Panthera managing director Bethell Codrington says the latest approved list of Qrops includes a new wording stating that just because the scheme is on the list, this should not be seen as confirmation that HMRC has verified all the information supplied in the scheme’s application.
The wording states: “If a scheme has been included on this published list in circumstances where it should not have been inc-luded because it did not satisfy the conditions to be a recognised overseas pension scheme, any transfer that has been made to that scheme could potentially give rise to an unauthorised payments charge liability for the member.”
Codrington says: “They are saying, here is a list of schemes we have approved but we have not really approved them, we have given them provisional approval and we may change our mind sometime in the future which could cost you 55 per cent of your fund. That is disgraceful. They either do the due diligence and check these schemes out and give them approval or they don’t. Or they should state the schemes they have fully verified and those they haven’t.”
A spokesperson for HMRC said: “The new statement on the Qrops list does not represent a change of view or a change in the law. It sets out what the legal position has always been for an individual who has transferred a UK pension fund to an overseas scheme that was included on the published list of Qrops in circumstances where it should not have been because it does not satisfy the conditions to be a Qrops. The revisions to the statement have been discussed and agreed with representatives of the pensions industry.”