HMRC shocked the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (Qrops) industry when it suspended its list of approved schemes on 17 June, just two months after the government had introduced a radical series of reforms which allowed savers aged over 55 much greater freedom to access their pension pots.
The UK tax authorities wanted to make sure all the existing approved Qrops met the conditions of its pensions age test and only made payments from a scheme’s beneficiary before the age of 55 in cases of serious ill health.
It turned out that schemes in Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand largely did not meet this criteria as they allowed payments due to serious financial hardship, and our stories on their sudden closure and gradual re-emergence onto the HMRC approved list were all widely read.
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HMRC confirms Australian super funds are no longer QROPS