If you think that you’ve been mis-sold a QROPS Scheme Pension, contact Next Gen Solicitors today.

What is a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme?

Introduced in 2006, a ‘qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme’, or ‘QROPS’ for short, is a type of overseas pension scheme which HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs) has agreed to recognise as eligible to receive transferred funds from UK registered pension schemes.

This type of pension arrangement outside the UK acquires its funds from a UK-based pension fund. However, some strict rules apply. To achieve QROPS pension scheme qualification, it must be properly arranged to meet the requirements of UK tax law. This can include matters such as, being a scheme that is available to residents in the country in question, and scheme funds not being accessible prior to age 55, except in very special circumstances.

HMRC maintains a list of pension providers who confirm they offer schemes that meet HMRC’s criteria for QROPS pension scheme eligibility.

Who Can Take Advantage Of The QROPS Pension Scheme?

Those already living overseas or planning to move abroad may opt for a QROPS pension for a number of reasons:

  • They may wish to transfer their pension to their ‘country of retirement’ to avoid the difficulty of receiving pension payments in pounds. To do so might involve expensive (fluctuating) currency exchange charges for any spending in the new country.
  • They may also prefer to meet their tax obligations in their country of retirement, which might be easier than keeping track of UK tax rules.
  • They may happen to work abroad and wish to take advantage of a QROPS scheme offered by their employer.

Mis-Sold QROPS

Transferring your pension to a QROPS arrangement should only be considered if you receive good financial advice. This is because making such a decision also means you may lose other benefits as a consequence. In addition, a QROPS transfer itself may leave you liable for certain tax charges.

A QROPS route can often seem like a very attractive pension arrangement, and one of the major advantages, a financial adviser will mention, is the potential tax benefits. With a QROPS pension, you can effectively avoid paying UK income tax and substitute an alternative, and usually lower, rate of tax charged in your new country of residence. Yet despite its appealing advantages, a QROPS pension can still be problematic and mis-sold.

Recently, certain QROPS pension schemes have been closed down, either because they were found to be non-compliant with tax regulations or because they were deliberately being used as a means of exploiting tax loopholes. So any scheme which has failed to abide by tax rules is essentially already unlawful. And with public and political opinion running very much against all tax avoidance initiatives, even those QROPS pensions presently acceptable to HMRC may not be safe for long.

Plus, legislative adjustments could declare such schemes unlawful and would then expose pension investors to certain penalties.

Claiming QROPS Compensation

If you believe you have purchased a mis-sold QROPS pension scheme from a financial services provider and have incurred a financial loss, as a result, you may be eligible for compensation.

The Financial Conduct Authority expects any financial adviser to offer consistent, high-quality advice, so if any of the following apply, there may be a case to answer:

  • You were not informed that QROPS carries risks.
  • You believe your personal circumstances did not receive proper consideration.
  • You were pressured to consider high-risk investments.
  • You were advised it was essential to transfer your pension.
  • You were advised to transfer all of your pension pot into a QROPS arrangement.

We can help prepare, submit and manage an ongoing claim on your behalf with absolutely no upfront fees. The service we offer you will be on a strictly no-win, no-fee basis.