New Zealand Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) have seen 23 expat pensions delisted in the past two weeks.
The HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) QROPS List for May 1 listed 57 pensions – which has been sliced to 34 on publication of the latest list.
HMRC declines to comment on why schemes are delisted, but the reason is thought to be that many New Zealand pensions fail to meet the QROPS rule that bans payments to anyone under the age of 55 years old.
Many New Zealand QROPS allow savers to withdraw money at a younger age to pay off debts or for home buying.
Speculation has been rife in the pensions industry that many New Zealand and Australian QROPS will lose their status following the introduction of strict flexible access rules in Britain from April 6, 2015.
However, the number of Australia QROPS has remained static at 1,654 pensions. This is unusual as until recently, Australian providers were opening the pensions at a rate of one a day.
Australia is by far the largest QROPS financial jurisdiction – with just under a 45% of the market.
Other QROPS changes this week include:
- New listings in Guernsey (2), the Isle of Man (2), Hong Kong (1) and Malta (1)
- Delisted QROPS in New Zealand (23), Jersey (2), South Africa (1) and the USA (1)
The latest QROPS List shows 3,702 pensions self-certifying their status in 45 financial centres, down from 3,723 in 45 jurisdictions on May 1.
The next QROPS list is expected from HMRC on June 1, 2015.
|QROPS List - May 15, 2015|
|Financial jurisdiction||No of QROPS|
|Isle of Man||237|
|Number of QROPS:||3702|