Are you are planning or currently living abroad with a UK pension? QROPS can help you release up to 60% of your fund as Tax Free Cash.
Since 2006 it has been possible for people living and working outside the UK to transfer a UK pension scheme into an overseas pension scheme, a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).
However in the same way that many doctors are General Practitioners and not specialists, many Financial Advisers are not experienced or qualified enough to offer the specialist advice that is required for pensions, particularly QROPS.
Whilst in many circumstances it may well be in the best interests of a UK expatriate to transfer their pension into a QROPS, there will also be occasions when this is not the case, and it is therefore crucial to receive fully independent, professional advice from an adviser who is fully qualified to do so.
Once you have been non UK resident in the UK for five full tax years, then any income taken from a QROPS scheme does not have to be reported to HMRC. Therefore if is your intention not to return to the UK then it could very well be the case that transferring your pension to a QROPS is the right option for you.
Whilst many online advisers may well have the best intentions, receiving pensions advice that proves to be inappropriate can turn out to be extremely costly, as a pension investor could end up being obliged by HMRC to pay a tax penalty of up to 55% on the value of their QROPS fund if a transaction is deemed to be outside the rules and therefore technically considered to be an ‘unauthorised payment’.
However in the right circumstances a transfer to a QROPS offers significant tax advantages and also offers a much greater degree of flexibility, and so receiving the correct advice about QROPS can lead to a significant improvement to an individual’s pension and indeed overall financial affairs.
Therefore the first step in considering QROPS advice should always be to contact a professional firm of advisers who can demonstrate a long standing track record of giving professional advice supported by the appropriate high level of pension qualifications, and who are able to offer bespoke investment solutions to ensure your pension fund is invested according to your individual needs.