The stampede to open new Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) is continuing apace despite the latest HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) attempts to tighten up how the offshore pensions are run.
The latest QROPS list shows the number of QROPS has surged to a new record of 3,044 schemes in 46 financial jurisdictions worldwide.
That’s an increase of 29 QROPS from the publication of the last list two weeks ago.
The number of QROPS has now increased for each of the 20 new QROPS lists HMRC has released in the past year.
Malta is slowly growing its scheme choices, with Abacus launching its first Malta based QROPS which was a joint venture with Carey Pensions & Benefit and granted by the Malta Financial Services Authority recently.
The HMRC QROPS list details offshore pensions that can receive transfers from a UK onshore pension provider.
The latest changes
Investors should beware that the list is of self-certified schemes that claim they meet HMRC rules for setting up a QROPS, but none are approved by the tax man.
The new schemes are across several financial jurisdictions:
- Australia – 15
- Canada – 4
- Gibraltar, Ireland and Malta – 2 each
- France, Guernsey, Hong Kong, the Isle of Man and The Netherlands – 1 each
One scheme closed in Switzerland
Year-on-year, the number of QROPS pensions worldwide has increased by 14.5% from 2,607 pensions.
Australia has seen the greatest gain, with 233 new schemes. The next financial jurisdictions opening the most schemes are the Isle of Man (74), Ireland (57), Guernsey (32) and New Zealand (18). Ten other countries have added less than 10 schemes.
The losers in the year are Jersey (-5), Finland and Slovakia (each -4) and five countries losing a scheme each.
Slovakia has been delisted as a QROPS jurisdiction during the year.
The next QROPS list is due for publication on June 15, 2013.
QROPS schemes by financial jurisdiction – June 1, 2013
|Country||Scheme Count||% of total|
|Isle of Man||217||7.13%|
|St Vincent & The Grenadines||1||0.03%|
|Trinidad & Tobago||3||0.10%|
Source: HMRC May 15, 2013