QROPS List – February 15, 2021

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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An expat retirement saver moves their UK pension offshore to the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) every day.

Just 46 days into the year, 52 new offshore QROPS pensions have opened, compared with 34 in 2020 and 25 in 2019.

Australia has seen the most QROPS changes – with 48 new QROPS added and one removed according to the HM Revenue & Customs official QROPS List.

The latest list shows 10 QROPS were added, taking the total number of available schemes worldwide to 2,137 – the highest number since June 2015.

Australia has a 62% market share by number of schemes, while the top 10 QROPS centres account for 98% of the market, hosting 2,090 pensions.

HMRC QROPS List – By country

CountryNo of QROPS
Australia1335
Austria4
Barbados1
Belgium3
Bulgaria3
Canada3
Denmark1
EU Institution1
Finland1
Germany8
Gibraltar30
Guernsey69
Hong Kong10
India16
Ireland72
Isle of Man361
Jersey70
Kenya2
Latvia3
Liechtenstein1
Luxembourg2
Malta32
Netherlands71
New Zealand34
Norway1
Sweden1
Switzerland2
Grand Total2137
Source: HMRC

HMRC QROPS List – Top 10 countries

Countries by number of QROPS listed offering the most QROPS

CountryNo of QROPS
Australia1335
Isle of Man361
Ireland72
Netherlands71
Jersey70
Guernsey69
New Zealand34
Malta32
Gibraltar30
India16
Grand Total2090
Data Source: HMRC

HMRC QROPS List – Changes

QROPS pensions added, amended, or removed in the latest list

QROPSCountryAddedAmendedRemoved
Brimar SMSF Super FundAustraliax
Goldhill Superannuation FundAustraliax
J A O’Sullivan Super FundAustraliax
KM Greig Super FundAustraliax
Manchap SuperAustraliax
Phillips QROPS FundAustraliax
The Jackie and Gary Giles Super FundAustraliax
Tierney Super FundAustraliax
The Alexander Forbes Offshore Staff Pension SchemeJerseyx
The Brooks Macdonald Occupational Pension SchemeJerseyx
Totals:1000
QROPS listed February 01, 2021: 2127
Net change since February 01, 2021: 10
QROPS listed February 15, 2021: 2137
QROPS country  AddedRemoved
N\a
Totals:00
Countries with QROPS listed February 01, 2021: 27
Net change since February 01, 2021: 0
Countries with QROPS listed February 15, 2021: 27
The next QROPS list is due on March 01, 2021

QROPS List FAQ

The QROPS List is an invaluable free tool for advisers and retirement savers seeking an expat pension.

What the list means and how to use the data is often misunderstood, so here are the answers to some of the most sked questions about QROPS expat pensions.

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:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden

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:

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Canada
  • Gibraltar
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong (China)
  • India
  • Isle of Man
  • Jersey
  • Kenya
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Switzerland

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.

Click here for official guidance on the overseas transfer charge

Why does HMRC remove pensions from the QROPS List?

Pensions are delisted for several reasons, including:

  • The provider shuts shop
  • The last pension member has left the scheme, either by transferring out, dying or exhausting the fund
  • Tax avoidance issues
  • The scheme stays a QROPS, but the provider invokes confidentiality, so is excluded from the list

Delisting should not suggest wrongdoing by a retirement saver or provider.

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