According to BBC’s Brits Abroad Project conducted in 2006, there are 5.5 million British expats and 1.4 million foreign nationals in the UK. So, there may be 8 million people who may be able to take advantage of a pension transfer into a QROPS today.
If you have ever worked in the UK and are living abroad or intend to live abroad, a QROPS transfer may hold the key to your investment freedom and ability to avoid any more UK taxes on your pension.
Its estimated that Brits and foreign nationals returning to their home countries after having worked in the UK, have transferred an estimated £1.3bn in pension assets overseas since 6 April 2006, according to estimates by Close International, a Guernsey-based QROPS trustees.
The figure is based on data from the UK’s Office of National Statistics and other sources, including UK SIPP provider AJ Bell who did a study in 2008.
There had been no official data available to the public about QROPS, since “A-Day” in 2006, as the UK Government has never released any statistics.
The new stats provided by Close estimates the size of the potential QROPS market to be £575bn, although such a figure may not be realized due to the number of people in final salary schemes who may not opt to transfer. Furthermore, roughly 30% already hold annuities and cannot transfer into QROPS.
The largest QROPS transfer has been around £20m according to Close with the average QROPS transfer being around £200,000 to £250,000
If you use the estimated £575 billion as a benchmark and figure only £1.3bn has been transferred so far, the suggestion is the QROPS industry is still far from mature. QROPS popularity looks set to increase for the foreseeable future, as an ageing poulation and increasing taxes puts a strain on your average UK pension.
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