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Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Old Jul 14th 2011, 6:03 pm
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Default Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Has there been any light shed in this area recently. I want to “cash out” my 34K GBP held in a UK private pension. I want to use it for a second property deposit here in California as the housing market is so deflated right now. I am relatively young and have a few other ducks lined up for retirement and think this would be a good investment for me and my family. That being said, I would really be interested in the tax implications. I have talked to several advisers and they all say it can definitely be done, but no one is clear on what happens the US end. I don’t mind taking a 20% hit this end as I still have enough to secure a home in the price range I am looking at and have already been approved for the mortgage. I’m just wondering if anyone has experienced a similar scenario and if so, how much was the actual cost/fees/taxes etc. I am holding a long term green card, have been here 3 years, I will apply for citizenship this year and live in California.
Hope someone can help! Thanks…
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Old Jul 15th 2011, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

I'm not sure that what you're trying to do is possible (or sensible), but the term you would need to search for is 'QROPS' (the scheme to allow you to transfer your UK pension into a foreign scheme). I have read that some people managed to transfer their pension over to the US and take it as a cash sum, but the legality of the schemes they used was questionable.
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Old Jul 15th 2011, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by NatashaB View Post
I'm not sure that what you're trying to do is possible (or sensible), but the term you would need to search for is 'QROPS' (the scheme to allow you to transfer your UK pension into a foreign scheme). I have read that some people managed to transfer their pension over to the US and take it as a cash sum, but the legality of the schemes they used was questionable.
There's no way to get a UK pension scheme to the US. If the OP wants to cash out a UK pension plan they will have to talk to the UK administrator and see what it wl take is penalties to do this and then satisfy the UK and US tax authorities about the distribution.
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Old Jul 17th 2011, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by nun View Post
There's no way to get a UK pension scheme to the US.
Yes there is - QROPS.
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Old Jul 17th 2011, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
Yes there is - QROPS.
Oh no there isn't......is it panto season yet? Seriously do you know of anyone who has has a QROP recognized by the IRS? Companies my well say it can be done, but none of the schemes are recognized as qualified retirement plans by the IRS.
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

I had a QROPS specialist in Sarasota FL transfer my stangnant Lloyds/Black Horse pension from the UK, through a Lithuanian bank. I felt that placing it in an AOP was preferable to transfering to my John Hancock 401k, which I could have done without an issue. I could also have taken the cash, had I so desired.
I never fully understood the Lithuanian connection and do not know if that somehow exploits a loophole, but it can be done, because I did it myself, with a not inconsiderable (over 100k) some of money.

Last edited by Awesome Welles; Jul 18th 2011 at 1:48 pm. Reason: bad speling
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
I had a QROPS specialist in Sarasota FL transfer my stangnant Lloyds/Black Horse pension from the UK, through a Lithuanian bank. I felt that placing it in an AOP was preferable to transfering to my John Hancock 401k, which I could have done without an issue. I could also have taken the cash, had I so desired.
I never fully understood the Lithuanian connection and do not know if that somehow exploits a loophole, but it can be done, because I did it myself, with a not inconsiderable (over 100k) some of money.
I'm based in Sarasota and would also like to do this. Can you send me their details please so I can speak to them. Thanks in advance
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by SuperOwls View Post
I'm based in Sarasota and would also like to do this. Can you send me their details please so I can speak to them. Thanks in advance
If you wait about on the thread, someone with a post count of 1 always pops up to say they can see you right if you only contact them. Large pots of money are always attractive.
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by SuperOwls View Post
I'm based in Sarasota and would also like to do this. Can you send me their details please so I can speak to them. Thanks in advance
You have mail....
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
I had a QROPS specialist in Sarasota FL transfer my stangnant Lloyds/Black Horse pension from the UK, through a Lithuanian bank. I felt that placing it in an AOP was preferable to transfering to my John Hancock 401k, which I could have done without an issue. I could also have taken the cash, had I so desired.
I never fully understood the Lithuanian connection and do not know if that somehow exploits a loophole, but it can be done, because I did it myself, with a not inconsiderable (over 100k) some of money.
What is an AOP? Association of Persons? Is it a qualified US retirement account? If not we are still looking for a case where a foreign retirement account is "rolled over" in to a US qualified account. Out of interest how do you deal with your accounts on your US taxes? How does the IRS class your AOP and how did the UK and the US treat your transfer? I assume you are a US resident or citizen.

Last edited by nun; Jul 18th 2011 at 6:30 pm.
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by SuperOwls View Post
I'm based in Sarasota and would also like to do this. Can you send me their details please so I can speak to them. Thanks in advance
Me too, what are the details?
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
I had a QROPS specialist in Sarasota FL transfer my stangnant Lloyds/Black Horse pension from the UK, through a Lithuanian bank. I felt that placing it in an AOP was preferable to transfering to my John Hancock 401k, which I could have done without an issue. I could also have taken the cash, had I so desired.
I never fully understood the Lithuanian connection and do not know if that somehow exploits a loophole, but it can be done, because I did it myself, with a not inconsiderable (over 100k) some of money.
My recollection of the many, many times this topic has come up (why don't people use the Search facility? ) is that QROPS is possible (though not easy), and that the associated costs make it only worthwhile for large amounts.
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by nun View Post
What is an AOP? Association of Persons? Is it a qualified US retirement account? If not we are still looking for a case where a foreign retirement account is "rolled over" in to a US qualified account. Out of interest how do you deal with your accounts on your US taxes? How does the IRS class your AOP and how did the UK and the US treat your transfer? I assume you are a US resident or citizen.
Alternative Overseas Pension. It will be taxable in the US (not the UK) when I start drawing down on it. I don't deal with my accounts personally, I pay my CPA to handle that aspect of my affairs. My understanding is that UK treated it as a bonafide QROPS transfer. As far as the IRS is concerned the monies are not taxable until I start drawing on them. AOS is off-shore, but could just as easily have been incorporated into my 401K. I am an LPR.
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by Awesome Welles View Post
AOS is off-shore, but could just as easily have been incorporated into my 401K. I am an LPR.
Getting a UK pension off-shore is one thing. Getting it transferred into a US 401k or IRA is something altogether different. I have never seen a verifiable method to do the later.
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Old Jul 18th 2011, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Getting UK private pension to USA as cash

Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
My recollection of the many, many times this topic has come up (why don't people use the Search facility? ) is that QROPS is possible (though not easy), and that the associated costs make it only worthwhile for large amounts.
QORPS to Lithuania or Cyprus, maybe.

QORPS to the USA -- never seen it. But I'm happy to read the details if anyone can provide them.
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