The QROPS Jurisdictions Embracing Pension Freedom

The QROPS Jurisdictions Embracing Pension FreedomThe UK pension reforms which allow savings to effectively be accessed as a bank account have been extended to the QROPS model, but not every jurisdiction is currently in a position to offer this.

To allow ‘open season’ to take effect on overseas schemes, each individual QROPS jurisdiction must first amend their own legislation to allow the freedom within their territory.

It would appear, as we approach the 6th April, that only a couple of jurisdictions have been forthcoming in adapting their own rules to cater for what is likely to be a tremendous surge in QROPS popularity.

Malta were the first country to endorse the freedom with their own legislative measures, and the 100% access rule will be available immediately when it is introduced.

Gibraltar already had what they considered to be the necessary flexibility to be able to grant 100% access to expatriates with their savings there, and after consultation with HMRC, this appears to have been confirmed. Australia and New Zealand also already have pre-existing procedures in place to allow the freedom.

But other popular jurisdictions such as the Isle of Man, Switzerland and the Netherlands seem unlikely to put any amendments in place, certainly not before the 6th April, and maybe not ever.

Well Drilled

100% access has created headlines across Britain and the world as expat savers look to benefit from being able to draw out their entire pension pot at a minimal or reduced rate of tax in comparison with the UK.

Maltese providers are bracing themselves for the onslaught of savers requesting to draw their funds in their entirety on or around the 6th, but as the leading jurisdiction, they had the necessary measures in place in January and should be well drilled and well prepared to be able to meet the extra demand.

For more advice on being able to access 100% of your pension, whether it is still in the UK or in an overseas scheme, contact us here.

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