The coronavirus is expected to start hitting pension transfers to the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) soon.
Pension regulators in the UK have given permission for providers to delay delivering the cash equivalent transfer value of a fund for up to three months.
This could mean expats waiting to transfer out of a UK pension may have their plans put on ice until life returns to normal after the lockdown.
Meanwhile, only Australia listed any changes in the official QROPS List published by HMRC for April 15, 2020.
The list shows the number of QROPS rose to 1,886 across 28 countries – a net gain of eight since the start of the month.
Australia tops the listing with 1,111 expat pensions – 59% of all QROPS listed worldwide.
The top 10 QROPS centres represent more than 97% of the QROPS expat pensions available. Only one other country outside the top 10 has QROPS in double figures – Hong Kong, with 10 schemes, which is 0.54% of the market
The latest QROPS list published by HM Revenue & Customs shows the Isle of Man ranking as the second QROPS centre with 360 pensions listed, which is almost a 20% share of the market.
HMRC QROPS List – By country
|Country||No of QROPS||% of all QROPS|
|Isle of Man||360||19.09%|
Data Source: HMRC
HMRC QROPS List – Top 10 countries
Countries by number of QROPS listed
|Country||No of QROPS|
|Isle of Man||360|
Data Source: HMRC
HMRC QROPS List – Changes
QROPS pensions added, amended or removed from the latest list
|ADNPP Super Fund||Australia||x|
|AKSU Superannuation Fund||Australia||x|
|Derek Bryan Superannuation Fund||Australia||x|
|Lloyd Superannuation Fund||Australia||x|
|Miller Superannuation Fund||Australia||x|
|WingDing Superannuation Fund||Australia||x|
|QROPS listed April 01, 2020:||1878|
|Net change since April 01, 2020:||8|
|QROPS listed April 15, 2020:||1886|
|Countries with QROPS listed April 01, 2020:||28|
|Net change since April 01, 2020:||0|
|Countries with QROPS listed April 15, 2020:||28|
|The next QROPS list is due on May 01, 2020|
The first table shows the net number of schemes for each financial jurisdiction, accounting for new listings and removals since the publication of the last list.
The second table shows the QROPS global top 10, while the third details changes in the number of QROPS and countries providing them.
What is the QROPS List?
The HMRC list tells overseas pension providers and retirement savers transferring funds from a UK pension to a QROPS or between offshore pension providers which schemes qualify for QROPS status.
QROPS providers certify their schemes meet UK offshore pension and tax rules to go on the list, but HMRC warns this does not mean any are approved or certain to be QROPS. Retirement savers should check the latest QROPS list before transferring any money.
QROPS overseas transfer charge
The overseas transfer charge is calculated as 25% of the transfer value of a fund into a QROPS or between QROPS.
For expats living inside the European Economic Area (EEA), countries offering QROPS that are not subject to the overseas transfer charge are:
- The Netherlands
QROPS countries outside the EEA
Countries outside the EEA are subject to the transfer charge if an expat does not live in the same country as the pension is administered – these are:
- Hong Kong (China)
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Other exceptions to the transfer charge may apply if the overseas scheme is run by an employer or multinational non-government organisation, such as the EU QROPS.
A five-year residence rule may also apply.