QROPS List – January 15, 2020

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
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Eleven new Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Schemes opened in the first two weeks of January 2020.

The number of QROPS increased to 1844 across 28 countries –  up 329 from 1515 on January 1, 2019.

Top of the QROPS listings is Australia with 1,065 expat pensions – just under 58% of all QROPS listed worldwide across 28 countries.

In fact, the he top 10 QROPS centres represent 97% of 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 favourite QROPS centre with 359 pensions listed, which is almost 20% of the market.

HMRC QROPS List – By country

CountryNo of QROPS% of Total
Australia106557.75%
Isle of Man35919.47%
Ireland683.69%
Guernsey663.58%
Jersey653.52%
Netherlands552.98%
Malta361.95%
Gibraltar361.95%
New Zealand331.79%
India130.70%
Hong Kong100.54%
Germany70.38%
Austria40.22%
Canada30.16%
Bulgaria30.16%
Latvia30.16%
Luxembourg20.11%
Belgium20.11%
USA20.11%
Kenya20.11%
Liechtenstein20.11%
Denmark20.11%
Sweden10.05%
Finland10.05%
Switzerland10.05%
Barbados10.05%
Norway10.05%
EU Institution10.05%
Total:1844100.00%

Data Source: HMRC

HMRC QROPS List – Changes

QROPS pensions added, amended or removed from the list since January 1, 2020.

QROPSCountryAddedAmendedRemoved
007 Superannuation FundAustraliax
Burgess Super FundAustraliax
Jon Hayward Superannuation FundAustraliax
JS Band Super FundAustraliax
Lee Family Super FundAustraliax
Madgasman Super FundAustraliax
Michael ES Superannuation FundAustraliax
Milburn Super FundAustraliax
Outrospective Super FundAustraliax
Top Hat Superannuation FundAustraliax
CNIW Personal Pension SchemeIsleof Manx
Totals:1100
QROPS listed January 01, 2020:1833
Net change since January 01, 2020:11
QROPS listed January  15, 2020: 1844
QROPS countryCountryAddedRemoved
No change
Totals:00
Countries with QROPS listed January  15, 2020:28
Net change since January 01, 2020:0
Countries with QROPS listed January  15, 2020: 28
The next QROPS list is due on February 01, 2020

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 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
  • 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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