QROPS advisory services

Pension relocation made safe & simple

If you are an Indian national returning home after acquiring a pension in the UK, you can now transfer all of your fund or funds, into one tax-efficient structure.

QROPS pensions – or Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes – are the schemes recognised by HMRC to accept a UK pension. They are popular with the UK's expats and Indian nationals who have worked in the UK because of their superior tax and investment benefits. This applies to any nationality that has lived and worked in the UK and wish to relocate their UK pension.


How Can I Benefit from a QROPS?

The ability to base your pension in a country other than your country of residence

Transferring your UK pension into a QROPS can give you the choice of whether you base it in the jurisdiction where you live, or choose a different jurisdiction which has more advantageous tax legislation. Some providers offer multi-jurisdictional schemes for those who move between countries. These enable investors to transfer investments between jurisdictions and maximise efficiency without incurring extra fees.

Pension income paid without the deduction of UK income tax

Income tax is lower than the UK in many countries including tax on pension income. This means that depending on the tax laws of the country where you are domiciled, you may be able to substantially reduce your income tax liability.

No tax to pay on assets

Within a QROPS your pension fund and contributions have the freedom to grow without being subject to capital gains tax or income tax.

A tax-free lump sum of up to 30%

QROPS transfer regulations mean that only 70% of your pension fund needs to be retained as retirement income. This means that depending on the QROPS you choose, you can access up to 30% of the value of your fund as a tax-free lump sum, as opposed to 25% with a UK Personal Pension Plan. Benefits taken at age 55, or sooner QROPS offer a huge amount of flexibility on when you can take benefits. Income can be taken from 55 years of age but funds can be accessed earlier or later in special cases, for example ill health. Some QROPS jurisdictions even allow access from age 50.

Avoid inheritance taxes of up to 55%

The UK tax office assesses inheritance tax (IHT) on the total global assets of UK-domiciled individuals. Even expats resident overseas can be subject to IHT if HMRC can establish that they regarded Britain as their home at the time of death. With a Lump Sum Death Benefit Tax on pension funds deducted at 55% this can be a hefty bill for your beneficiaries. A QROPS is not subject to UK IHT or a Lump Sum Death Benefit Tax and therefore allows the full transfer of funds to your loved ones tax-free.

Easily pass on your wealth

In addition, when you transfer your pension fund into a QROPS you nominate who your beneficiaries will be, which means that the transfer of wealth to your loved ones is easy, fast and stress-free. Not always the case with UK pensions, where there may be restrictions, such as the age difference between spouses reducing the spouse pension.

Avoid currency exchange rate fluctuations

If you have a UK pension you will receive payments in sterling. If you live abroad, these are subject to exchange rate fluctuations which can seriously affect the amount you receive in your local currency from one month to the next. In addition the cost of currency conversion and the need to time your transfers to make the most of the best rates can be cumbersome. A QROPS can help to alleviate these problems.

Avoid further changes to UK tax and pension legislation

HMRC's regulations are constantly changing and are difficult to keep track of. Transferring your pension fund into a QROPS will avoid having to deal with these changes.

No Lifetime Allowance (LTA) charge

UK tax legislation sets a limit on the amount of tax relief on pensions you can benefit from before additional taxes apply. Currently this limit is £1.25 million but it could be reduced still further in the future. This means that if your total pension savings exceed this Lifetime Allowance (LTA) they could be taxed at up to 55% on the excess. Transferring to a QROPS enables you to safeguard your pension fund against this tax, and allows it to keep on growing. There is no cap on either the value of transfers or subsequent contributions to a QROPS.

Consolidation of multiple pensions into one scheme

If you have two or more different pension funds in the UK, these can be consolidated into a QROPS to make your investments easier to manage, reduce charges and maximise growth.

Charges are transparent

Some outdated UK pension schemes have been criticised for confusing charges which are often unexpected and have a significant detrimental effect for the fund. When you transfer to a QROPS your financial planner will clearly explain any charges that apply so you are clear where your money is going. In addition, while most UK pensions have percentage-based fees, most QROPS operate on a fixed fee basis.

Analysis

By working with a UK pension and international transfer specialist, we can provide unbiased analysis from a 3rd party before selecting a QROPS structure and jurisdiction that best fits a client's needs.

Wherever you are, contact us for a free UK pension assessment

contact@atwalfinancial.com