QROPS numbers soar along with increased enquiries

Published:  27 Feb at 6 PM
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The number of QROPS now on the market has hit a record high of 3,230, with a new product being released almost every day and more legislation enquiries than ever before.

The increase in enquiries about the legislation pertaining to QROPS is believed to be due to a lack of incentives to keep pension pots in Britain as well as a need to protect funds from changing legislation. Modifications to the industry initiated by HMRC over the last several years have been aimed at restraining fraudulent abuse in the marketplace as well as stopping tax abuse.

A number of changes were put in place following the delisting of the Singapore Rosiip QROPS in 2013, with the landmark legal case against the authority resulting in a victory for common sense as well as judicial accusations against HMRC of aggression and shamefulness. However, the proviso that suspicions of abuse or dishonesty should allow investigation has left many FAs in a quandary.

The sector believes that more clarity is needed as to action which may be taken against schemes listing by HMRC. Self-certification is a major issue, as it doesn’t imply that the regulator has given the product the all clear, only that the provider has stated it complies with the regulations.

As regards checking the legality of any QROPS product, the buck stops firmly with the customer and the FA to ensure that all is as it should be. Trustworthy, regulated advisors can be found in the UK due to registration regulations but, in overseas expat destinations, selecting the wheat from the chaff is another matter and there’s no comeback if things go wrong.

As with so much more in the expat world, it would seem that Google is your only friend as regards keeping up with changing rules, regulations and the latest in scams. Many sites now give the latest in financial news, warnings and tales of woe, all of which can help investors make the correct decisions and avoid disaster.
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