The following are some of the most common QROPS questions we are asked by our clients. If you have a specific question in mind, you can contact a regulated advisor by completing the Speak to an Advisor button on the right.
Are all QROPS the same?
Definitely not! Differences include when you can access the tax-free lump sum, how much you can take as income, and the costs. This is why it is imperative you take expert, independent advice – so you learn the best option for your unique needs and circumstances.
Who can transfer their pension into a QROPS?
Anyone with a UK pension can transfer their fund into a QROPS – providing they have not bought an annuity.
However considerations such as any pension benefits, the total amount in your pension, and where you are currently a resident all need to be considered in detail, meaning you must speak to an advisor.
Can I take 100% of my QROPS fund as a lump sum?
No, as your retirement fund needs to be able to provide income for you for the whole of your retirement, HMRC has set the lump sum limit to 25%.
I may go back to the UK in the future, can I still benefit?
If you transfer your fund into a QROPS and return to the UK after five years, there is no obligation to transfer your fund back to the UK. In fact, there are significant advantages – such as only being taxed on 90% of your pension income.
I have a UK SIPP and I have already drawn some income – can I benefit?
Even if benefits have already been taken, you can transfer most registered UK pension schemes into a QROPS.
A QROPS can be described as an advanced SIPP – in that it allows you all the same investment freedom but the ability to base your pension outside of the UK.
Can I transfer and set up a QROPS myself?
Usually no – although some QROPS ‘lite’ versions can be set up by the individual.
However a QROPS ‘lite’ means you will miss out on whole of the market advice, an expert review of your financial situation, recommendations that span the entire QROPS market, an overview of the investment options available to you and a thorough examination of the QROPS most suited to your needs.
In addition, the better QROPS require regulated financial advisors to handle the transfer.
Where can I find a list of QROPS?
QROPS providers are detailed on a list published every couple of weeks or so by HMRC. Read the Frequently Asked Questions about the QROPS List here.
British pension schemes are only allowed to transfer in to a QROPS on the list – but inclusion on the list is not approval of a QROPS by HMRC. Providers self-certify their schemes meet the guidelines laid down by the British tax man, but some have fallen short of the standards required in the past and have been closed or banned from taking on new business.
QROPS rules follow those of British registered pensions closely, although many offer more flexible investment options that include a wider range of markets, commodities and currencies.
If your question hasn’t been answered, please use the ‘Speak to an Advisor’ button to talk to a regulated independent financial advisor.