Another twist in the on-going saga of HMRC and QROPS rules has
resulted in a refocusing of where the responsibility lies in
ensuring that a QROPS scheme meets requirements.
A line has been drawn in the sand on QROPS transfers completed
by 24 September 2008, but thereafter, and for any new transfers
into a QROPS, there is a greater onus on both the advisor and the
member to ensure that any scheme meets the QROPS requirements and
potentially a UK pension trustee may be nervous about transferring
to a QROPS unless it is satisfied that the scheme is going to
comply with the rules. With the prospect of a tax charge of 55% on
the scheme assets if a transfer is deemed to be inappropriate,
there are going to be concerns on all parties as to where the
liability would lie for such a tax charge being incurred.
Tim Bush, Director of Carey Pensions and Benefits Limited in
Guernsey said "previously a transferring scheme may rely on a
letter from HMRC and that the scheme is included on the HMRC list
of QROPS schemes. This reliance may be inadequate moving forward
and HMRC are clear that the list does not imply approval or
authorisation of any particular scheme"
Tim Bush continues, "an advisor may be reluctant to
recommend a QROPS if they are concerned that the transferring
scheme will withhold a transfer given the potential
Bush suggests that one option may be for the member to transfer
from their UK pension into a SIPP in order to consolidate their
pension transfers, particularly if there is any doubt as to whether
a QROPS is right for the individual at that time. A transfer from a
SIPP to a QROPS can be made when appropriate. As Carey Group offer
SIPP's through their UK business in Milton Keynes, there would
be the comfort of knowing that a transfer to a Carey Group
connected QROPS (such as the Falcon plan which has been developed
by Abacus in Malta in conjunction with Carey Pensions ) would be an
Carey Group offer a connected solution between their group
teams. Bush continues "If a member transfers to a Carey SIPP
and then it is recommended that they transfer to a Carey connected
QROPS, then the set up costs of the SIPP will be offset against the
set up costs of the QROPS"
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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