In April 2006 it became possible for British expatriates to move their British based private and occupational pensions to a UK HMRC listed QROPS, and benefit from all the associated advantages that such a scheme can provide.
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If you retire abroad and are drawing a UK based pension, the income you receive will remain subject to UK income tax unless you're living in a country with a double tax treaty with the UK that contains legislation specifically about pensions.
If you reside in a country with no double tax treaty with the UK, you may even be subject to a higher tax rate on your pension than the top rate of tax in the UK. This is naturally far from ideal - however, if you transfer your UK pension to a QROPS, if tax is due on your pension income it is only due in your new country of residence. Naturally, if you're planning on retiring to a low tax country or one that does not tax pension income, you could potentially enjoy your entire retirement income free of tax - imagine how much further your income will take you in retirement if it is taxed less.
A QROPS also removes the requirement on you to purchase an annuity with your pension pot, or to pay a UK tax charge on death. This can mean that you can leave your entire unspent pension fund to your beneficiaries - free of inheritance tax. In addition to this, throughout the life of your pension you have much greater investment freedom with a QROPS.
You can also take a tax-free lump sum, and you can access both onshore and offshore funds as well as the highest fixed deposit rates, and enjoy total diversification with this type of retirement savings scheme.
Finally, depending on the jurisdiction in which you choose your QROPS, you may be able to gain protection against possible future creditors - and you may be able to gain greater confidentiality when it comes to the management of your money.
QROPS are clearly highly beneficial to many people, and the question has been asked 'will QROPS remain this attractive forever?' The answer is no one knows how future legislation changes may affect QROPS, but the fact is that right now QROPS are proving to be of massive significant benefit to many British expatriates. So whilst the window of opportunity for you is well and truly open right now, you owe it to your retirement income's potential to explore whether a QROPS could be the right thing for your pension.
Remember that once your pension is transferred out of the UK, it will no longer be affected by the ever-changing UK pension laws.
To receive your personalised and free UK pension vs. QROPS analysis and comparison report, produced by a fully qualified pensions expert, complete the form above. You can specify exactly how you would like to be contacted. You have nothing to lose and a potentially much wealthier and secure retirement to gain.