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    Specialist Help For USA Residents

    It is estimate that there are over 1.5 million British expats now living in the USA. A very large proportion of this number will never return to the UK. Choosing to live out their twilight years in sunnier climes.



    The USA is certainly a favourite destination for many UK ex-pats, however transferring a pension into QROPS is problematic for stateside residents as well as ex-pats.

    For the first time some QROPS is now available that tackles the necessary legal and administrative issues that have prevented US residents and nationals from picking up the tax and investment benefits or transferring to a QROPS.

    QROPS advisers do confirm that the HM Revenue and Customs listings of QROPS have included several US 401(k) pension schemes more or less from day one of April 2006. In principle QROPS transfers were available to US nationals living abroad along with UK ex-pats moving to the United States.

    It does remain that the HMRC’s counterpart in the USA namely the Inland Revenue Service (IRS) has so far refused to recognise QROPS transfers into a QROPS USA 401(k) pension by UK ex-pats living there. The reason for this they claim is that the QROPS structure is not legal.

    A similar no-go status was imposed on US nationals overseas who transferred from a 401(k) to a QROPS.

    QROPS 401(k) And IRA Transfers

    Both triggered IRS tax penalties on any funds that were transferred.

    This unfortunately is likely to tighten up further from January 2013 when the Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act comes into force. The Act will virtually bar all US residents and US nationals living outside the country from transferring their pensions into a QROPS.

    Although this complicates any QROPS transfers in or out of a 401(k) pension some providers have managed to re-structure the master trust that manages a QROPS into a USA-friendly legal entity.

    This is a legal alternative that opens QROPS USA investments as a two-way street between transferring from a UK pension to a US QROPS and likewise from a US 401(k) to an offshore QROPS.

    The framework is now in place, however QROPS USA is still tied up in red tape and successful transfers do require patience, specialist skills and expertise.

    The possibility of moving QROPS pension transfers for UK ex-pats living in the US does open a new world of investment opportunities that were once unavailable.

About US

The QROPS Help Centre is an independent organisation set up to provide people living outside the UK who still have UK pensions the opportunity of accessing independent information on QROPS transfers. We are not a QROPS provider or advisers on pension transfers. Our sole aim is to offer independent information.

Given the number of enquiries we receive from people seeking help and advice on a QROPS transfer we have elected to recommend Independent IFAs who in our opinion meet the requirements to offer sound qualified financial advice in this highly specialist area.

We only recommend IFAs who meet the following criteria:

Must be UK Chartered Insurance Institute G60 or equivalent qualified. If your adviser is not he or she is not qualified to offer advice on a pension transfer.

Have advised on pensions transfers for a minimum of five years. Experience is of prime importance in this area.

Are an international company with offices in more than one centre. QROPS is an international Financial product.

Are experienced in offshore and global investments. Your adviser must have knowledge of international investments and must be experienced in dealing in multi currencies, and the challenges this brings.

Are truly independent and have access to all QROPS providers.

Have a track record of good client service.

Understand the tax consequences of your transfer given your tax residence, and are able to advise on this.

To be put in touch with a QROPS Help Centre recommended IFA who meets with the above criteria. Or for further information or help with a QROPS transfer contact us: Click here.

For more information, visit the HMRC website here.