Steep decrease in number and value of QROPS transfers

The number of transfers to Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) fell from 9700 in 2016 to 2017 to 4,700 in 2017 to 2018, according to latest figures published by HMRC.

Official statistics show the equivalent value for this fall was from £1,220m to £740m.

Since April 2006 individuals have been able to transfer their pension savings in a registered pension scheme to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS). In March 2017, the government announced QROPS transfers for individuals not in the EEA would be hit with a 25 per cent tax charge.

Royal London head of business development Clare Moffat said: “The decrease is as I would have expected following the most recent change. The government intended that QROPS were not misused to provide an improved tax position for those who didn’t intend to leave the UK on a long term basis. So they should now only be used by someone who is moving abroad and intending to remain abroad.

“Scheme administrators of the registered pension schemes or the scheme manager of the QROPS are jointly and severally liable for the overseas transfer charge – they had to decide whether or not they wished their scheme to continue to be a QROPS following the introduction of the overseas transfer charge which also will have had an impact.”

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