RPSM14101050 - Technical Pages: Transfers: Recognised transfers from registered pension schemes: Qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme
This guidance only reflects the tax rules that applied up to and including 5th April 2012. See RPSM13104000 for guidance on the tax rules applying to all QROPS after 5 April 2012.
Under section 169 a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme is a recognised overseas pension scheme that meets certain requirements. Some of those requirements are prescribed under regulation 3 of The Pension Schemes (Information Requirements - Qualifying Overseas Pension Schemes, Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes and Corresponding Relief) Regulations 2006. The scheme manager must:
- have notified HMRC that the scheme is a recognised overseas pension scheme, and have provided evidence of that if required,
- have informed HMRC of the name of the country or territory in which the scheme is established. If this is not an EU Member State, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or a country or territory with which the UK has a Double Taxation Agreement which contains exchange of information and non-discrimination provisions (seeRPSM14101046), the scheme manager must also provide evidence that the scheme fulfils the requirement set out at the third bullet point in RPSM14101040,
- have provided any other evidence required by HMRC,
- have undertaken to notify HMRC if the scheme ceases to be a recognised overseas pension scheme, and
- have undertaken to provide HMRC with certain information on making payments in respect of certain scheme members (see RPSM14101070).
In addition, the scheme must not have ceased to be a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme as a result of HMRC notifying the scheme manager that it is excluded from being one (see RPSM14101058) because it has failed to comply with the information requirements about transfer members (see RPSM14101070). The scheme ceases to be a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme from the date HMRC notifies the scheme manager that the scheme is excluded.
A scheme manager must send the requisite notification and undertakings to
|Pension Schemes Services|
|HM Revenue & Customs|
|Castle Meadow Road|
|Nottingham NG2 1BD|
A form (APSS251), which has been designed to help, can be used by a scheme manager to provide notification. In response to such a notification HMRC will send the scheme manager a letter of acceptance that the scheme is a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme. The letter will show the unique QROPS reference number for that scheme. Details of the qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme will be entered on the Pension Schemes Services (PSS) database. HMRC may ask the scheme manager for more evidence before issuing a letter of acceptance (or rejection).
In many cases the acceptance letter will be issued on the basis of the information that the scheme has provided to HMRC on the form APSS251. That information may subsequently be checked by HMRC. If it transpires that there are errors in that information such that the scheme cannot meet the requirements to be a QROPS, this will be considered to have always been the position regardless of the issue of the acceptance letter.
Where it is proposed to transfer the rights of a member of a registered pension scheme to an overseas pension scheme the transferring scheme administrator, the member, or their financial adviser, can check if the scheme appears on the list of those QROPS that have consented to their names being published on the HMRC internet site (see RPSM14101053).
Because of HMRC confidentiality rules PSS will not be able to answer queries about the QROPS status of an unlisted overseas pension scheme unless it has received from the manager of that scheme written authorisation for it to disclose whether or not the scheme is a QROPS. The letter or form providing authorisation must be signed by the manager of the overseas scheme in order for PSS to answer the query.
As the manager of an overseas pension scheme that is a QROPS will have received a letter of acceptance from PSS another way of checking on an unlisted scheme’s status would be to ask the manager for sight of that letter.
UK scheme administrators and members should be aware that a transfer may not be permissible even though an overseas pension scheme is a QROPS. QROPS status has significance for UK tax purposes only. Whether or not a transfer to a QROPS can be made will depend also on the scheme being able to accept a transfer under the legislation of the country in which it is established. In particular, it is PSS’ understanding that transfers to US “qualified” retirement plans, including individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), cannot be made as such plans are not permitted to accept a transfer of funds from a UK registered pension scheme. UK scheme administrators and members should contact the relevant overseas authority for confirmation, not PSS.