QROPS List – January 1, 2020

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

The Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme has started the new decade with seven new pensions for expats added to the global list..

The number of QROPS has increased to 1833 across 28 countries –  up 321 from 1512 on January 1, 2019.

The latest QROPS list published by HM Revenue & Customs shows Australia started 2020 the same way as ending 2019 as the country offering the most QROPS, with 803 on January 1, 2019, rising to 1055 on January 1, 2020, reflecting a 32% rise.

The Isle of Man ranks as the second favourite QROPS centre with 358 pensions listed, which is about 20% of the market.

None of the remaining 26 financial centres hits triple figures, with Ireland trailing in third place with 68 QROPS, just ahead of Guernsey (66) and Jersey (65).

HMRC QROPS List – By country

CountryNo of QROPS
EU Institution1
Hong Kong10
Isle of Man358
New Zealand33

Data Source: HMRC

HMRC QROPS List – Changes

QROPS pensions added, amended or removed from the list since December 15, 2019.

QROPSCountryAddedAmended Removed
Chauhan55 Super FundAustraliax  
De Souza Superannuation FundAustraliax  
Denby Horwell Family SMSFAustraliax  
McConalogue Superannuation FundAustraliax  
S & D Watts Self-Managed Superannuation FundAustraliax  
Cidel Alternate Retirement Plan (“CARP”)Canadax  
Different Corner LimitedJerseyx  
Totals: 700
QROPS listed December 15, 2019:   1826
Net change since December 15, 2019:   7
QROPS listed January  1, 2020:    1833

Data source: HMRC

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 details the changes.

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 this before transferring any money.

The next HM Revenue and Customs QROPS List is scheduled for January 15, 2020.

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

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

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