QROPS: What are the perks?
**Last month’s newsletter started looking into the advantages of a QROPS and how these schemes can benefit people with UK pensions planning to move abroad. This month we caught up with Neville Pereira, financial services director at Lubbock Fine Financial Solutions LLP, to find out more…** First let me outline the facts - QROPS are schemes recognised by the UK tax authorities as the equivalent of an overseas pension and can accept transfers from UK registered pension schemes providing retirement flexibility and superior benefits on death. As well as a number of substantial benefits, QROPS have also become popular because of their simplicity, tax advantages and increased investment flexibility. Other key benefits are the removal of a requirement to purchase an annuity and the potential freedom from inheritance tax. Individuals can therefore pass on their entire remaining pension fund to dependents. Many of these advantages are simply not available with a UK pension scheme. QROPS offer a wider selection of investment options, giving you the ability to purchase onshore & offshore funds and fixed deposit accounts. Up to 25% can be taken as a lump sum free of tax and income and benefits can be taken in a wide choice of currencies. Those on retirement are not forced into buying an annuity and funds can be left for chosen beneficiaries without UK tax even after they reach the age of 75. Again, this is not possible with UK pensions. The schemes also provide increased confidentiality, as once you reach the five year mark as a non-resident; there is no more need to report to the UK tax authorities. Last but not least, there is also the option of saving with Potential Inheritance Tax Planning (IHT). Once you’ve transferred to a QROPS, UK taxes no longer apply and will only be paid if you are in the UK for any tax year in which a distribution is made. Tax may however be payable on distributions in your country of residence. Depending on the jurisdiction, selected pension payments can be made gross and without tax. Tax is not deducted at source from pension payments and funds that are held in the scheme are not subject to any UK tax, allowing investments to grow tax free. It’s important to make any arrangements with someone that can source the most appropriate scheme depending on your individual circumstances. Lubbock Fine Financial Solutions LLP (LFFS) will provide advice and make arrangements with existing UK pension providers for valuations, transfer documentation, QROPS scheme approval and due diligence. However, prior to any transfer, the pension schemes have to be reviewed to ensure there are no penalties, Guaranteed Annuity Rates or any matter that may make a transfer inappropriate. Although costs can vary between scheme providers, asset size and the complexity of a transfer, LFFS will not charge a fee for an initial consultation of a client’s position. For more information, you can contact Neville Pereira using the following details: Neville Pereira, financial services director at Lubbock Fine Financial Solutions LLP, Russell Bedford House, City Forum, 250 City Road, London, UK, EC1V 2QQ. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7490 7766 Email:
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