The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have left the market for offshore expat pensions unaffected.
New pensions are added to the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) at the same rate as pre-pandemic levels and show no signs of abating.
Ten pensions opened and two closed since the last HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) official list was published at the turn of the year.
The largest QROPS market – Australia – saw the 10 new pensions open.
Two schemes were delisted – one in Isle of Man and the other in Malta.
The total number of QROPS stands at 2,112 – the highest number since June 2015.
Australia has a 56% market share by number of schemes, while the top 10 QROPS centres account for 98% of the market, hosting 2,064 pensions.
HMRC QROPS List – By country
|Country||No of QROPS|
|Isle of Man||361|
HMRC QROPS List – Top 10 countries November 2020
Countries by number of QROPS listed offering the most QROPS:
|Country||No of QROPS|
|Isle of Man||361|
HMRC QROPS List – Changes
QROPS pensions added, amended, or removed in the latest list:
|AK Robinson Super Fund||Australia||x|
|Clayton Ford Super Fund||Australia||x|
|Crellin Super Fund||Australia||x|
|D and L Ridgway SMSF Super Fund||Australia||x|
|Divinus Locus Superannuation Fund||Australia||x|
|M&D Downes Super Fund||Australia||x|
|Ruscojul Super Fund||Australia||x|
|SM & MC Dickinson Superfund||Australia||x|
|Weight Family Super Fund||Australia||x|
|Yeandle Superannuation Fund||Australia||x|
|ZJP SIPP||Isle of Man||x|
|Synergy International Pension Plan||Malta||x|
|QROPS listed January 04, 2021:||2104|
|Net change since January 04, 2021:||8|
|QROPS listed January 15, 2021:||2112|
|Countries with QROPS listed January 04, 2021:||27|
|Net change since January 04, 2021:||0|
|Countries with QROPS listed January 15, 2021:||27|
|The next QROPS list is due on February 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:
- 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.
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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