Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have released a heavily updated QROPS list following last month’s suspension. As highlighted at the time the list’s format has changed though the revisions centre around the layout and an extensive cull in the number of qualifying schemes rather than any fundamental alterations. The QROPS list therefore continues to follow set rules, is self certified, and cannot be relied upon to avoid potential penalties.
The list does however mark a substantial drop in the number of registered pension schemes that are deemed qualifying and thus can accept a UK pension transfer without penalty. In total the number of QROPS providers has fallen over 82% whilst there has been a loss of 8 jurisdictions leaving only 37 registered QROPS jurisdictions on the list.
Best QROPS jurisdictions
Excluding countries which previously only had one listed QROPS provider the best performing QROPS jurisdiction (based on lowest percentage of delisted schemes) was Malta followed by Gibraltar. Both suffered a loss of less than 7% of their providers.
Worst affected QROPS jurisdictions
By contrast the countries suffering the highest drop in qualifying providers was Australia and Switzerland who had all bar 1 of their QROPS providers delisted.
It should be clear now that it is your responsibility to ensure that you select a pension scheme which follows the rules and is fully qualifying. Appearing on HMRC’s QROPS list is insufficient as demonstrated by Australia which had over 1650 providers delisted.
The most advantageous QROPS jurisdiction for you is down to your personal requirements. Following on, there is not one ideal jurisdiction that will provide the best location for everyone to transfer their UK pensions to. Therefore, to enable you to select the best QROPS provider and jurisdiction ensure that you ask the correct questions.
Number of QROPS providers listed per jurisdiction as at 1st of July 2015