QROPS List – November 15, 2020

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA
By

The United States is the first country to lose QROPS status for more than a year as two offshore expat pensions were delisted.

The Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) has a chequered history in the US.

The US has featured on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) QROPS List since the scheme started in April 2006 with a peak of 16 offshore pensions for expats.

In March 2016, the country lost QROPS status until April 2017, but was added to the list again by May 2017.

The Transform Group Simplified Employee Pension Plan was added in October 2017 and the Supply Chain RFID Consulting LLC SEP in March 2018. Both are now delisted.

The USA is the first country to lose QROPS status since Mauritius in October 2019.

The latest QROPS list numbers 2016 pensions, a net increase of seven since the start of November 2020.

Although nine new pensions opened – seven in Australia and two in The Netherlands – the two delisted schemes in the USA reduce the net total.

HMRC QROPS List – By country

CountryQROPS listed
Australia1268
Austria4
Barbados1
Belgium3
Bulgaria3
Canada3
Denmark2
EU Institution1
Finland1
Germany8
Gibraltar30
Guernsey68
Hong Kong10
India15
Ireland70
Isle of Man362
Jersey67
Kenya2
Latvia3
Liechtenstein1
Luxembourg2
Malta34
Netherlands66
New Zealand33
Norway1
Sweden1
Switzerland2
Grand Total2062
Data Source: HMRC

HMRC QROPS List – Top 10 countries

Countries by number of QROPS listed offering the most QROPS

CountryQROPS listed
Australia1268
Isle of Man362
Ireland70
Guernsey68
Jersey67
Netherlands66
Malta34
New Zealand33
Gibraltar30
India15
Grand Total2013
Data Source: HMRC

HMRC QROPS List – Changes

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

QROPSCountryAddedAmendedRemoved
Bradbury Super FundAustraliax
Dehn Superannuation FundAustraliax
Ogle Family SuperfundAustraliax
P & J James Superannuation FundAustraliax
P J Hughes Superannuation FundAustraliax
Powers & Liew Super FundAustraliax
Sharp Family Super FundAustraliax
Picnic Services B.V. by Brand New DayNetherlandsx
PrivacyAgent B.V. by Brand New DayNetherlandsx
Supply Chain RFID Consulting LLC SEPUSAx
Transform Group Simplified Employee Pension PlanUSAx
   
Totals:902
QROPS listed 01/11//2020: 2054
Net change since 01/11//2020: 7
QROPS listed November 15, 2020: 2061
QROPS country  AddedRemoved
USAx
  
Totals:01
Countries with QROPS listed 01/11//2020: 28
Net change since 01/11//2020: 1
Countries with QROPS listed November 15, 2020: 27
The next QROPS list is due on December 01, 2020

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
  • 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

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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