UK pensions can be transferred to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS)

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) were first introduced in 2006. A a popular pension for expats, QROPS had many benefits before recent rule changes affected planning for thousands of QROPS members.

QROPS were designed for expatriates and foreign nationals to retain control over their UK funds. The QROPS allows its members to take their pension wealth out of the UK system.


QROPS Status

QROPS status is awarded and ‘recognised’ by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This recognition allows the QROPS to receive UK pension funds.  The scheme’s HMRC status can change. In recent years, some QROPS jurisdictions have lost their recognition, affecting thousands of schemes. If a QROPS becomes ’delisted’, it can cause complications for pension holders, advisers and pension provider firms. 

The QROPS name has been somewhat tarnished due to their misuse by rogue advisers and having become an easy target for investment scams.

Before transferring UK pension wealth to a QROPS arrangement, careful consideration must be made. QROPS are not right for everyone, and are considered specialist planning tools. Check the suitability of an international pension to your specific circumstances.

Help with QROPS planning

In our free QROPS guide, we discuss the benefits of QROPS and other international pension options. We consider the location of a QROPS and how that impacts upon personal tax. Our QROPS guide contains important information about risks and scams to look out for. International pensions have been unfairly targeted by investment scammers in recent years; ensure you haven’t been affected.

Risks of poor QROPS advice

If you hold a QROPS or international pension, this guide is essential reading. Written and updated in 2020, we cover all the latest rules and restrictions and discuss QROPS reporting requirements. We’ve recently written a blog about the dangers of poor advice, particularly focussed on QROPS and investment scams. Read our article if you have any concerns about the advice you’ve received. We’ve experienced a range of second-opinion cases; the good, the bad and the ugly!

If you’ve taken out a new QROPS plan since 2017, you must also be aware of the Overseas Transfer Charge, and any potential taxation in the event you move residence outside of the QROP jurisdiction. Ensure you obtain advice before you make any changes to either your pension planning or tax residence.

Read more in our FREE 8-page guide to QROPS and International Pensions, written by industry experts.

If you have funds in a QROPS, discover whether it will be enough for retirement – use our free online retirement calculators.