Last updated: 9 October 2014
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Do I need to transfer my pension to the same country I am retiring to?
No. It is more important to find the optimal jurisdiction for your QROPS than finding one in the country you retire to.
Will I pay any more taxes on my pension after the QROPS transfer?
It will depend on the country you live in. The QROPS will grow tax free and then the income tax you pay on drawdown depend on the laws of the country you live in and whether they have a Double Tax Agreement with the jurisdiction in which the QROPS is held. Typically, you can set up your pension income in a tax efficient way where you can avoid most or all taxes on your income. Also, if anything happens to you, the entire pot gets passed on to your loved ones.
Do I need to be offshore to move into a QROPS?
No. If you live on the UK and intend on retiring or moving abroad, you can move your pension into a QROPS today. However, you need to be offshore for 5 years to get the full benefits of a QROPS. The advantage of moving today is avoiding any future tax increases in the UK concerning pensions or any closing of loopholes or changes in regulations.
When can I draw my pension?
You can take up to 30% as a lump sum provided you have been offshore for 5 years (only 25% if less than 5 years). This is provided you haven’t taken a lump sum already in the UK. You can then draw on your pension from 55.
What happens if I move back to the UK?
If you move back to the UK, your QROPS would lose all of its benefits and would refer to the normal rules for a UK SIPP.
Can I cash in my pension and get a 100% lump sum?
There are some schemes on the market that claim to offer a 100% lump sum, this is generally against the spirit of the pension rules and it important to be aware that such schemes are actively under scrutiny and review. Making use of such a scheme may leave you open to a retrospective claw back of up to 55% of your pension. The safest way is to move a QROPS into a jurisdiction which only allows a 30% drawdown, following the intended QROPS process.
Can I move my residential properties into a QROPS?
No. QROPS only allow commercial properties such as shop houses, B&B’s, guesthouses and hotels. However, if you need QROPS help in this regard, you can move into a QNUPS.