Do You Qualify for a QROPS Pension Transfer?

Anyone with a UK pension scheme who now lives overseas as an expatriate, or who is planning to leave the UK in the next 12 months, can transfer their existing pension provisions into an HMRC approved QROPS Pension Scheme.

You will need to meet the following criteria:

  • You will need to be a non-UK tax resident for five taxyears. (A tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April) Either:
    • You plan to be out of the UK for more than five years OR
    • You have already been out of the UK for more than five years.
  • You need to have a private pension as opposed to a state pension.
  • You have not taken an annuity on your pension.
  • Your pension is in excess of £50 000.  (if it is under this, you can top it up)

In most pension situations, provided you are a non-UK resident and intend to remain so, the benefits are sizeable if you transfer your UK pension offshore through a QROPS transfer.

However, some older pension’s plans have annuities set with higher interest rates and it may not be beneficial to transfer these.

Each instance varies and you will require the advice of a pension professional.

No matter what pension you have, given the large benefits, it is definitely worthwhile to discuss the option of a QROPS Pension Transfer with an authorised adviser.

QROPS Pension Transfer – Questions on Who Qualifies

1)       I’m currently a UK tax resident, can I still apply for a QROPS transfer?

  • Yes, provided that you have a clear intention to become a non-UK tax resident within the next 12 months.
  • You have already arranged or are in the process of arranging accomodation in the country to which you are moving.
  • You will remain in that country for a settled purpose. (e.g. retirement or employment)

2)       Can I transfer my UK pension if I am a US citizen?

  • Transfers to a QROPS for US citizens can be difficult, as many US based IRA’s are not permitted to receive funds from a UK registered pension scheme.

3)       What nationalities can apply for a QROPS Pension Transfer?

  • Any nationality may apply for a QROPS Pension Transfer

4)       Can I transfer to a QROPS once I have taken an annuity?

  • No.
  • However, if you have taken a lumpsum benefit and not taken your lifetime annuity, you can still transfer to a QROPS.

5)       Can I transfer to a QROPS once I have taken payment on a final salary scheme?

  • No.

6)       Can I transfer a state pension?

  • No.

7)       When should I not transfer my frozen pension?

  • In most pension situations, provided you are a non-UK resident and intend to remain so for five years or more, the benefits can be immense if you transfer your pension.
  • However, some older pension’s plans have annuities set with higher interest rates and it may not be beneficial to transfer these. Each instance varies and you will require the advice of pension professionals.
  • No matter what pension you have, given the large benefits of a QROPS Pension Transfer, it is definitely worthwhile to submit us an enquiry and let us give you a free opinion on your pension.