There are two main pension transfers options available. A Self Invested Pension Plan (SIPP) which is a UK Pension Scheme and a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) which is an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) recognised pension transfer scheme based in a jurisdiction outside the UK which has equivalent standards to a UK pension.
Anyone who has ever been a member of a UK occupational pension scheme and now lives overseas, or is planning to leave the UK, can transfer their pension provisions into a SIPP or QROPS over which there is greater control and significantly improved benefits.
Key benefits of transferring a pension with PIMS
- Consolidation of several UK pensions into one
- Investment flexibility including private assets, offshore funds and stocks and bonds
- Taking up to 30% of the pension fund as a tax-free lump sum
- Possibility to allay UK income tax up to 45%
- No inheritance tax liability after living outside the UK for five years
- Avoid having to take an annuity
- Pass on the pension to loved ones
- Range of currency options
British expatriates are not the only people who can take advantage of these benefits. What is available can vary according to the country of residence, intended country of retirement, the scheme rules, marital status, how individuals and their beneficiaries take income/lump sums and how the tax rules work between the countries involved and the UK. Individuals should obtain independent pension advice.