Qrops growing in popularity


QROPS are relatively new and are a result of a change in Government regulations relating to pensions. These regulations set down certain criteria permitting the transfer abroad of UK pensions provided certain requirements are met. Any overseas pension schemes that meet these requirements are said to have qualified and they appear on a list published by HMRC and known as the QROPS list. Included amongst these requirements is the fact that the pension should be recognised in terms of taxation by the country where it has been set up. Hence, these pensions are known as Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Schemes (or QROPS).

QROPS schemes are growing in popularity as increasing numbers of people find out about their advantages. Tax Savings is a major draw, but QROPS pensions also offer other advantages. These include a wider range of investment opportunities than UK pensions as people with QROPS pensions are able to choose from investments available worldwide. QROPS also offer a solution to the problem of fluctuating exchange rates when you come to withdraw your pension, because you can arrange to have your QROPS pension in the same currency as the currency used in the country where you reside.

Figures recently published show that in excess of 7,300 QROPS transfers have taken place since the rules changed in 2006. This represents approximately ?500 million in value. Interestingly, the figure of 7,300 represents over three times the number of people who chose Alternatively Secured Pensions (ASP’s). These have also been available since the change of ruling in 2006 and are an alternative form of pension that avoids the need to buy an annuity at the age of 75. Although they have advantages over other UK pensions they do not avoid tax duty on death, whereas there is no inheritance tax payable on QROPS pensions.

In terms of locations for QROPS, Guernsey is a popular choice. This is mainly because of the high tax incentives associated with investing in Guernsey. In another recent report by a Guernsey QROPS provider it was revealed that applications for QROPS pensions had increased in the last year from about 50 month to approximately 100 a month.

However, a spokesman for the company commented that this was partly attributable to the fact that places such as Singapore had had their QROPS status removed. This reflects on another reason why Guernsey QROPS are so popular, which is the fact that HMRC rules are closely adhered to in Guernsey. Therefore, UK investors feel more confident in transferring their pensions to the island.

Another reason for the increase in the numbers of QROPS transfers is the growing number of UK citizens who retire abroad. If you are thinking of retiring abroad a Qrops advisor can give you details of the benefits of transferring your pension overseas. He will also recommend approved QROPS schemes and provide guidance on how you can qualify for a QROPS pension as certain stipulations have to be met.

Interested in Qrops then contact the global leaders www.qrops.net

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