Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Overseas Pension Schemes

Following many changes to UK rules, regulations and legislation, this article is a brief outline of International Pension Schemes as they exist from April 2012

Individual advice can be provided by referral to a correctly regulated and authorised firm of Independent Financial Advisers with qualifications that have been checked. Please email me for a referral.

  • QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes)
These became available from 2006 but went through a major review and changes made with effect from 6th April 2012 (Q-Day). It is a pension scheme set up outside the UK that is regulated and recognised for tax purposes as a pension scheme in the country in which it is located. QROPS have been established in countries across the world, many in jurisdictions with beneficial tax rules. For specialist advice click here

  • ROPS (Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes)
Though a Scheme authorised by HMRC, it has very flexible aspects. Contributions can be made by individuals or an employer. It is an accepted element that employees can give up income (salary sacrifice) to make contributions. There are also flexible retirement ages available.

Advice can only be given by those firms who are authorised by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, in other words, must be regulated. Get this advice by sending me an email with outline information.

  • QNUPS (Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes)
An arrangement which meets the criteria set by the regulations the UK government brought out in February of 2010. This is available for a UK or non-UK resident, which gives an opportunity to make contributions to overseas schemes, established as QNUPS, with the knowledge that those funds will be sheltered from UK Inheritance Tax (IHT). Individual advice should be taken in all circumstances from a regulated and authorised adviser. Please email for a recommendation.

·        Section 615 (UK employees with overseas earnings and responsibilities)
A Section 615 Benefit Scheme allows UK Limited Companies to establish retirement benefit packages for employees who have duties outside the UK. This Pension Scheme satisfies the criteria laid down by HMRC. Importantly, the arrangement is made under legislation which is tried and tested (Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988, Section 615(6))
Every scheme is submitted and accepted individually, ensuring that the benefits will not be subject to challenge, at a later date. This grants full pension scheme status, which is recognised internationally as a genuine pension arrangement.

Do you get the impression that this is complex and that Professional Advice is vitally important?

I certainly do and can refer you to the right firm if you email me.

In addition to the Plans outlined above, it is also possible, especially where circumstances are complex, to seek advice from a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) who can develop a ‘bespoke’ solution for an individual, couple, family etc based on current legislation. Email me for such an introduction.

The following posts from Financial Pages in Spain may also prove informative;

New Generation QROPS 2012

Getting Professional Advice

Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion

David Goodall
Financial Pages in Spain