A QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) is a pension transfer scheme that is recognised by HMRC and meets certain conditions and standards equivalent to a UK pension. Therefore, any UK pension can be readily transferred into an overseas scheme, provided that the overseas scheme is registered with HMRC as a QROPS. The rising profile of this scheme is a consequence of UK pension rules introduced by HMRC on April 6th, 2006. The scheme must also meet the requirements of the jurisdiction in which it is domiciled.
A pension transfer is suitable for you if you have a UK pension, have left the UK, plan to leave, or are a resident but not UK domiciled. Obtaining professional financial advice is vital to ensure that you do comply with the rules.
Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme is an overseas pension scheme into which UK pension rights can be transferred. However, QROPS also provides control over where your pension fund is invested. The scheme also allows you to consolidate a number of pensions into one QROPS and does not require you to buy into an annuity.
More importantly, it allows you to leave the remaining fund to your beneficiaries without any deduction of UK tax upon death.
Annuity: A QROPS does not force you to buy an annuity
Funds passed to beneficiaries in full after death: after completing 5 full tax years of non UK Tax residency, your pension will no longer be liable to UK income tax or death charges of up to 45%
Flexible currency choice: your assets within your QROPS can be paid to you in a currency other than sterling, thus mitigating FX costs
Up to 30% pension commencement lump sum
Your pension income can be paid gross, depending on the jurisdiction used
Pensions can be consolidated in to one
Free from UK lump sum death benefit charge
Following the Finance Act 2012, the QROPS jurisdiction of choice for Italian residents is Malta, in terms of it being highly-regulated, its sophisticated tax system and as an integral EU member.
Please note if you become resident outside of the EEA within 5 years of the transfer to a EU QROPS, there is likely to be a retrospective tax charge.
To find out more about QROPS, speak to the experts at deVere Italia. Contact deVere Italia today.