View more on these topics

HMRC culls thousands of schemes from overseas pensions list


HMRC has removed thousands of schemes from its list of recognised overseas pension schemes as new rules on early access to savings bite.

The Rops list, published today after it was suspended in June, shows the total number of schemes listed has dropped from 3,811 to 663.

Australia fared particularly badly, the previous iteration of the list had around 1,600 schemes, but this has now been reduced to just one, the local government superannuation scheme under Australia.

In addition, the number of Irish schemes fell from 797 to 56, for Switzerland the list was cut from 100 to one, Spanish schemes fell from 16 to two, France from 34 to 4, and the US from 12 to two.

The tax office suspended the publication of its list of recognised overseas pension schemes in June because of recent changes that exclude funds allowing early access.

A new requirement for qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes, introduced on 6 April, means access to funds pre-55 is only allowed where the member is in ill-health.

Schemes that did not respond appropriately to HMRC’s letter by 17 June were due to be removed from the list.

AES International director James McLeod says: “Anyone who is thinking about transferring to a scheme that is no longer on the Rops list should stop immediately. For anyone who has a transfer going through since 6 April, we understand the authorities, for instance in Australia, are in touch with the Revenue about getting relief.

“We don’t actually know the reason why any individual scheme has dropped off, the vast majority we think would be that individuals in those schemes can draw benefits from before 55. But some schemes may be dormant or have not bothered to reply.”

AJ Bell technical resources manager Gareth James says some compliant schemes may be off the list out of choice. But he says there would potentially be an unauthorised payment charge for transfer made to schemes that do not meet the Rops requirements.

“Normally it would be a 55 per cent charge. That’s made up of an unauthorised payment charge of 40 per cent, and if it is a transfer of the whole scheme there’s likely to be surcharge of 15 per cent and there will potentially be a scheme sanction charge on the administrator.”



Foot Anstey: Beware regulatory clashes over Sipp complaints

The Financial Ombudsman Service’s landmark decision in relation to Sipp provider Berkeley Burke has been widely reported. By way of reminder, in 2014 the FOS upheld a complaint against Berkeley Burke on the basis it had not carried out sufficient due diligence into one of the claimant’s Sipp investments: Sustainable AgroEnergy. The FOS concluded that, […]


John Lawson: Fixed-term annuities have passed their sell-by date

With another company pulling out of the market due to low demand, are advisers calling time on the fixed-term annuity? Back in the old world before freedom and choice, fixed-term annuities had a place, albeit a niche one. Minimum investments of around £50,000 were required to establish a drawdown plan. Customers with modest savings looking […]


Osborne sets out plans to help Greece-based UK pensioners

The Government has set out plans to help thousands of Greece-based UK pensioners who could be affected by the unfolding crisis in the country. In a statement to Parliament yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne said there are 40,000 British residents in Greece, with some 6,000 receiving payments from the Department for Work and Pensions. The Greek […]


Greek prime minister threatens to quit over No vote

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has called on voters to turn down creditors’ proposals in this Sunday’s debt crisis referendum. According to BBC News,Tsipras has urged that a vote against the austerity demands would enable the embattled nation to secure a better deal. If Greek voters however accepted a deal he warned he would leave […]

Protecting long-term savings from short-term policy

By Jamie Clark, Business Development Manager The pensions revolution is almost upon us. As with any revolution, there will be winners and losers. The winners in this case could presumably be the politicians that orchestrated pensions freedom and choice just before the general election. As for the losers, there may be many thousands of people […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There is one comment at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Yes, it looks like carnage; but maybe we should wait for the next update on 15 July for a truer position. HMRC promised to complete their examination ‘by 17 July’, and it would not be surprising if they had not yet checked all the forms from overseas schemes which submitted their APSS251 close to the deadline of 17 June.

Leave a comment


Why register with Money Marketing ?

Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Money Marketing Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm