As many countries pay substantially lower taxes than in the UK, the benefits from this perspective are tremendous, and this is one of the reasons why there is a high demand for QROPS in Guernsey and other locations where taxes are low. Apart from reduced rates of taxation on regular pension withdrawals though, there are many other benefits.
There are various tax advantages that QROPS have when compared to UK pensions. Firstly, you can take out a non-taxable lump sum from your QROPS pension of up to 30%, or sometimes more subject to the rules and regulations of certain jurisdictions. Additionally, if you are leaving your QROPS pension to your dependants after your death, it will not be liable to inheritance tax.
In terms of the tax payable on your pension withdrawals, you can chose to invest your pension in an alternative country where taxes are low. If you do this, you will also be liable for taxes in the country where you are resident, but this could still work out cheaper than paying taxes that are applicable to UK pensions. It is worth bearing in mind that the full QROPS benefits will come after you have been away from the UK for five years. This is because prior to that period HMRC will still have to be notified of any withdrawals against your pension.
As well as tax savings, if you have a QROPS pension you will be able to chose from a wider range of investments for your pension fund. There are worldwide opportunities for a variety of investments such as bonds, property, hedge funds, gilts and equities. If you want to familiarise yourself with the types of growth opportunities available, your QROPS advisor will be able to offer advice.
There are also savings to be made in terms of currency exchange. If you are withdrawing your pension in the country where your QROPS was set up then you don’t have to transfer sums of money from the UK into your overseas account. That means that if exchange rates vary, the amount you receive will not be reduced as the currency will be the same. You will also be free from service charges for exchanging your currency.
However, should you wish to withdraw money from your QROPs in a different currency, you will also have the flexibility to do so. You may also have the option to set up your QROPS in an alternative country, but with an arrangement to withdraw your pension in your currency of choice.
The amount of benefits will vary depending on the country where your QROPS pension is established and on the amount invested, but the advantage of all QROPS schemes is that you have the flexibility to decide where, when and how you take your benefits. There are thousands of QROPS schemes available throughout the world and a qualified Qrops advisor will be able to advise you on eligibility, which schemes are suitable for your personal circumstances and which will be the most beneficial for you.