Getting a QROPS: a 3 stage process

Are you getting a QROPS? If so, it is going to be a 3 stage process.

Stage 1: getting some advice

The first thing you need to do is go to a specialised QROPS adviser and get them to review the information you have about your current scheme. The adviser needs to see this information because:

  • some schemes may prevent transfers if the member has already started taking benefits (i.e. payments). Accordingly, your QROPS adviser needs to check first of all that a QROPS transfer is actually possible; and
  • for a small number of people with final salary schemes, the adviser may decide that the high level of guaranteed income that a defined benefit scheme offers may be too good to give up. In this case, the QROPS adviser may recommend that the investor sticks with what he has.

Stage 2: choosing a scheme

Once the QROPS adviser has taken down your information and learnt about your investment preferences, he or she will scour the market for the right deal for you. Fortunately, there are hundreds of QROPS out there for you to choose from, so whether you are an extremely cautious investor or have an appetite for the high risk and potentially high return type of scenario, you will be able to find something to suit you.

Your QROPS adviser will also explain the tax consequences of your decision at this point. Whilst there will be no UK tax to pay, the scheme may attract tax from the jurisdiction in which it is based and possibly from your place of residence, if that is different.

Stage 3: the transfer

Assuming that you have signed all the appropriate forms, this is the stage where you can relax and let the adviser get on with it. The length of time a transfer may take to effect may vary, according to the efficiency of the scheme administrators. Investors should allow around 6 weeks for the process.