In order to live out a happy retirement you must plan ahead to ensure that you have the necessary funds to pay for it.
Here at Whitmore we understand that, aside from your health and the well-being of your loved ones, having enough funds for your retirement is of the utmost importance. Although we always urge our valued clients to safeguard their financial future by making sound investments, we also understand and indeed encourage you to set up a safe pension scheme in order to guarantee a regular income stream when you are no longer working. While this is fairly simple when you are living in your home country and have been part of a corporate pension scheme through your employer, it gets slightly more complicated when you move abroad, as the number of options available to you increase.
QROPS – Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes were introduced by HMRC in the UK in 2006 in order to give additional freedom to expats still holding pension funds in the UK. QROPS allow nationals moving abroad to transfer the money from their pension savings funds without incurring any unauthorised charges or transaction fees. The QROPS does not have to be established in the new country of residence, which offers greater flexibility and a wider range of service provider, and they provide you with an opportunity to receive certain benefits from your pension, most significantly helping you to avoid tax in the UK.
You can receive payment of the pension in any currency and a QROPS is managed by trustees who make investments on your behalf, and which allows you to invest your funds in whatever assets you choose. Not all QROPS are the same and they all have different charges depending on how much can be taken as income, how that income will be taxed and whether or not you can access a tax-free lump sum. QROPS are subject to annual charges which are normally taken from the pension itself.
It should be noted that the UK government introduced a new overseas transfer charge which affects many QROPS which have been requested after the 9th March 2017. Please ask one of our consultants for a more detailed explanation.