QROPS Specialists And QROPS Providers
What Is A QROPS Specialist?
A QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) specialist is a company or an adviser who has many years experience in arranging the transfer of UK pensions to QROPS. Most companies have offices or associates in many countries around the world.
What Qualifications Do QROPS Specialists Have?
Any QROPS specialist based in the UK will be regulated by the FSA and be specifically authorised to advice on pension transfers. Both the company and the individual will be registered. At least one individual within the company will have passed a specific exam on pensions (CII AF3 or equivalent) which whilst not specifically on QROPS, they will be included in its scope. The individual(s) will supervise the advice and transfer to a QROPS. The FSA register can be found here.
Other countries will have different regulations and different standards apply all over the world. You should satisfy yourself that the person/company you are dealing with is properly authorised before you receive any advice.
Should you deal with someone who is not properly qualified or authorised you may not have any protection if anything goes wrong.
We can arrange for an adviser to contact you when you give us your details in the box to the side of this page. Any adviser we refer you to will be properly authorised.
What Is A QROPS Provider?
A QROPS provider is a company that operates QROPS. It could be a world wide insurance company (e.g. AXA) or it could be a specialist company in the country that the QROPS is based (e.g. Lifeyrissjodur in Iceland).
How Do I Know If A Company Is Recognised As A QROPS Provider By HMRC?
Every month HMRC publishes a list of the QROPS that it recognises. Not all QROPS providers are listed because they wish to remain private. The HMRC list can be found here. Not all QROPS are listed as some have chosen not to have their details published. In this situation you should ask to see a copy of the confirmation letter from HMRC.
Can A QROPS Provider Stop Being Recognised By HMRC?
Yes, if HMRC believes that a QROPS is being misused, it can withdraw approval, and a QROPS provider can voluntarily cease to be recognised. This can happen for a number of reasons and if it does you can face a significant tax charge levied by HMRC.
An adviser should not recommend a QROPS provider that is likely to have their QROPS provider status withdrawn.
What Happens If A QROPS Provider Gets Into Financial Difficulties?
All QROPS providers should set the plan up as a trust so that the plan’s assets are held separately from the company’s assets. You should be able to continue to receive an income from the plan and you can transfer it to another QROPS provider if necessary.
Can A QROPS Specialist Be A QROPS Provider?
Yes, some groups of companies have both QROPS advisers and QROPS providers. Usually they are separate corporate entities and the advisers will recommend the sister company’s plans.
We can arrange for an adviser to contact you when you give us your details in the box to the side of this page. Any adviser that we recommend will usually be independent and not promote just one company’s QROPS.
The information given in this article is strictly for information purposes only and is not to be construed as financial advice.
Please see the following webpages for further information on Qrops:
Pensions and International