HM Revenue and Customs has published a new list of registered Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS), in which all but two of 25 Hong Kong-based QROPS that were previously listed in mid-July have been removed.
QROPS allow UK pensioners who take up residency overseas to transfer their pensions into another jurisdiction.
According to the tax body, the list is based on information provided to HMRC by non-UK schemes when they give notification that they meet the conditions required to be a QROPS. HMRC does not verify the information, and inclusion on the list does not mean that a scheme has been approved. Also, a scheme may give notification but choose not to be listed. However, a scheme may also be removed from the list temporarily while HMRC undertakes a review.
Nigel Green, CEO of the financial advisory firm deVere, was quoted as saying that the move signals a "more proactive" approach to deciding which jurisdictions should be included on the list. He added: "Inevitably, there will be a smaller list of potential jurisdictions into which UK pensions can be transferred, but the list, and therefore the pension transfer industry itself, will become even more robust."
HMRC publishes its list of QROPS twice a month. In cases where a scheme administrator can show that the latest list was consulted in good faith one day before a transfer was undertaken, HMRC says that this will normally be sufficient grounds to discharge any liability to the scheme sanction charge and unauthorized payments surcharge. However, there may still be an unauthorized payment charge liability for the member.
Last month, HMRC delisted 432 schemes in error due to what was described as a "technical glitch." In June, HMRC withdrew from a court case involving investors in a Singapore-based scheme called ROSIIP. The presiding judge ordered HMRC to make a statement on its treatment of QROPS; this was given to the court, but its contents have not been made public..
TAGS: expatriates | tax | investment | retirement | United Kingdom | Hong Kong | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) | individual income tax | Expats | Pensions | Pensions
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