Posts Tagged ‘ qrops ’

Is QROPS changing?

QROPS Blog – Is QROPS changing?

Is QROPS changing?
JULY 26, 2013
June 2013 brought a major shockwave in the QROPS industry, as the HM Revenue & Customs has been forced to deliver a policy statement that reviews its policies in selecting and handling qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes.

This policy statement was then delivered on the 12 July – but has not been made public yet.

Experts warned that the delay could be a sign of a major shake-up in the way QROPS will be operated.

We have put together a list of what impact HMRC’s new review may have:

1. Nothing could change

HMRC could simply restate its aims – since it is not technically required to do anything beyond publishing a review of policies. HMRC could simply justify its policies in the public domain and where necessary, provide additional clarification for confused UK pension holders.

2. HMRC may become more selective in QROPS providers

HMRC may become more rigid in the way offshore pension schemes like QROPS are designated.

Fewer schemes could mean better relationships between HMRC and QROPS providers, ensuring that misunderstandings happen far less often.

3. HMRC may try to make QROPS unattractive to savers

HMRC may deliberately make QROPS less attractive to expats by increasing the minimum level which must be set aside to provide savers with an income for life, which is currently set at 70%. The remaining 30% can be taken as tax free lump-sum.

4. HMRC may try to make QROPS unattractive to providers

HMRC could impose charges on providers to maintain their QROPS status, in order to reduce the attractiveness of QROPS.

The option for QROPS providers would be to either pass this cost to their customers, resulting in lower returns, or end their involvement with QROPS all together.

5. HMRC may cancel QROPS all together

The notion of HMRC drastically rebranding the scheme to make it unrecognisable, or removing the UK pension transfer ability altogether, is not beyond the realm of possibility – according to experts. Especially when considering the amount of hassle HMRC faces to maintain QROPS.

Sources: International Adviser


HMRC Suspends 432 QROPS

HMRC Suspends 432 QROPS – iExpats

More than 430 Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) have disappeared from the latest HM Revenue and Customs list of recognised pensions.
So far, no scheme providers or HMRC have indicated why the pensions are not on the list, but the suspicion is HMRC post- April 6 2012 new rules do not work and 432 schemes that were added to the recognised list after that date are suspended.
Speculation also suggests the slashing of the list is related to the recent Singapore ROSIIP High Court case that HMRC wants to withdraw from – but cannot until a public policy statement over QROPS is handed to the court by July 17.
The understanding is providers have yet to be contacted by HMRC to tell them why their schemes are no longer on the list.
HMRC has not yet commented about the QROPS removals.
QROPS list
Removal from the list is generally for three reasons and does not necessarily indicate any wrong-doing by the provider. The three reasons are:
HMRC have removed the scheme because the pension is breaking QROPS rules
The scheme has asked to be removed from the list
HMRC has suspended the scheme pending further investigation
The missing schemes cover 15 of the 46 QROPS financial jurisdictions. HMRC has not removed any financial jurisdiction from the list.
“HMRC may also temporarily remove a scheme from this list in certain circumstances while it carries out a review,” says HMRC on the list. “Such removal will not necessarily mean that the scheme has been excluded from being a QROPS by HMRC – but the scheme will be removed from the published list until HMRC has completed its review.”
The missing QROPS
HMRC publishes the list every 14 days – a copy is available from the HMRC web site
The jurisdictions with suspended schemes are:

Australia 259
Canada 6
France 2
Gibraltar 8
Guernsey 16
Hong Kong 2
Ireland 67
Isle of Man 24
Italy 7
Jersey 5
Malta 6
New Zealand 13
Norway 1
South Africa 1
Spain 2
Sweden 1
Switzerland 6
The Netherlands 6

– See more at:


BA pension deficit increases but shareholders can receive dividends re blogged Nigel Green Blog

Great article by our CEO,

BA pension deficit increases but shareholders can receive dividends
BA pension holders were let down again today as trustees of the pension scheme allowed BA to restore dividends to its shareholders despite the BA pension deficit increasing.

It seems to me that deficits are now just being accepted as the normal. If allowed to pay dividends with their massive deficits still in place what incentive is there for companies like BA to re-float their pension schemes.

British Airways announced an agreement with the trustees of its large pension schemes that should lift a restriction on the airline paying a dividend.

The dividend bar was put in place in 2010, when the deficit in British Airways’ two defined benefit pension schemes was put at £3.2bn, and the airline committed to payments to fix this.

In the latest actuarial valuation of the schemes announced on Tuesday, the deficit was estimated at £3.3bn. British Airways said it would make annual payments of £360m over a 10 to 13 year period to the pension schemes, partly to fix the deficit.

With payments as low as this agreed there is little or no chance in my opinion of BA catching up on its pension deficit.

Early this year I said a big pension scheme will fall

Nigel Green deVere group

Blog written 11th June

12 months to save UK final salary schemes – UK Pensions Minister

On March I wrote an article well this seams to be an answer 12 month , and that’s from the Pension Minister.

I have spoken to many people on this , and we are helping many . So if you want to know what you can do or like more info on this please drop me a mail

UK has 12 months to save final salary schemes – Pensions Minister.

UK Pensions Minister Steve Webb warned that there may only be a year to save company pension schemes that offer a guaranteed payout to savers and that there is ‘no point trying to apply electrodes to the corpse’.

Speaking to the pensions industry, Webb said that companies are opting to close defined benefit schemes and instead introduce defined contribution schemes where the members’ payouts are based on the performance of the investments and the annuity they buy with their fund on retirement.

However, Webb wants to see more ‘defined ambition’ schemes, which offer a middle ground with more secure payouts than a DC scheme, but this means that employees will take on more risk.

Webb believes that next year offers a critical opportunity to talk to companies about what they are offering their workers, as the programme to automatically enrol workers into pensions is rolled out and the introduction of a flat-rate state pension is fast approaching.

Defined benefit pension schemes, also known as final salary schemes, have been under pressure in recent years, since a combination of increased life expectancy and low gilt yields have made it increasingly expensive for companies to provide the retirement incomes promised to members.

Notably, research by the Pensions Protection Fund showed that by the end of April 2013, 5,142 of the UK private sector schemes were in deficit, with the total shortfall between liabilities and assets adding up to £257 billion.

Nigel Green CEO deVere Group comments


UK pension defict increased to – £236 BILLION

This problems seams not to get better , FTSE was up over 10% in the first quarter and yet the deficit increases . £236 billion or $360 billion USD that’s the equivalent as the GDP of Thailand or if it would be its own country it would be the 26th largest country in the world!

I personally advising clients to transfer out of these as its a matter of when not if ,

I wrote in the British Chamber of Commerce Japan an article on this . If you like to read it , click here

UK Pension Deficits Increase yet Again

Scary , time to act now .

Tony Evans , Tokyo

The total UK pension deficits of defined benefit schemes increased by GBP35billion in one month!!

The Pension Protection Fund released figures suggesting that the deficit for the 6,300 Defined Benefit Schemes in the UK, which have 12million members, jumped to GBP236 billion in February.

The increasing deficits can be attributed to the drop in Government gilt yields due to Quantative Easing and also lower longer term investment returns – meaning that Pension Fund Investment Managers are now having to take bigger risks to support their funding liabilities.

The figures are all the more remarkable considering that it is estimated that the UK top 100 Companies contributed in excess of GBP12 billion in extra contributions in an attempt to close the deficits.

Clearly, with most schemes now closed to new members, existing members may well begin to see some of their existing benefits eroded, as schemes reduce pension increases or increase normal retirement ages. What a mess!

Blog written on Monday 15th April, by Nigel Smith.


How to find your missing UK pension ?

In my position I have seen so many clients that have worked in the Uk for a couple years and thought they have nothing there , but I have been the bearer of good news to a lots of clients .

Of you have worked in the UK or have had a UK contract there is a large possibility you have a frozen UK pension . This means there is money that belongs to you and we able to help you take control of it .

If you like more info drop me me a mail ,

Tony Evans

Daily Mail – Are you missing out on a pension windfall? Five million job-hopping Britons are losing track of pension pots worth £3BILLION

Job-hopping is causing millions of UK workers to lose track of the pension pots they save into during their careers, meaning savings totalling billions of pounds go unclaimed in retirement.
With many young workers having already been employed by several firms in the early stages of their career, research from Age UK suggests that a shift in working cultures is resulting in a pensions ‘black hole’.
It found that almost a quarter of adults have lost track of at least one of their pension schemes, while many who have lost their pensions are unsure about where to start hunting them down.

Age UK’s Lucy Harmer said: ‘With the number of jobs we have over a lifetime increasing, it’s likely that people will accumulate several small pension pots.
‘In many cases these bring a less fruitful income in later life than one large pension pot.

‘It’s really important we all set aside time to keep on top of our personal admin, such as organising paperwork and keeping details of any financial products safe and secure. This is especially crucial for pensions as it may be some years down the line until they need to be accessed.’
The Pensions Tracing Service estimates that the amount of cash going unclaimed in ‘missing’ personal or occupational workplace pension totals around £3billion, with five million people having lost or forgotten about pensions.

While those over the age of 65 have worked on average for 5.6 employers, the changing career practices among the younger generate means that 23 per cent of those aged between 25 and 34 have already worked for a similar number of firms, but have around 35 years before they retire.

Workers who admitted to losing track of at least one of their pensions said they had been ‘lost in the mists of time’.

Around one in five admitted to being less than fastidious with their record keeping as they have lost their pension paperwork, while 10 per cent blamed moving jobs too many times to keep track of their pensions.

Lost pensions by region: A breakdown of the Age UK research shows those in the south west are most likely to have lost track of their pensions.

The Government took action to assist those with ‘stranded’ pension pots in 2009, allowing people to cash in schemes with a value of less than £2,000.
Pensions minister Steve Webb meanwhile has been calling for an increase in the ‘pot follows member’ culture so workers can bring their pension with them when they transfer to a new job.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reported last year that UK adults now work on average for 11 different employers during their careers, and the Age UK research suggests this number is likely to rise.

The Government through auto-enrolment is taking steps to encourage pension saving among the working population, but the financial downturn has prompted a malaise about pensions which has been exacerbated by poor annuity rates and the closure of numerous final salary schemes.
The Age UK survey found that 12 per cent of workers said they do not think there’s any point in long-term financial planning as ‘nothing is guaranteed’, while nine per cent do not know how to start planning for retirement.

A quarter meanwhile say they recognise they need to save for retirement, but cannot afford to.

Barnett Waddingham consultant Malcolm Maclean said: ‘Where once upon a time it would have been unusual for a worker to have more than one or possibly two jobs over the whole of their working lives that is now no longer the case.

Regular changes of jobs means that individuals frequently accumulate a number of small pension pots which at some point they need to account for in preparation for retirement

Having located all the pensions, the individual should then consider bringing them together and purchasing a single annuity – it would normally give them a better return for their money than seeking to obtain a number of small annuities from different pension pots.’


UK Firm Pensions: Is the End Nigh? « BCCJ Acumen – The Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan

My article on UK pension and the risks facing them , And how individuals can protect themselves .

Clink on the below link to have a look .

UK Firm Pensions: Is the End Nigh? « BCCJ Acumen – The Magazine of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

UK company pensions – the end is nigh? Or even closer??

BCCJ Acumen March 2013 issue

UK company pensions – the end is nigh? Or even closer??

2007 saw the world suffer the largest financial meltdown of our generation, and while this was a key catalyst in today’s pension crisis, it is not the sole issue.

Coupled with a rise in life expectancies, this has now created a major problem for ANYONE (British, or non-British), with a UK pension, and expecting to receive an income in retirement.

The UK retirement age was set at 65 in1948 to provide financial support in the final year or two of life – the average life expectancy for a male at this time was 66.8.

Today the average life expectancy is in the 80’s and rising!

Pensions were designed to fund short retirements, not 20 or 30 years of retirement. As people’s life expectancy rose so did their expectations for an early and long retirement; in some cases 30 years of work and 30 years of retirement!!!
Pure Madness

Today 80% of UK company pension schemes are in serious deficit; they do not have the financial assets to meet their liabilities. Consequently the amount of pension income received in retirement could be significantly less than expected. Ten people for tea, only six sandwiches on the plate…

A guarantee is only as good as the one making the guarantee! In the words of Benjamin Franklin “‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

The UK has 7,800 pension schemes, and 1,184 have gone bust due to company failure or unsustainable funding ratios.

On average, 15 schemes a month are falling into Pension Protection Fund (PPF) and at this rate 25% of all Final Salary schemes will fall within the PPF within 7 years.

The PPF is a statutory fund run by a statutory corporation, not the government and has neither government guarantees or funding. It’s objective is to be commended, to pay compensation to defined benefit pension scheme members when their employers go bust and cannot afford to pay what they promised.

PPF Assets per member 2010/2011 £86,500
PPF anticipated assets per member 2015 £34,000

Once a DB scheme enters PPF assessment the opportunity for members to transfer out is gone.

But won’t the value of my pension recover?

Very unlikely :

• 60% of UK pension scheme money is invested in government bonds, not equities, therefore little growth!
• It is a myth that final salary schemes are guaranteed, they are NOT.
So in the BOOM in the stock market in 2013 (FTSE up 7.26%) UK pension schemes missed out!

11 FTSE 100 companies have pension liabilities in excess of their market capitalization:-

British Airways
British Telecom
BAE Systems
Royal Bank of Scotland
RSA Aviva
Lloyds TSB
Marks & Spencer

BA’s DB pension scheme liabilities are 5 times the value of the company.

Many schemes are unsustainable and represent a serious risk to the future survival of the company.

What should you do?

If you have a frozen (DB) final salary scheme, then there has never been a better time to transfer into a Qualified Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). Why? Transfer values are 80 per cent higher today than they were six years ago.
Why the increase in QROPS ?
People are frustrated with Chancellor Osborne moving the goal post on pension benefit , age of retirement , contribution . When there is confusion people don’t do anything . People want some certainty , in Japan people have seen the £ go from 240 to 140 , seeing their incomes halved !

What can I do ?
Sit down and review your current situation , the pension itself and the scheme.
In my position as Area Manager of deVere Group Japan I have personally seen an increase in individuals fearful of the current UK pension crisis . With good reason there is an unprecedented window of opportunity available to eligible DB scheme members today that may well not be there tomorrow.
Due to the complex and convoluted nature of pension & pension transfers, the deVere Group have commissioned an independent actuary to prepare a report for interested individuals , this is very simple to initiate.

Download the article :

QROPS – deVere Japan reaffirms importance of pension transfers.

%d bloggers like this: