Advisors fear HMRC plans suspension of India QROPS jurisdiction

Published:  3 Nov at 6 PM
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Financial advisors providing QROPS pension transfers to expat investors are fearful that the UK’s HMRC is planning to suspend India’s position as a QROPS jurisdiction.

Alarms were raised in the sector after the authority rushed out a revised list of QROPS just days after the regular list was issued. On the new list, five previously authorised India-based QROPS were shown as suspended.

Since the beginning of 2013, 19 India QROPS have been marked as suspended, leaving just seven of the original 26 pensions still able to accept UK transfers. As is usual for HMRC, when reasons for the suspensions were requested, ‘no comment’ was the given answer.

According to an HMRC spokesperson, the authority’s policy is to refuse to comment on individual QROPS or on specific financial jurisdictions. The lists are published fortnightly at the beginning and middle of each month, with October this year an exception in that three lists were sent out.

The revised list, dated October 17, was not released until 24 October, giving FAs another cause for concern. India is not alone in having a number of QROPS suspended, with Malta losing two and Canada loosing four in the amended list.

According to experts in the sector, HMRC are cracking down on a good number of overseas schemes which apparently do not meet the authority’s strict criteria. It’s expected that more India QROPS will be delisted, possibly killing off the popular jurisdiction as a source for QROPS pension transfers.

Few jurisdictions have been permanently excluded from providing pension schemes, although many have had the number of their schemes drastically reduced. Hong Kong, for example, had 23 pensions suspended last year, with just four still available at present, but Singapore, Slovakia and Cyprus no longer have QROPS status.
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