QROPS: Growing, Changing, Rearranging

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Written By Gholam Rahmani

The QROPS market is set to see a huge shift in client priority in 2015, with many advisers preparing a strategy to deal with the potential demand for 100% access. But, for various reasons, this option isn’t exactly being welcomed with open arms by some of the wealth management companies whose existence relies solely on QROPS.

100% access means a complication in the way a QROPS is packaged in terms of investment, and CEO’s everywhere are scratching their heads wondering how to maximise their own level of business, while also attempting to stay true to their clients. It’s not going to be easy.

So Much Appeal

From an expatriate perspective, overseas pension transfers have never looked so appealing. There are more schemes (3.634) than ever before, and more jurisdictions (45) to choose from. Now with the increased options for flexibility upon retirement, the power has been removed from the providers and advisers, and been presented, gift wrapped, to the client. It’s really quite refreshing.

People are more informed than ever before in relation to QROPS, which are after all, still relatively new financial products in the greater scheme of things. A whole raft of current information is now available on all areas of expatriate finance from credible websites for those that need it, and one of the most popular searches for anyone living overseas but with a UK pension, is for information on a potential QROPS transfer.

QROPS has seen continued growth since the HMRC introduced the idea seven years back, and the 100% access rule is set to encourage further expansion of an already crowded marketplace. But despite the growth and improved regulation of the industry, there are still a few things to be wary of, and a few pieces of mis-information out there too.


There are certain financiers who made their living out of the now infamous New Zealand 100% access rule,s before HMRC got wind of it and swiftly shut them down. This was pension liberation before pension liberation, and it was a loophole exploited by some advisers. Coincidentally the same advisers seem to be coming out of the woodwork ready to pounce once the flood gates are opened in April. Reputation goes before you in finance though, and it is recommended that anybody contacted by an adviser offering 100% access quick and easy transfers is very wary and does some research on the company offering this before doing any business.

There are also articles stating that schemes giving 100% access will lose IHT exemption, but it is unclear at this stage exactly how gaining exemption from inheritance tax in a QROPS which you have already 100% drawn out will be of benefit to anybody.

Seek real advice from real QROPS advisers if you are considering a transfer.