, New Zealand or India, you will now be punished. You also cannot move from that area for 5 years after transfer or you get hit with a retrospective tax charge
  • QROPS After Brexit – March 2019 or more likely, December 2020. There is a possibility that pension transfers to residents in the EU may face a tax penalty on exit, such as the 25% exit tax which exists for many people retiring outside the EU.

QROPS Options 2018/19

  1. Australia – if you are over the age of 55, you can move your pension into an Australian QROPS, but there is a cap of 500,000 AUD and there are many other conditions. You can read more information here about transferring a pension to Australia. There is no tax on your retirement income in Australia.
  2. New Zealand – you can transfer to a NZ pension scheme at any age. These are typically Discretionary Managed Pension Schemes. There is no tax on retirement benefits in New Zealand. After 5 years, you could move to Australia, Asia or elsewhere.
  3. India – you can transfer a pension to India into Rupees into a QROPS in India
  4. Europe – you can transfer to a QROPS in Malta if you are moving to the European Economic Area. Then, usually, you just pay income tax in your country of residence. After Brexit, there may be restrictions placed on transfers or they may be taxed on exit. More in our next article.
  5. There may be some others I have missed, you can check HMRC’s QROPS list for detail

Non-QROPS Options

What are the options for expats moving to the USA, Canada, Switzerland, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America?

  1. Leave your pension where it is. You may be taxed in the UK or you may be taxed overseas. It will all depend on the individual Double Taxation Agreements between the UK and your country of residence. HMRC now heavily frowns on occupational scheme transfers and unfunded public pension schemes cannot be transferred, i.e. NHS pension transfers, Armed Forces, civil service pensions, etc
  2. Move your pension to an International SIPP in the Isle of Man – here you will have flexibility of fund choice, currency choice, etc and can have your pension paid into your local bank account overseas in your country of residence at retirement

25% Exit Tax in Detail

UK Budget 2017 and QROPS | HMRC Slams Expats with 25% Tax on QROPS

Best Retirement Destinations in the World to Avoid QROPS Exit Tax

Best Retirement Destinations in the World After 25% Exit Tax on Certain QROPS Introduced

In this article, we will discuss the best retirement destinations in the world for Brits wanting to move abroad after Philip Hammond introduced a 25% exit tax on many QROPS. If you are moving to the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, New Zealand or Hong Kong and staying there for five years following your pension transfer, you will be relatively unaffected by the new rules. For those living further afield, you must now weigh up the option of paying a 25% exit tax vs keeping your pension in a UK SIPP and possibly paying up to 45% income tax plus a death tax after the age of 75 in the UK. A thorough understanding of International Tax Treaties is needed and we highly recommend speaking to a QROPS specialist and/or an international tax attorney.

Best Places to Retire Abroad for Brits

Here are the best retirement destinations for British expats in 2017 for tax reduction…

If you are looking to pay zero tax on your retirement income, the best places to retire abroad for Brits after the new QROPS rules in 2017 are Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong which all attract zero tax.

Portugal also does not tax British expats for the first ten years that they are in Portugal.

Some countries in Europe attract zero income tax such as Monaco or Andorra. Low tax rates can be found in these other European countries: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein and Romania.

For places outside these areas (EEA, Australia, New Zealand and HK), there is now a 25% one-off exit tax payable to HMRC on transfer out of the UK. So, for many countries now, you may be better off in a UK SIPP or paying the exit tax if you have a very large pension pot and live in a country with a high income tax rate.

Moving to Australia

best retirement destination

Australia is still the top destinations for Brits who want to retire abroad. There are more than 1,300,000 Brits living in Australia.

If you are over age 55, you can move your pension pot to Australia and pay zero tax on your retirement income, however, you can only move around 172,250 GBP pension pot in one go and there are other restrictions.

For those under 55 or for those with larger pension pots, you may have to transfer to a UK SIPP first or to a New Zealand QROPS if you are concerned to get your pension out of the UK tax net before rules are tightened further.

The rules for QROPS in Australia are affected by QROPS rules imposed by HMRC in the UK and tax rules set by the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

The new rules, from July 2017, allow you to transfer a UK pension into an Australian SMSF (Self Managed Super Fund) only once you have reached 55 years of age and you can only transfer in 300,000 AUD (about 172,250 GBP) into your Australian QROPS and then you can move a further 100,000 AUD per year. So, you may have to set up a UK SIPP first and drip feed your pension into your Australian QROPS.

An Australian QROPS which is an Australian SMSF specifically designed for those aged 55 or over, attracts zero income tax at retirement. There is also no tax on death.

These are the technical rules: you are allowed 25,000 AUD as a Concessional Tax-deductable Contribution, as well as 100,000 AUD as a Non-Concessional Contribution with the ability to bring forward 3 years or 300,000 AUD with no further contributions for the following 2 financial years.

Any Non-Concessional Contributions are tax free going into the fund.

Concessional Contributions, where the individual claims a personal tax deduction are taxed at 15% in the fund and the individual claims a deduction on their personal tax return. This is great for anyone with Australian taxable income.

For a person with a very large pension pot which is over the Australian lifetime limit of AUD 1,600,000, clients may be better off transferring their pension to New Zealand and paying a one off 25% exit tax than paying the 32.5 – 40%+ Australian income tax above 37,000 AUD in Australia. Why? Well, due to the NZ-Australian DTA, there is no further tax due in NZ or Australia. Then the client can build up an Australian SMSF separately and would still have the whole lifetime limit to be able to contribute to.

Five Year Rule – you must live in Australia for five years after transfer to avoid the 25% exit tax in the UK. If you move to another country, this tax can be imposed on your pension pot at a later date. Although you may be able to avoid the tax by moving to another appropriate QROPS, for example if you moved to the EU and moved your pension to a Malta QROPS, if allowed.

You can read more about the Australian QROPS rules here.

Moving to New Zealand

More than 215,000 Brits live in New Zealand. For British expats in New Zealand and Kiwis returning from working in London or elsewhere in the UK, the process is much more simple. As long as you remain resident in New Zealand for five years after transfer, you avoid tax on your pension scheme.

You can transfer a pension to New Zealand and then pay zero income tax at retirement. There is also no tax on death.

Five Year Rule – however, you must live in New Zealand for five years after transfer to avoid the 25% exit tax in the UK. If you move to another country, this tax can be imposed on your pension pot at a later date, although you may be able to avoid the tax by moving to another appropriate QROPS.

You can read more about transferring a pension to New Zealand here.

Moving to Hong Kong

You can transfer your pension to Hong Kong and pay zero income tax, no tax on growth and no tax on death on your pension as long as you remain resident in Hong Kong for the five years subsequent to transferring your pension. If you move to another country within these five years, you may face a 25% exit tax, unless you can move to another QROPS which avoids the exit tax.

Moving to the European Economic Area (EEA)

You can move your UK pension to a Malta QROPS which is based in the EU for tax efficiency if you are resident in the EEA. The EEA is comprised of the European Union (EU) as well as Lichtenstein, Iceland and Norway.

Over 700,000 Brits live in Spain with 200,000 British expats living in France.

The EEA consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Although the UK may leave the EEA after Brexit. If will certainly leave the European Union.

A Malta QROPS has strong Double Taxation Agreements with most countries in Europe and often your QROPS is paid out gross in Malta with no tax deducted. Usually, you would pay income tax in your country of residence.

A Malta QROPS also allows full pension flexibility, so you can draw down as much pension as you want in retirement.

You can read more here on transferring a pension to a QROPS in Malta and the Double Taxation Agreement rules.

Five Year Rule – you must live in the EEA for five years after transfer to avoid the 25% exit tax in the UK. If you move to another country outside the EEA, this tax may be imposed on your pension pot at a later date if you do not move to another appropriate QROPS, for example if you move to a QROPS in Australia, New Zealand or Hong Kong and become resident in these countries.

Moving to the USA

How many Brits live in the USA?

Nearly 700,000 Brits live in the USA.

You cannot transfer a pension to the USA as the IRS won’t allow it. Other options include moving your pension to a UK SIPP and using the US-UK Double Taxation Agreement. Your pension can then be taxed in the USA rather than the UK. Although you would still face the death tax in the UK after age 55 and be subject to US income taxes.

If you haven’t moved to the USA yet, you could move to a QROPS in Malta or a QROPS in Hong Kong to avoid the death taxes. However, both would attract the 25% exit tax and US income taxes. But, would avoid any taxes on death.

Moving to Canada

How many Brits live in Canada?

There over 700,000 Brits living in Canada.

You cannot transfer to a QROPS in Canada. The QROPS there were all removed from HMRC’s QROPS list.

You can move your pension to a UK SIPP or pay a 25% exit tax and move to a QROPS in Hong Kong. Thanks to the Canadian-Hong Kong Double Taxation Treaty, there would be no further tax on your QROPS in Hong Kong as the taxation rights are given to Hong Kong. So, you just pay a one-off 25% tax, then no tax on your retirement income and no tax on death.

Moving to South Africa

You cannot move to a QROPS in South Africa, but you can pay a 25% exit tax and move your pension to Hong Kong.

South Africa has very high income taxes, same as the UK of up to 45%.

You may be better off paying a one-off 25% exit tax and then zero taxes after that as the SA-HK DTA gives the taxation rights to Hong Kong and is taxes at zero.

It depends on the size of your pension pot and other income. Smaller pots are better left in the UK or moving to a UK SIPP.

Moving Elsewhere in the World

If you are outside Australia, New Zealand, the EEA (Europe) or Hong Kong, you will face a 25% exit tax. Usually, if you are set on transferring to a QROPS, Hong Kong is preferable as there is zero income tax in Hong Kong and many of the Double Taxation Agreements actually give the taxation rights for pensions to Hong Kong.

Examples where it is still necessary would be where you have a large pension would normally still be taxed in the UK on your pension or you are moving to a country with high income tax rates such as the Netherlands (up to 52% income tax), Japan (up to 55.95%) and South Africa. Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France and Israel all face up to 50%+ income tax rates.

You can see the list of countries with the highest income tax rates here.

Obviously, the best retirement destinations in the world don’t depend on the tax rate, the local cost of living, the culture, the food and the entertainment are more important, but I hope this acts as a useful guide if you can’t make your mind up bewteen living in a few countries abroad and provides clarity on the government’s new rules.

Please contact us for a free pension review.

Australian SMSF QROPS | UK Pension Transfers to Australia

Australian SMSF QROPS | Transferring a Pension to Australia

In September, 2016, the Australian government has released an amended Australian superannuation package and how it pertains to transfers from UK pension to Australian SMSF QROPS compliant superannuation funds.

Once legislated, most measures will take effect from 1st July, 2017. There are still many unanswered questions around the actual operation of many of the new rules. We await the draft legislation for further details.

Note: these changes are not yet legislated and still have to be introduced to, and make it through, Parliament.

Please read here for the latest news and updates regarding QROPS Australia.

Australian QROPS SMSF Deeds Now Amended

Australian QROPS SMSF deeds have now been amended to comply with HMRC’s age test requirement, i.e. that the pension member cannot access his pension scheme before the age of 55. In order to comply, the Australian SMSF’s had to only allow pension transfers in for members who are over the age of 55 and under the age of 74.

Australian SMSF QROPS Rules

These are the new Australian SMSF QROPS compliant rules for 2016/17.

  • You can transfer $540,000 into an Australian SMSF QROPS as long as you are over 55 years of age and below 74. This must be done before 30th June 2017, otherwise you can transfer in much less, only $100,000 per year
  • If you are under 55 years of age, there are other options to get your UK pension out of the UK tax net and into Australian Dollars or into GBP, but with a wider choice of investments, please contact us for details
  • After 30th June 2017, you can only bring in $100,000 Australian dollars per year which can be brought forward 3 years. So, if you want to transfer to an Australian SMSF QROPS, I would seek advice immediately, as it takes up to six months for a QROPS transfer and you can transfer in $540,000 or approximately 300k GBP right now, but after June 30th, 2017, you would only be able to bring in 175k GBP in one go.
  • The lifetime cap is $1,600,000. This is the maximum you can contribute into an Australian Superannuation scheme

australian smsf qrops

Australian SMSF QROPS Super Funds Rules in Detail

Non-concessional contributions (NCCs)

From 1 July 2017:

  • the annual non-concessional contributions (NCC) cap will be reduced from $180,000 per year to $100,000 per year
  • individuals under age 65 will be eligible to bring forward 3 years ($300,000) of NCCs
  • individuals with a total superannuation balance of more than $1.6 million will be unable to make NCCs.
  • $1.6 million eligibility threshold; this is the maximum that can be contributed to an Australian SMSF QROPS

The $1.6 million eligibility threshold will be tested from 30th June of the previous financial year.

This means if the individual’s balance at the start of the financial year is more than $1.6 million they will not be able to make any further non-concessional contributions.

Individuals with balances close to $1.6 million will only be able to bring forward the annual cap amount for the number of years that would take their balance to $1.6 million.

Under transitional arrangements, if an individual has not fully used their NCC bring-forward cap before 1 July 2017, the remaining bring forward amount will be reassessed on 1 July 2017 to reflect the new annual caps.

The $1.6 million eligibility cap will be indexed in $100,000 increments in line with the consumer price index (CPI), i.e. the same as the $1.6 million pension cap.
Broadly commensurate treatment will apply to members of defined benefit schemes.

The Work Test

As currently, the work test will continue to apply for individuals aged between 65 and 74. This was previously proposed to be removed.
Individuals aged between 65 and 74 will be eligible to make annual NCCs of $100,000 from 1 July 2017 if they meet the work test (employed for 40 hours in any 30 consecutive days), but cannot use the bring forward option.

Australian Super Examples (provided by the Australian Government)

Example 1 – bring-forward rule

Kylie’s (age 58) superannuation balance is $500,000. She sells an investment property and makes a $200,000 NCC in October 2017.

As Kylie has triggered the bring-forward option, she can make a further $100,000 NCC in 2018/19.

Kylie’s NCCs would reset in 2020/21 and she could make further contributions from then.

Example 2 – bring-forward rule

Molly (age 40) has a superannuation balance of $200,000.

In September 2016, she receives an inheritance of $250,000, which she contributes to superannuation, triggering the $540,000 3-year bring forward option.

From 1 July 2017, Molly can make a $110,000 NCC in 2017/18 and $20,000 in 2018/19. She can then access the new bring forward option from 2019/20 and contribute up to $300,000 in NCCs.

Note: This may mean an individual under age 65 in 2016/17 can trigger the current bring-forward option (subject to eligibility) and contribute an entire $540,000 in NCCs. It is unclear exactly how the remaining bring forward cap will apply from 1 July 2017 where less than $540,000 is contributed.

Example 3 – work test

Gary (age 72) a retiree, works around 40 hours in September every year and has a superannuation balance of $450,000.

As Gary meets the work test, he can make a $100,000 NCC in 2017/18.

However, as Gary is over age 65 he cannot access the 3-year bring forward option.

Example 4 – $1.6 million eligibility threshold

Eamon (52) has a total superannuation balance of $1.45 million. He can make a $200,000 NCC in 2017/18.

He cannot access the full 3-year bring forward option as this would take his balance over $1.6 million.
Eamon would also not be able to make any further NCCs.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) Cap

Note: These are general rules for Australian Superannuations, nothing to do with Australian SMSF QROPS

Separate to the NCC cap, the current CGT cap of $1,415,000 (2016/17) continues to apply for small business owners.
Concessional contributions (CCs), contributions tax and catch up CCs

The annual concessional contributions (CCs) cap will be reduced to $25,000 (currently $30,000 and $35,000 if age 50 or over) from 1 July 2017 for all individuals.

The cap will index in line with Average Weekly Ordinary Time Earnings (AWOTE).

Individuals with adjusted taxable income of $250,000 (currently $300,000) will incur 30% tax on their concessional super contributions from 1 July 2017.

Catch-up Concessional Contributions (CC’s)

This measure has been pushed out a further 12 months.

From 1 July 2018, unused CC cap amounts can be carried forward over 5-year periods accrued from 1 July 2018 where total super balance is under $500,000.

Example 5 – catch-up CCs

Anne has a superannuation balance of $200,000 but did not make any concessional superannuation contributions in 2018/19 as she took time off work to care for her child.
In 2019/20 she has the ability to contribute $50,000 into superannuation ($25,000 under the annual concessional cap and $25,000 from her unused 2018/19 cap which has been rolled over).

Tax deduction for personal super contributions

Individuals under age 75 and not just the wholly or substantially self-employed will be able to claim a tax deduction for their personal super contributions from 1 July 2017. This means more people will be able to make concessional contributions and it provides an alternative to salary sacrifice.

Example 6 – tax deduction for personal contributions

Chris has started his own online merchandise business but continue to work part-time at an accounting firm earning
$10,000 as his business is growing.

His business earns $80,000 in his first year and he would like to contribute $15,000 of his $90,000 income to his
superannuation.

Chris could claim a tax deduction for his $15,000 of superannuation contributions.
$1.6 million pension cap

A $1.6 million cap will apply on the amount that can be transferred into the superannuation pension phase from 1 July 2017.

There will be no restriction on subsequent earnings.

Accumulated super in excess of $1.6 million can be retained in a member’s accumulation account (with earnings taxed at 15%) or moved outside super.

The cap will index in $100,000 increments in line with the consumer price index (CPI) and is expected to be around $1.7 million in 2020/21.

Australian SMSF QROPS List

[table]
A & P Tedder Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
A Bedford Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
AC & SD Rawnsley SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
AER (Plus 55) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
AFT Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
AKMD Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Amblin Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Andrew Barton Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Anjala Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
APPP over 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
ARTAYLOR Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
ASR UKPension Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Australian Defence Force Superannuation Scheme , Australian SMSF QROPS
Australian Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Axela Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
B & N Greer Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bailey Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bakersinaus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Barker Gold Coast Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Barnwell Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bastian-Lee Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Baxter Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bazncaz Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bell Heather Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ben & Ollie Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Beverley Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bigboi Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Biggs Cook Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bixie Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Boehm Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Boogie Bear Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Boucker Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Breakey Family Super , Australian SMSF QROPS
Brennan RSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
Bridge Over Troubled Waters Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Broadie Bonus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Brookfield Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Brown Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Burge SMSF Pty Ltd ATF Burge Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Burr Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
C & C Purchase Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
C & L Gifford Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
C & M Rowlands (Vic) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
C.P. Eapen Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Calibre Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Callar Super Fund No1 , Australian SMSF QROPS
Calnan Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Cardwell 55 Plus Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Caroline Luke Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Carson SMSF Pension Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Caskie Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
CatrionaPallett Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Cayford Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Cheers Barclays Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Chesapeake Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Cheverall Pty Ltd ATF the Cheverall Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Clarke Davies Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Clarke Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Cliff Forde 55plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
CLQ Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Cohen ROPS Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Colleer and Mclaren Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme (CSS) , Australian SMSF QROPS
Conrad J Soutart Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Courtney & Phadke Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Coyne Supperannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
CP Hoy Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
CP Lockwood Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Crossland Over 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
CS & JM Baxter (QLD) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Cundale Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
D Hodson Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Dane Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
David Tudor Evans Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Davies Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
DB65 Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Dean Gale Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Deeny Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Desiree Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Devonport Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
DJ & J Heeley Over 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
DJB Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
DMWSF Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Doumani Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Downes Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
DP & LJ Rees Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Duggan Thomas Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Duma Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Edlynros SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
EE Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Eels Riley Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ellerbrook Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Elliot Family Super Fund (Over 55) , Australian SMSF QROPS
Emilia Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
England Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Evernew Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ewing Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
F Goldstein Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Final Curve Self Managed Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Finch Over 55’s Superannuation , Australian SMSF QROPS
Frejya Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Fulmar Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
G Collier (55 plus) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
G D Kewley Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
G.Graham Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gaskell over 55 smsf , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gemmstead Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
GHC4 Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gilkes-Cox Super , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gilsenan Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Glendinning Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Glenmaddie Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Godley Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Goldsack Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gooding 2016 SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
Goodwin Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gordon T Low Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gorgeon Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Gould Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Grant Leith Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Green & 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Green 55 plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Groom Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
H McIvor Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Hall Saxby Age 55 Plus Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Harvey Smith Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Heanor Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Hedge Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Hermisuper Pension Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ho & Tanaka Over 55 Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Houghtons Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Hunt976 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
HZD Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ian & Sheila Sinclair Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ian Heap SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
I Michie Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ingleside Investments Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Intrepid Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Irvine-Brown Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
J & G Davies Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
J & N Bradshaw Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
J & V Jamieson SMSF Pty Ltd ATF Jamieson Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
J Brand Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
J Jurewicz Superannuation , Australian SMSF QROPS
JA & SM Cannon Pty Ltd as Trustee for Cannons Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Jacobson Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Jane Raymond Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Jaques Family SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
Jay Gee Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JBlack55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JD Martinez Age 55 Plus Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JDavies55 , Australian SMSF QROPS
Jenkins McGrath Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JGG (No1) Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JISE Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JLSAGLYNN 55 SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
JM & G Lunn Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JM Pflaum Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
John McNally (55 plus) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Johnston Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Johnstone Davies Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Jones Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Jovcic (Plus 55) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
JRB Leventhorpe Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Juliet Ashworth Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Kafue Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
KCWilliams Plus 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Keenan Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Kelly Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Killcare 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Killen Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
King Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
KSAK PTY Ltd ATF KK Pension Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
LDH Over-55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Leiper (Plus 55) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Lemon Street Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Lennon Fraser Age 55 Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Lette 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Local Government Superannuation Scheme , Australian SMSF QROPS
LockRichard55 Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Locke Sinclair Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Lorigan Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
M&J 55 Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
M and M Belcher Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Mack-Heaven Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Maeva 2 Investments Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
MAGNGA Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Malkin Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Marbecca Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Mark Case Pension , Australian SMSF QROPS
Mark Russell Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Mayers Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
MC Preston Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
McAteer 55 Plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
McCarroll Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
McConnell Family Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
McConochie Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
McCormack Over 55 SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
MCD – SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
McIntyre Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Mclauchlan 55 Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
McNee Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
McQuarrie-Dunn Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Michael Russell Thornham Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Middlesex Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Miles Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Military Superannuation and Benefits Scheme , Australian SMSF QROPS
MJC2015 Over 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Moller & Hughes Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Money Penney Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Murrandy Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Muxlow Retire Tasmania Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
N & C Pigott Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
N Saunders Over 55 Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
NCDA Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Neil Anderson Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Neil Dickson 55 Plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Nichols Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Nochar Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Noon Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
NP Aged 55 SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
NP JP O’Brien Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Oakley Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Occasions Pty Ltd ATF the Valli Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ollis Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
One Nil Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Owen (Age plus 55) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
P & J Sweeney Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
P Wyns Age 55 Super Fund (SMSF) , Australian SMSF QROPS
P.Brewer Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Park View Pension Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
PB 55 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
PD & JW Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Peter Adrian Usher Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Peter J Douglas Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Phil & Marion Bryant Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Phipps Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Pickford (55 plus) Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Probuck Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Pruhonice Super , Australian SMSF QROPS
Public Sector Superannuation Accumulation Plan , Australian SMSF QROPS
Public Sector Superannuation Scheme , Australian SMSF QROPS
Puppy Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
R & C Pain Over 55 SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
R & L Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
R L Michael & T F Michael Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ras Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rayner Lawton Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
RBC Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
RBCT Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Reddy Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Regane Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Renn Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Renukas Woofie Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Richard Fuller Over 55 SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
Richard Weston Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
RL Drake Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rob Young Over 55 SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
Robert Ian Kershaw Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rogers Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rolan Goli-Molnar Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rosser L Personal Pension Scheme , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rossy Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rowley Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Roy Family Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Ryan Trust Lifetime Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Rycroft Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
RZ Beaver Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
S & J Thomas Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
S & M McLuckie Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
S & T Clarkson’s Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
S Windram Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Scholey Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Sheldon Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
SJS Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Skeoch Over 55’s Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
SLALE Pullen Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Slickenside Super , Australian SMSF QROPS
Smith Retirement SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
Smithson Family Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
South Beach Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Spychal Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Stephen Charles Farley & Lynn Teresa Farley ATF Farley Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Steve & Sue Balme Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Stockport Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Storrs Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Sue Daniels Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Super Devereaux , Australian SMSF QROPS
SuperCrossey Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Supernova Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Swift Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Synga Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
T & M Caulfield SMSF Pty ATF Caulfield Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
T and C Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
T Hibbert Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Tania Via Super Concepts 55 Plus Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Tanunda Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Three Boabs Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Tickner SMSF , Australian SMSF QROPS
Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan , Australian SMSF QROPS
TJB 55 plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
TLCR Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Tomkinson SMSF Pty Ltd ATF Tomkinson Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Tony Quinn Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Tovey Over 55 Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Trustee for Sinnington Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Turner Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
TYP 55 plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
UNCLE Superfund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Vic Sole Self-Managed Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
VT McDonald Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Wasret Pty Ltd as trustee for Wasret Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Watson Carroll Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Welsh Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Westwood 55 Plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Whalley SMSF Pty Ltd ATF Whalley Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Wight Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Wildman Family Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Willowend 55 plus Superannuation Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Wilson Ingham Retirement Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Yanda Number One Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Yorkdale 1955 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Yorkdale 1961 Super Fund , Australian SMSF QROPS
Zed Super Fund No. 2 , Australian SMSF QROPS
[/table]

You can see the latest up-to-date QROPS list for Australia here.

Please contact us to find the best Australian SMSF QROPS to suit your needs if you are moving to retire in Australia.

Transfer Pension to Australia | QROPS Australia

QROPS Australia | Transfer Your UK Pension to Australia if You are 55+ Yrs Old

New 2016 QROPS Australia rules for people looking to transfer a pension to Australia.

If you are considering moving to work and retire in Australia or if you have already retired in Australia, you should consider what you want to do with your UK pension scheme. A UK pension scheme is often taxed in the UK even if you are resident in Australia whereas most Australian Superannuation schemes are paid out tax-free at age 60.

australian qrops

The issue in the past has been Australian Supers that have not complied with UK regulations. You can see how many Australian pension schemes were closed down to UK pension transfers both in 2014 and 2015. Click these links for past articles.

However, that is all in the past now and you can transfer your pension to Australia if you are 55 years of age or older. Please click this link for the latest QROPS Australia article and news update.

QROPS Australia Rules for 2016/2017

Latest QROPS Australia Rules 2016/17 (Updated 29th September, 2016)

  • New lifetime limit for an Australian Superannuation scheme is $1.6m Australian dolars; this is the most you can contribute into an Aussie Super
  • You can only transfer into a QROPS Australia SMSF scheme if you are over 55 years old
  • If you are under 55, you can keep your pension in the UK or if you want to remove yourself from the UK tax net, you can transfer to a QROPS in the Isle of Man, Malta or New Zealand who all have Double Taxation Agreements with Australia – please email us for more information as this is a complex subject
  • From 1 July 2017, the annual Non-Concessional Contributions (NCC) cap will be $100,000 per year
  • Individuals under age 65 will be eligible to bring forward 3 years ($300,000) of NCCs
  • If you move fast and transfer your pension BEFORE 30th June 2017, you can transfer $540,000 (approx. 318,000 GBP) straight away into an Australian QROPS SMSF 55 Plus Pension Scheme
  • The work test will continue to apply for individuals aged between 65 and 74, i.e. if you are 67 years old and living in Australia, you need to be working 40 hours per month in employment to move your UK pension to an Australian QROPS

If you want to transfer a pension to Australia from the UK, you should consider all your options. We can introduce you to both UK and Australian financial advisers to target the best outcome for your retirement fund.

This article attempts to simplify financial advice for any Brits resident in Australia or moving to Australia. Australians who have worked in the UK can also transfer their pensions offshore. This is also a guidebook for financial advisers looking to give fiduciary advice for their clients moving to Australia.

Many British expats in Australia will have frozen pensions in the UK or will have simply left their pensions under UK rules, but this has tax implications. Out of all the destinations, for British expats considering retiring abroad, retirement in Australia throws up the most complex rules and you need to contact a QROPS Specialist to let them know of your circumstances for detailed, tailored advice.

QROPS Australia Comparison Table

The table below looks at the key features of an Australian QROPS SMSF 55 Plus against Malta QROPS, NZ QROPS and UK Rules.

[table]
Pension Feature, UK Rules, Australian QROPS, Malta QROPS, NZ QROPS
Lump Sum Allowed, 25%, As many as wanted after 60 years of age, 30% fund value after 5 years of non–UK residency, 30% of tax relieved funds plus 100% of any investment growth
Contributions Taxable, No, Yes, No, No
Max Annual Income Permitted, Flexible Drawdown, No Limit, Flexible Drawdown, 150% GAD within 5 years of non-UK residency. Actuarial basis after 5 years of non UK residency
Income Tax Payable, up to 45%, 0% after 60 and 15% 55-60*, Australian Income Tax, Australian Income Tax
Tax on Death, Up to 45%, 0%, 0%, 0%
Min Age for Transfer, N/A, 55 (max 65 unless working in Australia, 18, 18
Min Age to Access Pension Benefits, 55, 55/60*, 55, 55
[/table]

*Pensions are available after the age of 55 (subject to date of birth as the age increases) subject to meeting a condition of release.  This type of pension is called a Transition to Retirement (TRIS).

There is an Australian pension cap and pension cap tax if you go over the lifetime limit of A$1,600,000.

The maximum you can transfer from a UK pension to an Australian SMSF is $540,000 Australian dollars (around 318,000 pounds) if you transfer before 30th June 2017 and you also need to be between 55 and 74 years of age. So, please contact us straight away if this is the case.

You can see quite easily from above that if you are considering retiring in Australia, a Malta or NZ QROPS is not optimal as you would be paying Australian income tax, so these options are reserved for people under the age of 55 who need to move their pension out of the UK tax net or if your final retirement destination is outside Australia.

The History of QROPS Australia

history qrops

On the 2nd July 2015, HMRC removed ALL QROPS in Australia from their QROPS list bar one, the Local Government Australian Pension Scheme for failing to meet the age requirements.

The Local Government Australian Pension Scheme or LG Super only accepted members who have worked for the Australian local government, so would have been unsuitable for most British expats.

However, Australian lawyers worked with large pension companies and Superplus in Australia became the first Australian pension company to change their deeds in order to allow an Australian SMSF to accept UK pension transfers. They did this by raising the transfer age for incoming UK pension transfers to 55 years of age.

This is because, previously, Australian Supers allowed access before age 55 for financial hardship and illness, which the new UK HMRC ROPS rules wouldn’t allow.

However, there are still issues. Anyone aged over 65 years of age and not employed in Australia and anyone under 55, still can’t move their pensions to Australia. The Budget proposal as of 3rd May, 2016 will allow for further contributions of $25,000 per year up to the age of 74 and a work test is required.

If you are 65 and want to transfer your pensions, you can work part-time for 40 hours per month either consulting, baby sitting, lawnmowing or gardening to satisfty the work test. You also need to get a Tax File Number (TFN).

For these Australian residents, we suggest keeping your pension in the UK or moving to an Australian denominated UK SIPP or moving to a QROPS in New Zealand, Hong Kong or Malta. This all depends on your circumstances including your final retirement destination.

At the moment, if you want to transfer your UK pension out of the UK tax net, the most popular offshore option is a QROPS in Malta or a UK SIPP for Under 55’s and an Australian SMSF for over 55’s. More below.

Delisted Australian QROPS

If you have transferred to a QROPS in Australia set up before April 6th, 2015, your pension is OK and now will just be in a delisted scheme, but there is no unauthorised tax charge from HMRC. Most of these Australian pension schemes will be rewriting their deeds to accept British pensioners over the age of 55. If your Australian Super has not rewritten its deeds, I suggest you get them to contact DirectDocs.au to get their deeds up to UK HMRC compliance standard.

Those that transferred into a delisted Australian QROPS, make sure you didn’t receive any benefits before 55 or bought residential property for example, which would attract a 55% unauthorised tax charge of 55%. For those that have transferred already, you may want to keep up with the latest Australian QROPS news here which includes options on how to appeal and the actions you need to take now.

For those that have not transferred yet, please click on our latest article which deals with UK pension transfers to Australian SMSF 55 Plus retirement plans.

Why a New Zealand QROPS isn’t Suitable for Residents in Australia Despite the NZ-Australia DTA

There is a Double Taxation Agreement between New Zealand and Australia, so why shouldn’t I just move my UK pension to New Zealand?

Here is where I think a lot of the confusion arises from the NZ/Australia DTA. It only applies for transfers between the schemes, so you would still have to transfer it to Australia, otherwise it would be taxed.

So, if you transfer your Kiwisaver scheme to Australia, you would pay no tax on the amount. However, an Australian/New Zealander resident in Australia who still holds a Kiwi Super fund and doesn’t transfer it, would pay tax on the taxable investment returns for life and tax on the income they took from it above the statutory tax free exemption of $18,200 for 2016/17.

Transfers from a New Zealand Kiwisaver scheme are not taxed when you transfer them to a participating Australian super fund. They are also tax-free when you withdraw them from your super account once you are legally allowed to access them. But, here lies the first problem. Kiwisaver schemes were delisted from being NZ QROPS as they failed the pension member age test. Whilst there are other NZ QROPS schemes available, they are not Kiwisaver schemes. an HMRC approved NZ QROPS cannot be transferred to an Australian QROPS.

Plus, there are other issues as well. You cannot access a Kiwisaver scheme until you reach 65 years of age and also may not be transferred into Australian self-managed super funds (SMF’s). Seeing as all the approved Australian QROPS are SMSF’s, this pretty much kills NZ QROPS as an option, leaving Malta ROPS.

Transfer Your UK Pension to Malta and Take Your Pension in Australia Earlier at 55 Rather Than 60

British expats looking to retire in Australia can now avoid UK taxes through transferring their UK pension to Australia via a Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme. You can either have your UK pension transferred to a QROPS in Australia where your GBP pension is transferred into Australian Dollars or you can transfer it to a QROPS in Malta or Hong Kong and hold your pension in GBP, EUR or USD. Malta has a double taxation agreement (DTA) with Australia. Hong Kong is a better option for those who are under 55 and maybe want to retire outside Australia, for example in South East Asia and Malta is perhaps a better option for those who will finally retire in Europe.

A QROPS in Malta or Hong Kong can grow tax-free at source. A UK pension transfer to Malta / Hong Kong increases your pension investment & currency options.

For younger pension savers (under 55 years of age) and those unsure if they want to retire in Australia, transferring your UK pension to Malta whilst resident in Australia will leave your options open. You can choose the currency of your pension and the risk level of your pension scheme.

British expats who want to access their UK pension at 55, rather than waiting until 60 can take a 30% tax-free lump sum in Malta and the rest of their pension if they choose, you just would have to pay Australian income tax on it.

Benefits of a Malta QROPS for Residents in Australia

  • No tax on growth
  • No tax on death
  • Full flexible drawdown available
  • 100% of pension pot can be distributed on death to whomever you choose, e.g. 50% partner, 50% to children
  • Client can choose the currency – transfer your UK pension to AUD, USD, EUR, GBP, etc.
  • Can transfer into an Australian SMSF or Aussie Super at a later date if allowed and these pensions return to the QROPS list
  • Australian income tax only, no UK or Malta income tax
  • Client can control what he invests in

Video Explaining UK Pension Transfer to Australia

“British expats who want to retire early in Australia can transfer their UK pension to Malta and take their pension benefits at age 55 in Australia as long as they have already lived offshore for 5 years. Otherwise, they will have to wait, as under Australian Super rules, you can only take an Australian pension income at age 60.”

Transferring a UK pension to Malta whilst resident in Australia; your pension grows tax-free in Malta and is paid out gross in Malta. This avoids paying UK taxes legally. Your pension is then paid into your Australian bank account where you pay Australian tax on the income. Alternatively, you can transfer into an Australian Super at a late date. Once in an Australian Super, there is no tax on income after 60.

UK Pension Transfer to Australia Example Ethel is 65, she is originally from the UK, but married an Australian and has her family in Australia and will certainly retire there. A UK pension transfer to Australia is likely the best option. John is 40 and has a private pension in the UK and a final salary pension from the UK company he worked for since leaving college. He is not sure if he will retire in Australia. A UK pension transfer to Malta might be the best option where he has much greater control over his investments and is seeking higher capital growth on his pension. He will then look at his pension options again near retirement age and may move into an Aussie Super at that stage or leave in a Malta QROPS.

You will still have to pay Australian taxes if you transfer to a QROPS in Malta, but you can defer them. The advantage of the Malta QROPS option is that you can keep it in GBP or move to US Dollars, which is particularly advantageous at the moment, as the Pound and US Dollar are so much stronger than the weak Aussie Dollar. You also get a wider choice of funds to choose from which may help your portfolio to grow at a better rate. This is also the choice if you are unsure where you will retire.

A Malta QROPS can be used if you are retiring at other destinations around the world. You can transfer a Maltese QROPS to an Australian Super at a later date. You can also access your pension earlier at the age of 55 if you have already lived in Australia for 5 years. A Malta QROPS allows full flexible drawdown like the UK, so if you want to access your pension 5 years earlier, Malta may be a better option or leaving your pension in the UK.

Transferring Your UK Pension Directly to an Australian Super – An Australian QROPS

Update 5th May 2016 – Transfers to QROPS in Australia are now allowed as long as they are into an Australian SMSF for Over 55’s.

If you want to take a pension in Australia, a direct transfer of a UK pension to an Australian Super is aimed at people who wish to retire in Australia permanently. The Australian retirement age is 60 years old for Australian Super members taking pension income. Australians who have built up a substantial pension in the UK can also transfer their pensions offshore to avoid UK taxes.

Many Australians have worked in the UK and for some who have been there for many years, they will have built up a substantial pension. Australians can transfer their UK pension out of the UK tax net and have freedom of the currency you invest in as well as fund choice. An Australian who has worked in the UK can transfer their UK pension to an Australian Super when they return to Australia.

Lifetime Cap on Contributions to Australian Pensions

Under the new proposals in May 2016, the  lifetime cap was A$500,000 per person as a Non-Concessional after tax contribution.  In addition $25,000 can be contributed up to the age of 74 as a Concessional tax deductable contribution.  A person can use 5 years of contributions ( up to $125,000) in arrears. However, for 2016/17, this cap has now been increased back to $1,600,000 Australian dollars.

retire in Australia

Transfer Pension to Australia

  • You must be over 55 years of age
  • UK state pensions cannot be transferred to a QROPS, but can be paid directly into your Australian bank account
  • UK SIPPs, SSAS, final salary pensions not in payment and private pensions in the UK can be transferred to an Australian QROPS SMSF 55 Plus
  • UK public pensions cannot be transferred to a QROPS

Do You Qualify for a British Pension if You are from the UK But Live in Australia?

Yes. But, you cannot transfer a UK state pension to Australia. Also, you pay UK tax on a pension in Australia as the Double Taxation Agreements between the countries doesn’t cover state pensions.

Do You Qualify for a British Pension in Australia?

If you are have migrated to Australia from the UK or have built up a UK state pension, then provided that you have fully paid into UK National Insurance Contributions (NIC’s), then you are probably entitled to a UK State Pension.

Pensionable age is currently 65 for men and 60 for women, although the pension age for women is rising gradually to equal that of men. Once the retirement age for women reaches 65 it will start to rise for both sexes. If you are in your forties, pension age will likely be age 67. The UK state pension is separate from any private pensions in the UK or final salary pensions that you may have accrued in the UK. State pensions cannot be transferred to a QROPS, but they can be paid into your bank account in Australia.

How Do I Qualify for a UK State Pension in Australia?

You must have contributed for a minimum of 10 years in the UK to your National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and you need to have contributed for 30 years for a full pension. You can back pay your contributions. Please email us for the latest news.

Do I Qualify for an Australian Pension as a British Expat in Australia?

The Australian age pension is non-contributory, and it is means tested. British migrants resident in Australia are
not eligible for the Australian pension until they have held Australian Permanent Residency (PR) rights for 10 years.

“You will be disqualified from entitlement to an Australian pension for as long as your assets and income, including your British pension, exceed the limits specified in the Australian means test.”

Your UK state pension will not be indexed to inflation, i.e., your pension will remain frozen, it will not rise in line with inflation and you will get no compensation from Australia.

transfer pension to australia

Over 23,000 UK citizens moved permanently abroad to Australia last year which represents over 15% of the total number of people moving to Australia per annum. Some Britons wait until they retire before moving abroad with the expectation of not having to worry about earning a living and relying instead on their pension to provide a regular income. If this is indeed the case and you have contributed to a pension scheme during your working life then you will want to get the most from it that can be taken.

If you have already moved to Australia or are planning to do so, you should seriously consider your pension transfer options and in particular transferring your UK pension into a QROPS as there are a multitude of benefits to be gained by doing so, although you also need to be aware of the new UK budget changes 2015 which will affect your pension if left in the UK. One of the major benefits of transferring your UK pension into a QROPS in Australia is that you avoid the UK death tax. If you leave your pension in the UK, you can look forward to up to 45% death tax charge, although they are talking about reducing this charge in the UK budget, although it still hasn’t happened.

Will I Get Taxed on My UK Pension in Australia if I Leave it in the UK?

By leaving your pension fund in the UK, Australia will apply tax to your pension in retirement and possibly also on the annual growth of your pension fund before retirement at your marginal rate of tax. Pensions which are paid to your spouse and dependent children will also be at a reduced rate.

However, if you transfer your UK pension fund to a QROPS in Australia you may receive a tax-free pension in retirement at age 60. You can also transfer to a Malta QROPS first and take an earlier pension at age 55 rather than 60. Furthermore, you have a much wider range of investment vehicles you can use to try to get a superior rate of growth on your pension.

Moving Your Pension to an Australian Super | QROPS Australia

QROPS in Australia. Moving your UK Pension to an Australian Superannuation Scheme Transferring to a superannuation fund in Australia which is a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) is a process that involves:

  • Checking your current scheme arrangements and being aware of the features and benefits being potentially given up.
  • Completing applications for the Australian Superannuation Fund and filling out the discharge/transfer forms for your UK Pension(s).

The pension funds transferred are sent by BACS, from your current pension fund into your Australian superannuation fund. They should not be paid into any other account and they are consequently secure.

QROPS Australia – Investments & Mutual Funds Available

Each QROPS Australian Super has their own funds. Some are discretionary managed. The Self Invested Schemes (SIS) and Self Managed Super Funds (Aussie SMF’s) allow more flexibility.

QROPS Australia Providers

Popular QROPS Australia providers include Super Plus, Virgin, Care Super and Sun Super. The top 10 Australian Super funds for 2014 were:

  • AUSCOAL Super
  • AustralianSuper
  • CareSuper
  • Catholic Super
  • HESTA Super
  • HOSTPLUS
  • LGsuper
  • QSuper
  • Sunsuper
  • Telstra Super

A comparison of Australian Super returns can be found here.

However, many of these have been stuck off HMRC’s list as their Trust Deed still allows for early release and would checked to be checked on a case by case basis.  My understanding is that most are retail funds so wide open for members to join and thus, not a ROPS in the eyes of HMRC.

QROPS Australia List

There is an extensive list of Australian QROPS which can be seen on the HMRC’s website. Many of these are employer specific. There is a very competitive arrangement called an Australian Super. A QROPS Australian Super is a good fit if you have already retired in Australia and are about to receive pension income. If a more self-managed approach is required then self-invested schemes are also available via either a UK Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or through a QROPS.

Australian QROPS Rules

The UK system works on the principal of tax relief and largely tax-free growth when paying into your pension with the ultimate retirement benefits being taxed when you receive retirement benefits in the UK, typically at 55 years old. The Australian system for QROPS transfers is one of taxation of the retirement fund growth, but allowing tax-free benefits at retirement after your reach 60 years old.

Although, George Osbourne is changing all this and considering using an Australian type pension scheme where you pay tax on the way in rather than the way out.

An individual can elect to have the tax liability paid by the Australian Superannuation fund rather than themselves. The tax is 15% on the growth of the Aussie Super and the balance is regarded as contributions which haven’t been deducted. Without an election to pay at the concessionary rate of 15%, tax is imposed on the individual’s marginal tax rate which is usually only advisable for low earners.

QROPS Australia Transfer Restrictions

A UK pension can be transferred to a QROPS in Australia, although there are restrictions on some of the schemes allowed (as they have to be HMRC QROPS compatible) and the amounts you can transfer to an Australian QROPS are capped. The lifetime cap is now AUD 500,000.  You can contribute an extra $25,000 per year after transfer which is tax-deductible and you can top up your pensions with 5 years’ worth of missed contributions.

N.B. If the transfer value exceeds these limits, your Aussie retirement fund will tax the excess at 46.5%. Furthermore, any excess amount can be rejected by the Trustees of the fund.

Excesses therefore should be transferred in subsequent years or into QROPS in other jurisdictions, such as a move into a Malta QROPS. The value that represents the growth component of the fund since your date of Australian residency to the actual date of transfer will not form part of these contributions limits. If you transfer your funds to Australia after 6 months of tax residency, you are taxable on the growth since that date. You can elect for the Aussie Superannuation fund to pay the tax on the growth at 15% or you can be taxed personally at your marginal rate of tax, whichever is suitable. There are no death duties in Australia. However, certain payments to Non Death Benefit Dependents would be subject to tax at 15% or 30%.

What Happens to My QROPS if I Move Back to the UK from Australia?

What happens if I transfer to an Australian QROPS and then return to the UK? It may be possible to transfer your Australian QROPS pension to the UK depending on your current visa and on the conditions of the QROPS. Most Australian QROPS also doesn’t allow you to transfer funds until you are 60 as a UK resident.

If you have already been offshore for 5 years, you can transfer to a QNUPS and that wouldn’t be a taxable event.

Also, there could be an Australian exit tax charge of 30%. So, if you are not going to retire permanently in Australia, then a move to a Malta QROPS makes more sense than transferring your UK pension directly to Australia.

Under a Malta QROPS, if you return to the UK, the QROPS acts in a vein similar to a UK SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) structure and you would be taxed under UK rules, but there would not be a 30% exit tax charge for moving as there would be under an Australian QROPS.

Consider a UK Pension Transfer to a QROPS in Malta First Rather than a Direct Transfer to a QROPS in Australia

If you are not intending to retire in Australia for the rest of your life or if you want to keep your pension in GBP or move to another currency such as USD and want a wider range of funds to invest in, then transferring your UK pension to a QROPS in Malta may be your best option. It will grow free from Maltese tax and UK tax. You then pay Australian tax when you receive your retirement benefits at retirement or alternatively, transfer into an Australian QROPS at a later date, so there is no tax on your pension income. Although, there would be some Australian tax to pay on the growth.

Benefits of a Malta QROPS for a Resident in Australia

  • You will avoid the 45% death tax upon death after 75 in the UK upon drawdown
  • You will avoid the tax charge upon any transfer to Australia (this will either be taxed at 15% or your highest marginal rate of tax, depending upon how the transfer is structured; and is based upon any growth in your pension fund since you became a permanent resident of Australia. *see below
  • You will avoid the annual growth within an Australian superannuation fund which is subject to tax, normally at a rate of 15%.
  • You can choose to keep your pension in GBP or transfer to any currency you like, such as the strong US Dollar (March 2015)
  • If you ever return to live in the UK or live in another country and you move to an Australian QROPS, you cannot move the pension out from Australia without a hefty tax imposed. A Malta QROPS will give you more flexibility.

*A tax charge will still apply if you decide to transfer to a pension fund in Australia in the future, but by keeping your fund outside of Australia you avoid the need for a tax charge now; plus on-going annual growth charges. You will only pay the tax at a time when you are certain that you are not going to return to the UK. It may also be possible that other options outside of Australia may be more beneficial, even in the event that you remain in Australia indefinitely.

QROPS Australia Summary

If pension remains in the UK:

  • Flexible pension benefits allowed, but income will remained tax at your highest marginal rate (20% – 45%)
  • Only 25% tax-free lump sum allowed at 55
  • Tax on death of up to 45% after 75 years of age
  • Restricted investment options
  • Restricted currency options in most cases

If UK pension is transferred to Australian Superannuation fund:

  • All payments will be tax free at age 60; plus concessional tax rates if you draw early at 55 – 60
  • There are also no restrictions on the amount you can withdraw.
  • We have discounted transferring to Australia at this time for all the reasons previously highlighted (e.g. poor exchange rates, tax on growth in the fund, heavy exit tax).
  • Lump sum allowed: 100% at 60 as long as you have been a non-UK resident for 5 or more complete tax years.

If UK pension is transferred to a Malta QROPS:

  • You are transferring outside of the UK whilst current UK legislation still allows and any transfers should be protected from any future changes in UK rules.
  • UK pension freedoms allowed in Malta, so you can drawdown the entire amount tax-free in Malta
  • No UK taxes would apply whilst you are tax-resident abroad
  • Diversification of assets. The Malta QROPS allows you to invest in shares, mutual funds, ETF’s, government bonds, other bonds, etc from most of the world’s major stock markets and exchanges. This means we can attempt to target a higher return on your investment. Keeps your investment in GBP and avoids 55% tax upon death whilst in drawdown.
  • Currency freedom – invest in any currency you like.
  • If you return to the UK and hold a QROPS – This can be transferred to a QNUPS the UK tax year prior to when you become UK resident again. Under current legislation the payment from a QNUPS on death is not a reportable event and will not be subject to a 55% recovery charge
  • Tax-free lump sum allowed: 100%. Your pension can then be paid out to your Australian bank account every 3 years. Total pension flexibility allowed, the same as UK rules.

Why a Malta QROPS Vs. Aussie Super? HMRC cannot legislate currently or retrospectively against a regulated pension in an EU member state. With a wide network of double tax treaties, a Maltese QROPS does not have to rely on statutory instruments to ensure tax efficient withdrawals.

A double tax treaty which covers pensions exists between Malta and Australia. Thus, you can draw your entire pension tax-free in Malta with no UK or Maltese taxes imposed.

Income Tax in Australia for British Expats: These are the taxes you would pay upon drawdown when you receive your retirement payments from a QROPS in Malta: Australian Income Taxes Alternatively, you can transfer to a QROPS in Australia at a later date and avoid tax on your pension income in Malta.

For a QROPS in Australia, there are no Australian taxes from age 60 providing the Superannuation Fund is providing an income stream to the member.

Under the new proposed rules each member will be limited to a Pension Account Balance of A$1.6m and the balance will be in an Accumulation Account which will attract 15% tax on income and growth.

Given the new contribution limits  of A$500,000 it not possible for a QROPS transfer to reach the new proposed limits. Each individual will have different circumstances. Some clients are better off leaving their pension where it is in the UK or transferring their UK pension to a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or a Malta QROPS if they are considering moving to Australia, especially if they are unsure of where they will retire to.

For clients who are considering retirement in Australia and are living their already, it maybe prudent consider transferring your pension to a QROPS in Australia (these are no longer available from 1st August, 2015). For clients who wish to retire abroad, but not sure if they will settle in Australia, but are considering moving to Australia, than they should consider a Malta QROPS. Other clients seeking early retirement in Australia or who want more control over their pension may consider transferring to a Malta QROPS now and then drip feed the offshore pension into an Australian QROPS (an Australian Super) at a later date.

We need to assess your circumstances to give an informed opinion. If you have a final salary pension, we will aslos seek UK FCA regulated opinion and require a pension transfer analysis report (TVAS) to compare the benefits of transferring with staying in the UK.

We work with Australian regulated advisers with AFS licence for transfers to Australian SMSF’s.

Please send all enquiries to info@qropsspecialists.com

Warning! QROPS Scams – How Do I Avoid Them?

QROPS Scams | The HMRC QROPS Fraud Squad

QROPS Scams – This article looks at QROPS scams and now to avoid them. HMRC have helpfully set up an HMRC fraud squad to deal with the issues. Thankfully, most of the QROPS scams have disappeared now that HMRC tightened regulations in 2015, the main issue is to look out for unregulated funds which can cause issues, however that is an issue of the liquidity of those funds, not the QROPS structure itself, which in most cases is fundamentally sound and built around the same rules UK pensions face.

“The Government has set up a specialist unit to look into transfers of pensions into QROPS due to concerns about fraudulent activity and irresponsible transfers, if not QROPS scams. Mis-selling of QROPS have been reported, but it seems to be in the minority.”

HMRC has set up a specialist fraud squad unit to handle QROPS transfers after problems in Singapore and Hong Kong. Currently, NZ used to offer a QROPS scheme which financial advisers are promoting as allowing you access to 100% of your pension as an upfront lump sum payment after 5 years offshore if an expat is over 55. The spirit of a QROPS scheme typically is to allow only a 30% lump sum and the rest of the pension must be used to provide a pension income for life.

However, since HMRC’s clampdown, the QROPS arena is much safer. Most jurisdictions have now fallen in line and QROPS scams are falling off. Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Isle of Man and Hong Kong have all tightened up their pension regulations to fall in line with HMRC’s new ROPS rules.

The specialist QROPS unit is a sub-division of the Anti-Fraud Unit. An HMRC spokesman says the unit, contained within its pension scheme services department, works with members of the Pensions Regulator and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK.

It is not surprising that HMRC is scrutinizing schemes. we’ve heard stories of financial advisers taking large upfront commissions to cash in a client’s pension, leaving them with little to retire on.

In the past, some offering QROPS were bending the rules in the industry, which is a shame as a proper ROPS which follows HMRC rules is perfectly legal. There were many innocent advisers working with QROPS providers in other countries who were not aware what the QROPS providers are doing.

However, in 2015, HMRC really started to clampdown on any QROPS scams and now we would argue that QROPS are safer than many UK SIPPs which allow many unregulated investments as you can see from this HMRC alert about SIPPs. Unlike SIPPs, a QROPS has to sign off on every investment, which means both your financial adviser and your pension trustee must sign off on any investment decisions giving two levels of due dilligence to reduce risk.

QROPS Scams | QROPS Singapore

In 2008, the Inland Revenue (HMRC) deregistered all Singapore-based QROPS, leaving members with a possible 55% clawback on their pension pot. However, the pension members won the court battle and have paid no extra tax on their UK pension transfers to a QROPS. But, the Singapore QROPS industry now remains closed to new members thanks to the costly court case.

Last year, HMRC revoked the status of a Hong Kong based scheme as it failed to meet the necessary criteria. However, it was re-registered and now Hong Kong ROPS are amongst the most popular jurisdictions to transfer your pension to.

QROPS Scams | QROPS NZ

Most issues in New Zealand concerning QROPS have now been resolved and New Zealand is open for business as usual. In fact with their tight regulatory system, New Zealand is one of the safest places to park QROPS monies. Most QROPS in New Zealand are pooled and have a discretionary fund manager who looks after the investments. You can read more about how QROPS in New Zealand have changed here, How QROPS in NZ have changed.

Avoiding QROPS Scams

How do I avoid a QROPS scam?

The safest jurisdictions for QROPS transfers are Australia, the Isle of Man, Malta, Hong Kong and New Zealand who have to adhere more strictly to HMRC’s rules and have local pensions’ regulators who supervise them. Contact a QROPS specialist to avoid fraud and make sure there aren’t any unnecessary retrospective tax charges on your pension transfer(s).

New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malta and the Isle of Man transfers are allowed and will help to reduce your taxes in many cases as well as help manage currency fluctuations affecting your pension income . If you have multiple homes in the UK, you can also help to shelter them from inheritance tax through transfers into Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes or QNUPS, although this needs careful consideration as it is effectively moving your pension into a pension scheme with all the rules that go along with it.

Whilst there seems to be few reports of QROPS scams as far as pensions being transferred and the client losing their entire pension, wrong and irresponsible advice has led to clients’ pension monies being frozen as well as tax clawbacks wiping out substantial parts of their pension. For responsible, ethical advice, please send enquiries to a QROPS specialist in order to protect your pension as well as make sure your transfer complies with HMRC rules and the spirit of the law.

Also, make sure all your investments are listed on regulated exchanges such as the FTSE or S&P500. Here is a useful article from the money advice service on how to avoid high risk, unregulated investments. A QROPS specialist would also be able to help navigate risk for you and diversify your portfolio to contain the correct stock/bond mix for your risk profile.

You can read HMRC’s warning here on pension transfers and which transfers are acceptable, i.e. QROPS.

Click here to contact us if you want advice on legal QROPS transfers.

QROPS Scams article by QROPS Specialists

qrops warning