QROPS small print under covert investigation by HMRC

Published:  7 Dec at 6 PM
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Although the UK’s income tax officials have kept quiet over the policing of the expat pension scheme known as QROPS, indications of possible international audits are surfacing.

Last spring, literally hundreds of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes, (QROPS) were deleted from the HM Revenue and Customs lists. Since then, several providers have adjusted their expat plans, several more are under close scrutiny and Cyprus is no longer a QUOPS jurisdiction.

Recently, New Zealand’s Evergreen Retirement Trust and the MCT Malta Retirement Scheme were erased as QUOPs destinations, with New Zealand especially affected as it lost a number of providers after the new QROPS rules were brought in earlier this year. Administrative errors are being given as reasons for both the recent deletions, with Evergreen expected to be back on the list soon and MCT Malta now reinstated.

Major investment and financial planning companies may be encouraged to divest their overseas trust and pension arms, with Kleinwort Benson already unloading its recently-acquired Close Brothers offshore arm onto QROPS specialists Overseas Trusts and Pension. QROPS, according to a Kleinwort spokesperson, are not something on which the company wishes to focus.

As a result, Overseas Trust and Pension are planning a launch of new QROPS and other products in the new year, according to spokesperson David Higgins. He added that the company is not solely reliant on QROPS, as it has a diverse range through Kleinwort of other retirement and trust products.
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