Expats advised to wait before transferring cash to a QROPS

Published:  7 Jun at 6 PM
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Expats waiting to transfer pension cash to an offshore QROPS must wait as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs misses yet another deadline for its new list of permitted offshore pension schemes.

HMRC’s missing of their recently announced deadline will now prevent retirement savers waiting to transfer their UK pension pots to an overseas QROPS from acting as there is no current list of pensions self-certified as meeting the scheme’s rules. When pressed as to the date of a new list, an HMRC representative said there is no firm date for the issuance of an updated list. Publication, it seems, will come ‘as soon as possible’, but no reason for the continuing delay was given.

The new list was promised for June 5, after a suspension from its original issue date of June 2, leaving retirees wishing to move their money outside the UK no way of finding when they could begin the process. Concern is rising, as the last time a list was suspended some 410 QROPS and nine offshore financial centres were removed. The most recent HMRC list was published on 15 May, and named 29 financial centres along with 926 QROPS pension schemes.

According to HMRC, relaying on previous lists when choosing a scheme is not a valid idea, as these lists will not give up-to-date information on any scheme’s notification of compliance with the rules. The one known fact about the situation seems to be that, on April 6 this year, HMRC wrote to certain QROPS scheme managers demanding they give information about the scheme and confirmation that it met recently revised requirements.

Only QROPS schemes whose managers have replied stating they comply with the new regulations will appear on HRMC’s next list, whenever it is released. According to HMRC, it’s the individual’s responsibility to check the most up to date list and confirm whether a previously selected scheme has been included. Industry experts are advising caution and patience, with many expecting the number of schemes and offshore financial centres to be reduced.
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