Can you transfer your pension into any overseas scheme?

You can transfer your pension into any scheme. However, only QROPS that are approved by HMRC will enable you to receive the tax breaks and death benefit relief that makes QROPS beneficial.

Schemes must comply with the HMRC’s guidelines to qualify as a QROPS. Qualifying schemes are listed on the HMRC’s website, but the HMRC may withdraw approval at any time if a scheme acts outside the guidelines.

Can all UK pensions be transferred into a QROPS?

Most UK pension schemes qualify, including deferred pensions, pensions in drawdown and protected rights pensions.

You can transfer your Final Salary (Defined Benefit) pension, provided you have not started to drawdown from it. Final Salary schemes currently in payment, pensions that have been annuitised, and the UK state pensions, do not qualify for transfer.

Do you have to buy an annuity with a QROPS?

No. As with the recent 2014 budget changes, you do not have to buy an annuity with your QROPS funds. However, unlike most UK pensions, QROPS offers far more investment flexibility and income options.

Can you take a higher lump sum from a QROPS than from a UK pension?

Yes. UK allows you to withdraw up to 25% as a maximum whereas many QROPS allow you to take up to 30% where required.

What are the income tax benefits?

This depends on where you reside. In some countries, pensions are taxed at lower rates, or not at all. Make sure you prepare your tax submissions with guidance from a certified taxation expert who is familiar with the local tax laws.

Do you have to transfer your UK pension to a QROPS in the same country that you live in?

No. You do not have to have your money invested in the country that you live in.

Can you transfer your UK pension to a QROPS before you leave the UK?

If you can clearly show intent to leave the UK  within the next 12 months, you are eligible to transfer to an appropriate QROPS scheme.

Will your QROPS pension payments be taxed?

This depends on the country where you hold tax residence. You should ask your financial adviser to give you detailed advice on tax and always consider tax implications before you choose a QROPS jurisdiction.

Are QROPS approved by the HMRC?

Some QROPS are and some are not. You should only consider QROPS that are approved by HMRC.