Despite the number of problems that you hear about UK expats struggling with frozen pensions the moment they move abroad, this does not mean that you’ll be suffering the same way once it’s your turn to move abroad. If you’re interested in investing or transferring your occupational pension, the Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme or QROPS can help you avoid the usual problems met by UK workers (retired or not) transferring to the US.
What is QROPS?
A QROPS is any pension scheme abroad that has been given the UK HM Revenue and Customs seal of approval as having the conditions and standards required to make it equivalent to a UK pension. This means that you can transfer your occupational pension to any scheme on the QROPS list. Even those who have previously had frozen pensions can check the list out as well and find options for them to maximize what their pensions can do.
How Do I Qualify for a QROPS Transfer?
Any UK expat aged 18 to 75 can apply for a transfer of their existing or frozen pensions under QROPS. You can also apply for a transfer if you have made the final decision to move out of the UK within the next 12 months. Those who are not citizens, but have worked in the UK or in any EU member country can also apply for a transfer.
What if I Don’t Qualify?
If you do not qualify for a QROPS transfer, there are a number of other alternatives for you to try. Depending on the status of your pension and taxes, there are a number of pension investment solutions on an international scale that you can choose from. It is best however, if you consult an expert on frozen pensions and pension transfers first just to make sure that the choice you are making is the best one.