QROPS pension and retirement is often considered an opportunity for people to do what they have always dreamed of, and, for many Britons, this means moving overseas.  Perhaps you might feel like exploring other countries, especially once you no longer have to worry about a busy work schedule.  Alternatively, you might want a break from the UK’s notoriously bad weather.  Whatever the reason, it is quite common for senior citizens to retire abroad.

For these globe-trotting Britons, one of the considerations is what might happen to their pension arrangements once they move out of home territory.  Formerly, overseas retirees had to pay extra taxes in order to get their funds transferred out of the United Kingdom.  Furthermore, the status of this money with regards to the pension laws in other countries was rather ambiguous, resulting in a great deal of confusion and inconvenience.

The Introduction Of QROPS Pension

Fortunately, in 2006, legislation was introduced that facilitated the establishment of Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Schemes, or QROPS.  Basically, these are schemes that fulfill the standards of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and are accredited as being worthy recipients of transferees from UK-based pension schemes.  In addition, a QROPS pension is not only for people who are registered under the state pension scheme.  If you are a British person with corporate, stakeholder, personal, or other pension scheme, you can still look into the option of transferring your arrangements overseas.

Choosing A QROPS Pension

Even though QROPS were only established a few years ago, there is already a bewilderingly large quantity for you to choose from.  How, then, do you select a QROPS Pension scheme that is best for you?

Firstly, you should check to see if the scheme you are considering is, indeed, recognized by the government.  Find their accreditation information, and then double-check with the HM Revenue and Customs.  If you find that the QROPS is registered, do not forget to double-check the contact information of the scheme managers.  This will ensure that the people whom you are contacting really are the managers of your chosen QROPS, instead of unscrupulous salespeople stealing the credentials of legitimate entities.

You might also try looking for a QROPS Pension advisor who can help you find the right scheme, or read materials that give you details about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of QROPS.

It is also highly recommended that you choose a country within the European Economic Area (EEA), and not only because doing so will cut down on the abovementioned paperwork.  As functionalist international relations theorists know, economic ties also lead to stronger political and diplomatic relationships.  In other words, you are much more likely to have a relatively easy time managing your consular affairs in a European Economic Area country.

It is much easier to change your pension arrangement—by getting a monthly payment increase, for instance—in EEA countries.  For countries outside the EEA, extra paperwork is often required.  We refer specifically to the State Pension Forecast Application form, also known as the BR 19.  You can find copies of this rather complicated bit of bureaucracy online form the government’s QROPS pension service.

For more information, visit the HMRC website here.

Please see the following webpages for further information on Qrops:

Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS)