HMRC QROPS List FAQHM Revenue and Customs QROPS list is a public resource that tells investors and pension administrators if a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme is recognised as a bona fide scheme by the tax authority – with some reservations.

HMRC explains how the list works in a manual for tax inspectors that is also freely available online here

Here are some answers to common questions about the QROPS list:

Are QROPS on the list approved by HMRC?

No. QROPS administrators self-certify their schemes meet current QROPS regulations by submitting a form to HMRC.

Why is a QROPS list published?

To tell UK pension scheme administrators, financial advisers and investors that the scheme has notified HMRC that it meets QROPS rules and as such, HMRC sanctions the transfer of tax-relieved pension contributions to the QROPS.

Tax-relieved pension contributions are money paid into a UK pension fund topped up with tax relief by HMRC.

Is the list kept up-to-date?

Yes. HMRC publishes a copy every fortnight – download the latest list from the HMRC web site here

How are QROPS removed from the list?

QROPS are added and removed from the list regularly. The main reasons are:

  • HMRC excludes the scheme for breaking QROPS regulations
  • HMRC suspends the scheme for administrative reasons pending further inquiries
  • The scheme administrator asks for removal from the list because it closes or no longer meets qualifying regulations
  • The scheme administrator wants the QROPS to remain anonymous

Why won’t HMRC explain why schemes are excluded or suspended?

HMRC will not discuss specific scheme details in public unless the scheme administrator has given permission in writing. In practise, this rarely happens.

What does ‘suspension’ mean for a QROPS?

HMRC can suspend a QROPS for a number of reasons. Suspension does not mean a scheme is excluded and is no longer open as a QROPS, but does mean pension relieved contributions cannot be transferred in from a UK pension scheme.

Suspension can mean reinstatement to the list or that the scheme may be excluded, depending on the result of the HMRC review.

What happens if the QROPS is not a QROPS?

HMRC can generally take one of two courses of action –

  • The transfer is treated as an unauthorised withdrawal from a UK pension fund and the investor is taxed at a rate of at least 55% of the tax-relieved transfer
  • HMRC can grant a dispensation that allows QROPS investors to move their pension funds without penalty
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