In the Spring 2017 Budget, the UK government announced its intention to introduce a new 25% Overseas Transfer Charge (OTC) on QROPS transfers taking place on or after 9th March 2017. The HMRC Guidance indicates that the OTC will not be applied in the following situations:
- The QROPS is in the European Union (EU) or EEA and the member is also resident in an EU or EEA country (not necessarily the same EU or EEA country);
- The QROPS and the member is in the same country; or
- The QROPS is an employer sponsored occupational pension scheme, overseas public service pension scheme or a pension scheme established by an International Organisation (for example, the United Nations, the EU, i.e. not just a multinational company), and the member is an employee of the entity to which the benefits are transferred to its pension scheme.
It is also intended that the above provisions will apply to transfers from one QROPS (or former QROPS) to another, if this is within five full tax years from the date of the original transfer of benefits from the UK pension scheme to the first QROPS arrangement.
Nevertheless, it is clear that taking professional regulated advice is essential. This includes if you have already transferred benefits to a QROPS and you are planning to move to another country of residence.
It is important to explore your options now while you still have the chance as who knows what changes will come with BREXIT. Contact your local adviser for a FREE consultation and to discuss your personal options.