QROPS

Old Nov 25th 2011, 10:09 pm
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Default QROPS

Anyone any suggestions on how to find and evaluate a QROPS scheme?

I know what I want from a QROPS (ask for my Due Diligence list if you are interested), but I don't know which institution would be best placed to provide it.

Financial advisors: please don't offer your services!! I'm looking for a reply from someone who has researched this matter and gone through with it....
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Old Nov 25th 2011, 10:17 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Hi Gozopaz

First of all welcome to BE.

Im sorry but I can't give you any information on the subject matter but I am sure there may be other expats who may be able to answer.(I have to confess I don't even know what QROPS is )

We do have a chat room which you will find on the main forum index - double click on the Forum index tab at the top left of this page, scroll down past the list of countries then the orking abroad section and you will find it listed in the next section. It may be worth posting your question in there. Also may be worth seeing if your question would be applicable to one of the forums listed in the Working abroad by profession section.

Regards

Dread - x
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Old Nov 25th 2011, 10:25 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Originally Posted by GOZOPAZ View Post
Anyone any suggestions on how to find and evaluate a QROPS scheme?

I know what I want from a QROPS (ask for my Due Diligence list if you are interested), but I don't know which institution would be best placed to provide it.

Financial advisors: please don't offer your services!! I'm looking for a reply from someone who has researched this matter and gone through with it....
Welcome to BE.

I have moved your thread over to our Canada forums...I think you will get a better response in this forum.
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Old Nov 25th 2011, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into it.

QROPS stands for Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme. It refers to investment schemes abroad recognized (but not necessarily approved) by HMRC. You can find a better explanation on Wikipedia. Telegraph Expat will also tell you more. They also suggest a company, Blevin Franks, who will advise you.

You can find a list of such schemes on HMRC's website: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/qrops.pdf

There are many pitfalls to taking out a QROPS!
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Old Nov 25th 2011, 10:30 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Oh! I am in Canada, but probably moving to S. Europe.
The Channel Islands may be the best destination for my QROPS!!!
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Old Nov 25th 2011, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Originally Posted by GOZOPAZ View Post
Oh! I am in Canada, but probably moving to S. Europe.
The Channel Islands may be the best destination for my QROPS!!!
Sorry...I left my crystal ball at home. I'll get the thread moved over to the Europe forums.
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Old Nov 25th 2011, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Thanks.
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Old Nov 26th 2011, 11:31 am
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Default Re: QROPS

Originally Posted by GOZOPAZ View Post
Thanks.
If you use the search facility you will read some comments. Many peoples thoughts are that it fraught with risks and there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding the tax implications.

Unfortunately there have been a few shady characters that have graced the forum trying to sell these anonymously. I think the basic advice, unfortunately for you, is to take advice from a financial advisor who has knowledge of these schemes. In the UK the advisers are accountable, so often they do give impartial advice ... well ... most of them anyway
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Old Nov 26th 2011, 6:39 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Thank you! Spot on!

A chap at the Consumers’ Association suggested Blevins Frank (also recommended by the Daily Telegraph) and Siddalls (the fellow there told me not to go for QROPS as it was 99% likely that I’d get less money than from a Defined Benefit scheme. I’m not convinced because (a) my DB scheme won’t increase more than 5%, and I expect inflation to rip away sometime in the future, and (b) I expect sterling to be worth less than, say, the Canadian dollar - this isn’t a time to put £ in the euro! These are all my own views, and I may be very wrong).

I have had one “advisor” on the forums contact me and suggest a QROPS which isn’t even on the HMRC’s list!

BMO NB (Bank of Montreal Nesbitt Burns) offer QROPS, but don’t understand it at all. They gave advise which is completely at variance with what the chap who runs QROPS on a day-to-day basis in HMRC told me.

One of the biggest outfits, with a base in Gibraltar and with much marketing in the UK, spoke very briefly to me and then said “I’ll send you the forms so that you can go ahead.” He also gave me some wrong advice on a basic matter concerning a European jurisdiction. It strikes me that a lot of the smart alecks in the financial services industry talk rapidly and with great confidence, so as to blind you and hook you in.

Their other trick is failure to disclose. Opacity not transparency. I was in discussion with a fellow from BMO NB about index-linked government bonds. They seem so sound. Then, by prodding, I got him to admit that he can’t buy them at issue, only at market value after the issue, which puts them in a completely different light. He also told me I could move my QROPS from Canada to Europe without being taxed thanks to ‘dual taxation’ treaties. My accountant in Canada said, ‘No, if you move your funds from Canada, Revenue Canada will tax you on the move.’

Two other BMO NB colleagues in Toronto gave more bad advice. They talked about the ‘6-year rule’, and said you could not withdraw your funds in that time-frame. There is no 6-year rule. 5 years is the important milestone: after 5 tax years away from the UK, HMRC are no longer interested in what you do with the money. But even within the first 5 years, you can withdraw funds “provided the withdrawal is consistent with the UK rules and your pension rules. A tax-free lump sum of 25% can be taken within the first 5 years if the UK scheme would have allowed it. The remaining funds must be used to provide a lifetime pension” - again, from the HMRC chap.

The devil is in the detail. When you really look into the overall fees for a QROPS, you can be quite horrified at how you are being ripped off. Take, say, 1.5% a year over 30 years…. They milk you for doing nothing except holding your money. Or the fees for moving from one fund to another. Or the fees for making extra deposits or withdrawals. Or the fees for moving to another scheme.

Other key points to watch out for: 1. Avoid locked-in schemes. 2. How secure is the institution holding your funds? 3. What return can you really expect to get on your investment? Here a load of unrealistic baloney will spurt out from the potential QROPS provider (“I aim at a 7% return each year,” said the first fellow from BMO NB. Really! In the present economic climate! You can tell me you aim at anything; why not 1000% each year?)

Sometime ago I read John Kay’s book The Long and the Short of It. Professor Kay writes a weekly column in the Financial Times. He tells the reader to be very wary of financial professionals: some give poor advice, some are dishonest, and many are both. They get their cut no matter how badly they manage your money. There is much of value in this book.

Yes, I’m asking myself why I’m doing it. Most of the reasons given on the web (the sites with pictures of just you and the missus on an idyllic beach with a glorious azure sky) are not relevant. So, I guess I need to do my own business case:

• why am I doing it?
• what am I hoping for?
• what issues do I see here and now?
• what are the risks?
• what don’t I know that can be researched here and now?
• where can I get sound information?
• what due diligence must I complete before proceeding…?
etcetera.
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Old Nov 26th 2011, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

I'm interested. All your posts on the forum are on this subject.

Are you a Brit ... I'm guessing the implications are different.

You can tell by the reaction on here that people are very careful about this subject
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Old Nov 26th 2011, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Yes, I am a Brit. I also have Canadian nationality, and am currently in Canada, but the missus and I are strongly considering retiring in southern Europe...

As things unfold, I should be in a position to make further posts on QROPS...
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Old Nov 27th 2011, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Proceed with caution ( strongly advised )
and Good Luck , with QROPS and resettlement !
Once used to certain Canadian standards , you might get very disappointed with various aspects of what life in southern EUrope has to offer , nowadays .
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Old Nov 28th 2011, 11:58 am
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Default Re: QROPS

I've been looking into QROPs and still am. Sorry to disagree with some, but I don't think any UK 'IFA' is going to recommend something that basically takes money out of UK. There's nothing in it for the UK IFA.

For me personally, and maybe it might strike a chord with others, i have no intention of returning to UK so makes no sense in keeping a UK investment... And especially in light of the possible impending gloom n doom in Europe with both Euro and Sterling.

Cannot help you with your choice of QROPs but good luck with the research. I am also looking.
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Old Nov 28th 2011, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
I've been looking into QROPs and still am. Sorry to disagree with some, but I don't think any UK 'IFA' is going to recommend something that basically takes money out of UK. There's nothing in it for the UK IFA.
.
IFA's are minutely policed these days. They have to document everything and prove they are indeed independent. Doesnt mean you will get the best advice though, of course that all depends on the quality of IFA you have
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Old Nov 28th 2011, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: QROPS

Originally Posted by Ray51 View Post
Proceed with caution ( strongly advised )
and Good Luck , with QROPS and resettlement !
Once used to certain Canadian standards , you might get very disappointed with various aspects of what life in southern EUrope has to offer , nowadays .
I'm intrigued by your statement re southern Europe.
Have you lived in Canada? There are aspects of life which are difficult to adjust to... and I've spent several years in Canada!
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