QROPS Pensions

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03 May 2012 17:45 by georgeh Star rating in condado de alhama sp.... 1462 posts Send private message

 I have just taken my qrops pension at age 55.

To be eligible you must have a uk pension pot with either a pension fund such as standard life  or be in a final salary scheme with your employer and although you maky have  taken a lump sum as long as you arent taking an annuity you may be eligible.You must have lived abroad for a minimum 3 years so again if you are thinking of moving to spain full time on retirement bear this in mind.

Did you know that there is no legal minimum  service length for you to be elible for a uk pension unless specified by your empoyer?Did you know that tere has never been a better time to transfer funds into QROPS from a final salry pension because annuity rates are so low that your previous employer has to pay you a larger lump sum to cover the amount you would normally get on retirement.  There are plenty of very low rish schemes paying alot  more than 4%  so as long as you invest wisely and spread your risk it shouldnt be a problem to better current annuity rates and give you a much more comfortable retirement. 

With Qrops you can invest in exactly the same funds as you are currently with but 2 major benefits are this

1) if you die 100% is passed to your dependents not 50%

2) you can take 25% cash now and either reinvest it for easy access or spend it as you please.

If you are interested in knowing more drop me a pm and i will pass your name onto my financial adviser  who doesnt charge a fee unlike most qrops advisers. 

These facts are to  the best of my  knowledge.








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03 May 2012 18:26 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Hi Georgeh - I moved my pension fund to New Zealand last year under the old QROPS legislation and was able to receive 25% tax free from it.  However, the UK government have now changed the rules and no-one seems to be able to tell me what the rule changes actually mean.  My financial advisor hasn´t got a clue and the pensions office in teh UK hasn´t replied to my email.

Are you sure that you can now get your pension after three years out of the UK, rather than the five years it was before?



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03 May 2012 18:57 by georgeh Star rating in condado de alhama sp.... 1462 posts Send private message

 Hi claire i have sent you a pm with my financial advisers details. Up to 2 months ago you could have taken the full 100% in cash but im guessing you were just being prudent!

My financial adviser and his company seem to be experts.

Me and my 3 friends who  were all in financial services have recently gone into qrops but we didnt know a thing about it until 6 weeks ago. If we didnt know then i am sure alot of people  havent got a clue who it works!However on investigating it further it is a little gold mine. For instance my friend worked for a company for 4 years on an average salary and has just received 100,000 into his new fund!

You would believe the rubbish money his annuity worked out at!







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03 May 2012 19:08 by claire T Star rating in Torremendo, Orihuela. 689 posts Send private message

EOS Supporter

Thanks Georgeh - I will try them.

The previous rules stated that you could only access 25% of your fund for the first five years out of the UK. I wasn´t being prudent, I´m afraid, the rules would not allow me to access the rest until I had been out of the UK for 5 complete tax years. The fact that you are saying it is now three years is what I am wanting to clarify - it would be great news!


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03 May 2012 19:18 by georgeh Star rating in condado de alhama sp.... 1462 posts Send private message

 qrops rules are changing all the time. you have to keep checking and have an adviser that is up to date on his info!







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03 May 2012 21:35 by ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

 Interesting post, QROPS has undergone major changes in the last few weeks via HMRC in the UK who put together the rules for it.

Without going through all the fine points, a few corrections on the posts here. Georgeh, You dont need to have lived in Spain for three years to transfer UK pension rights into a QROPS. You can transfer from the first day you arrive. Prior to 5 April this year, the first 5 years out of the UK, the QROPS scheme had to report any payments to HMRC, after which this fell away meaning potential higher income could be taken plus of course as mentioned in the posts people were encashing 100% of their pension via New Zealand that allowed this under their pension laws.Now, the QROPS sheme has to report for 10 years to HMRC but after 5, 30% can be taken as a lump sum with 70% remaining as a pension income. Income can be taken fom 55.

Also Georgeh,  Final Salary pensions and annuity rates are not linked. Yes, annuity rates are very poor value now but are based on gilt rates. Transferring a final salary pension needs qualified financial advice so the best advice is only transfer into a QROPS through qualified financial advisors and not through the many new companies advertising in English papers here only  offering QROPS.  

Claire T, if you want to PM me i can give you more details however you can only take a lump sum once from a pension. Sounds like you have done it.

Done correctly, QROPS still does offer many potential benefits.

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03 May 2012 22:11 by georgeh Star rating in condado de alhama sp.... 1462 posts Send private message

 I did bourse as well- funny old world-lol

Interesting about the first day in spain rule. 







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03 May 2012 22:23 by ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

 Georgeh, cannot see any refeference to Bourse here? As you mention it, they of cousre are QROPS trustees in Guernsey. Since the new rules came into effect Guernsey has seen all but 4 of its QROPS trustees stripped of QROPS status. This will not effect existing transfers and HMRC may relist them again in the future so once again take qualified financial advice to assess the better jurisdictions to transfer a QROPs to post April 5 rule changes.

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11 May 2012 06:31 by richardbkk Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

The rules all changed after April 6, 2012. People were 'pension busting' and cashing in their pensions, which HMRC didn't like and for good reason. They are worried people will return to the UK in their 70's with their hands out after they spent all their hard earned cash. Now the de facto QROPS is in Malta as they have a double taxation treaty with Spain. You will still avoid the 55% death tax once you start drawing benefits and avoid UK taxes, but are expected to declare your income and pay Spanish income tax. Advice in this area is really specialist. I suggest contacting QROPS Specialists.

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11 May 2012 11:07 by Ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

Thought this was a forum Richardbkk and not a place for free promotion of your services!!

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11 May 2012 12:58 by richardbkk Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

There are some new changes which took place yesterday. PM me if you want advice. I'm here to help. Forums are places where people help each other and share ideas. This is a specialist area.

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11 May 2012 13:46 by Ojosazul88 Star rating. 171 posts Send private message

Changes yesterday? News to HMRC! Ammendment was made 3rd May,not yesterday. You are probably referring to the below article which is freely available to read. HMRC also published on 9 May the latest list of  schemes on their QROPS list.


HM Revenue & Customs has at last broken its silence on its unexpected decision last month to remove all but three Guernsey QROPS from its list of registered schemes, which was published on 12 April – and which has seen Guernsey’s previously booming QROPS industry brought to a jolting halt.

HMRC’s statement came in the form of an amendment to existing regulations for overseas pension schemes. The amendment effectively declares that pension schemes established in Guernsey under the island’s new S157E regime – approved in March by Guernsey lawmakers in an effort to accommodate new HMRC rules governing qualifying regulated overseas pension schemes that the Revenue unveiled in December – could not be used for the pensions of non-Guernsey residents.

Ironically, the S157E regime had been brought in by Guernsey lawmakers in April precisely in order to accommodate HMRC’s concerns, as expressed in the new rules, in an effort to help the island to retain its then-thriving QROPS industry.

As reported, Guernsey had some 313 QROPS schemes on HMRC’s list prior to the revisions that took effect on 6 April, after which just three remained.

It was not immediately clear what, if any, effect HMRC’s statement would have on plans being considered by the Guernsey Association of Pension Providers to launch a formal complaint against HMRC for its action in removing most of its members’ schemes from its list.

Coming into force on 25 May

According to the HMRC statement, identified on a UK Government legislative website as Statutory Instrument No. 1221 (SI1221), the amendment was “made” on 3 May 2012, laid before the House of Commons the next day, and is due to come into force on 25 May.

From that date, where a pension scheme “is established in Guernsey, and... is an exempt pension contract or an exempt pension trust within the meaning of section 157E of the Income Tax (Guernsey) Law, 1975(a), the scheme must not be open to non-residents of Guernsey”, HMRC said in its statement.

As conceived by Guernsey lawmakers, the new S157E pensions regime had been designed as a “one-size-fits-all” pension that could be open to islanders and non-residents alike – with no Guernsey tax due on benefits paid – in order to address HMRC’s concerns.

Guernsey pension industry officials were not immediately available for comment last night. However, Concept Group, one of Guernsey’s major QROPS providers, issued a statement around 6pm noting that “other than some minor adjustment to wording, the statutory instrument covers nothing else [beyond the fact that S157E schemes could not be used by non-Guernsey residents], and appears to be specifically designed to frustrate Guernsey’s new S157E law.”

The Concept Group statement continued: “ From 6 April 2012, Guernsey QROPS providers have not appeared on HMRC’s QROPS list, although it was strongly believed that S157E schemes met HMRC’s latest regulations.

“The SI makes no attempt to explain why S157E schemes are not acceptable, it simply says they can not be open to non-residents of Guernsey.

“There can be no doubt now, in anyone’s mind, that S157E was unacceptable to HMRC – although we all remain unaware where the difficulty lies.

“Technically, it would appear S157E schemes have been QROPS since 6 April 2012, [in spite of not being] listed by HMRC.

“[But] from 25 May 2012, a S157E open to non-residents of Guernsey will be incapable of technically being a QROPS, due to statutory instrument 1221.”

The Concept Group statement goes on to declare that existing members of Guernsey QROP schemes “are not disadvantaged” by the HMRC decision, and that discussions with HMRC “will continue as will the development of other jurisdictions as QROPS centres.

“New Zealand and EU destinations remain viable.”

It added that legislation being considered in the neighbouring Channel Island of Jersey that is aimed at making it possible for Jersey pension administrators to accept transfers of the UK pensions of non-Jersey residents for the first time, “which was very similar to S157E, must therefore be assumed to be non-compliant with HMRC’s wishes, and very unlikely to be listed by HMRC if an application were ultimately made by a Jersey provider”.

Wendy Martin, director of tax policy in Jersey's Treasury and Resources department, said Jersey officials are in fact due to meet with HMRC officials tomorrow. "We will consider our position following that meeting, once we have a clear understanding of any concerns they may have with Jersey's draft legislation," she added.

Among most popular destinations

Until the publication of HMRC’s revised QROPS list, Guernsey was one of the three most popular destinations in the world for transfers of QROP schemes from the UK.

According to HMRC data obtained last year through a Freedom of Information Act request by Concept Group, Guernsey had been the destination of one in every 10 QROP schemes transferred out of the UK between 2007 – the first tax year during which such transfers became possible under the 2006 “A Day” overhaul of the UK’s pension rules – and the middle of June 2011, making it the third most popular jurisdiction overall.

In the first part of 2011, however, Guernsey moved up to first place, ahead of New Zealand and Australia, receiving almost one in every three QROPS transferred out of the UK during the first few months of that year, the Concept Group data showed.

Much of that business is expected to end up in Malta, a relative newcomer to the QROPS business, which was first recognised as a jurisdiction to which UK pensions could be transferred at the end of November, 2009.



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11 May 2012 22:36 by richardbkk Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hi Ojosazul88.

Yes, you can find the dates HMRC posted to their site here as well as some more info concerning NZ, Guernsey and EU QROPS here:

by googling 'hmrc's pension schemes news' and clicking on the first link to HMRC's site

Updated QROPS list on 10th May. Amendments on 8th May, 2012. Not on the forum to quibble over semantics. Hopefully, both of our posts should help some expats out there who are not au fait with the new rules and changes.

All the best,



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12 May 2012 08:40 by georgeh Star rating in condado de alhama sp.... 1462 posts Send private message

 richard are you in bkk?







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12 May 2012 14:18 by richardbkk Star rating. 8 posts Send private message

Hi George,

Yes, I am in Bangkok. But, take enquries from all around the world if anyone needs help.

Best regards,


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