The CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations and leading specialists in pension transfers championed HMRC’s decision to remove Australian superannuation funds from its official recognised list of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS).
Nigel Green, the founder and chief executive of deVere Group, many of whose 80,000 clients have transferred their retirement savings into an HMRC-recognised QROPS, is speaking out after Australian superannuation funds were delisted from the 1 July list.
Mr Green comments: “Whilst Australian superannuation funds are highly regulated financial vehicles, they fail the UK’s ‘pension age test.’ That’s to say that they do allow the early payment – before the age of 55 – of benefits. Therefore, these funds do not meet all the stringent requirements needed to be recognised by HMRC as a QROPS or Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme.
“I welcome this move by the UK tax authority, which has once again tightened the QROPS rules.
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“This measure further impedes funds being transferred to certain destinations with the sole aim of the pension holder then being able to withdraw a large proportion of the cash as a lump sum. This is not how QROPS were ever intended to be used; they are meant to provide an income in retirement for those living outside the UK.”
He continues: “HMRC’s stance on this issue and the deployment of more and more of its resources in the area is further evidence that QROPS are fully part of the retirement planning ‘Establishment’, and that the overseas pension transfer market has fully come of age.
“Last week’s tightening of the rules means that clients are even more protected, making QROPS, with all their enormous financial benefits for expat retirees, an even more attractive option.”
Mr Green concludes: “It is likely that other jurisdictions will benefit from HMRC’s new list, including Malta, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.