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We like to consider what would be best advice for you, our clients. The companies that we have tested for QROPS, QNUPS AND SIPPs have shown good levels of service with a charging structure that ensures the best potential for capital growth.
Listed below are some of the options available to you through an OpesFidelio adviser. It is not intended as an exhaustive list, nor advice, so come and talk to us!
A SIPP is just a more flexible UK pension. Flexible in terms of investments, commercial property and loans for said property. Most, but not all, SIPPs benefit from authorised trustees following robust regulation, and now allow full access to pension funds from age 55 (the first 25% is tax free and any remainder taken is taxed in that tax year at your UK marginal rate or, subject to any Double Tax Treaty (DTT) with the country you pay tax in. Until the age of 75 you can leave 100% of funds, upon death, to your chosen beneficiaries free of pension or UK Inheritance Tax. Please note, like QROPS your fund may be taxed in the country you or your beneficiaries are resident in. You can continue to make contributions to your pension, even after you leave the UK for a fixed period, with highest marginal tax relief available up to the higher of your declared UK earnings, or £3,600 per annum. You can receive your pension income with tax deducted from the UK, but remember you have a tax free personal allowance on income of at least £10,000. We have some of the lowest cost options of all offshore pension providers, so come and talk to OpesFidelio.
QNUPS stands for Qualifying Non UK Pension Scheme and it was designed for pension funding for High Net Worth clients who already have substantial pensions, or wanted a pension type vehicle for investments in or out of the UK. The definition Qualifying means that the overseas pension scheme must meet HMRC’s specific criteria for pension schemes in order to obtain equivalent pension benefits including, for example, pension death benefits not being taxed (inheritance tax status subject to review after Budget 2014). There can be benefits in setting up your QNUPS in a jurisdiction which has a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with where you intend to take benefits, but you should seek advice from one of our experts.
With OpesFidelio you could consider leaving your pension exactly where it is, but have the servicing and investment management reviewed in line with your cash flow targets and attitude to risk. Often UK pensions offer the best charging structures already, so this solution is ideal for those looking to return to the UK in the future, or indeed, if you do not know what your future holds! There are other advantages and disadvantages, so come and talk to one of our experts.
QROPS are costly and not for everyone! Many of the advantages of QROPS were removed by new rules in April 2015 and April 2016. However, from age 75 with a QROPS you can leave your remaining pension funds to your chosen beneficiaries without incurring potential UK Tax charges even after taking benefits ( a UK pension held in the UK has restrictions on passing down and may incur tax in comparison, but advice is required). For example, this lump sum has now been re-classified as income to the beneficiaries from April 2016, meaning that avoiding UK tax for an expatriate is only part of the issue! Another often-cited QROPS advantage is you can receive your pension income with zero tax deducted from some jurisdictions but not all, and you will have access to an initial lump sum that may be higher than you previously would have had access to without UK tax. Please note that you or your beneficiaries may be subject to taxes in the country that you are all resident in, both on the growth and income in funds, and on any lump sum payouts, for example, on death. There can be benefits in setting up your QROPS in a jurisdiction which has a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) with where you intend to take benefits, but you should seek advice from one of our experts.
Please note, that there are substantial rule changes that took effect in 2001, 2006 and 2015. If your pensions pre-date these years, then you should have this taken into account when taking advice.