Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes
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QROPS in the USA

 What is a QROPS scheme? A QROPS, or Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme, is an overseas pension scheme that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recognises as eligible to receive transfers from registered pension schemes in the UK.

QROPS in the USA in 2020

To limit the use of QROPS, the UK government has imposed a transfer tax of 25% on any transfers outside the EEA. This is if the scheme is not in the same country as the member resides.
This makes QROPS unsuitable for most USA residents.


The benefits of QROPS

  • No Lifetime Allowance
  • Your pension will pass to your family
  • Less tax on your pension benefits
  • Pension paid in currency of your choice
  • Protection from creditors in the event of a divorce

The types of pensions you can transfer to a QROPS

If you have a company or personal pension (including defined benefit plans), you can transfer these into a QROPS. You can also transfer your existing QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes).

Pensions that you can not transfer to a QROPS include

• State pensions
• NHS pensions
• Teachers pensions
• Armed Forces pensions
• Police and Firefighters pensions

QROPS in the USA – Frequently Asked Questions

What types of pension can I transfer to a QROPS?

Most types of pension schemes can be transferred where there is a transfer value (e.g NOT UK State Pensions) available, with the exception of unfunded public sector schemes.

Will I have to pay UK taxes?

Any pension scheme in the UK will deduct tax at source on pension income paid unless there is a double taxation agreement in place with the member’s country of residence and HMRC agrees to pay gross and issues a tax code accordingly.

Can I take my pension in US dollars?

Certain types of pension schemes such as SIPPS can pay benefits in multi-currencies.

Is there a minimum amount I can transfer to a QROPS?
There is no formal minimum fund size. Small funds may not be viable to transfer as the costs may outweigh the benefits.
You should consider a QROPS  if your pension funds are over £30,000
How long does it take to transfer a pension?

It depends on the type of transfer and the parties involved but a rule of thumb is 4-12 weeks.

Is flexible drawdown available?

Defined contribution pension schemes can offer flexible drawdown. But, it depends on providers rules, you may need a transfer to get this benefit.

Are QROPS suitable in the USA?

USA residents can use QROPS. But, they will be subject to the 25% transfer tax introduced by the UK government. This is where the transfer is outside the EEA and not within the country where you live.

UK Pension-Review

Pension reviews

If you now live in the USA you should consider your UK company or personal pension transfer options.  Get your free, no obligation, guide to Pension reviews today.



A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a UK government regulated personal pension scheme. SIPPs can be a suitable choice if you now live in the USA, and have your pension back in the UK.

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New York, NY 
Direct: + (1) 267.864.8259
Fax: +1 646.430.9466

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