Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Safety Of A Pension In A QROPS Fund

By Mark Ellis

If you happen to be an overseas employee in the United Kingdom and the money you earn has a Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme, or QROPS, there is a way to protect that pension. If your company has put you on a work furlough in the UK and you expect to be returning home, you can keep your pension through transfer. The only requirement is that the way you choose to make the pension transfer is approved by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, or the HMRC.

Qualifying for this pension plan a person must be a UK non-tax resident for a minimum of five years. Transfers can be made up to twelve months before you leave the country. If your stay extends the five year period, you pension can no longer be governed by the HRMC and your pension will become taxed the same as any other in the area where you reside.

It can be beneficial to have a pension plan transferred. Doing so will release the money from inheritance tax and all of the funds will be released to the beneficiary that you chose. Any creditors that are left owing upon your demise cannot collect form these funds. There is no outrageous tax; no annuity has to be acquired; and twenty five percent of the money is absolutely tax free.

These are just some of the benefits offered. This kind of pension transfer is extremely flexible. Still, if you have any questions in regard to how your funds should be placed in an offshore account, it is advisable that you seek the advice of a pension plan advisor.

The Channel Islands have long been the favorite as a place to transfer funds. The many number of years they have handled these accounts and others have proven them to be reputable and trustworthy. Funds placed here are in the best of hands.

Once you have transferred funds to a QROPS this does not mean that the monies are completely free from being taxed. The first five years that you are away from the UK, any activity that takes place on the pension is reported back to the HRMC. Beyond five years the HRMC has no right to any information in regard to an overseas pension fund. This only means that you have no worry about British tax but others may apply depending on where your funds are placed and the country in which you presently reside.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs even has a list of QROPS that anyone would know when they see the name on the list, but investing must be done properly. There are even applicants that must be backed by an advisor before their application will even be considered.

Placing your pension in a safe place will not come with no strings attached. These QROPS accounts are charged fees in different ways. Some will bases their charges on a percentage of the funds. Other institutions have set fees. This is one aspect of pension transfers that you may want to discuss with the advisor. He would have the most knowledge as to which fee would save or cost you the most money.

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