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Transferring your pension to a QROP

By David Hattersley - Topics: Pensions in Spain, QROPS, Spain
This article is published on: 17th October 2022

A sense of deja-vu is now apparent as the UK is experiencing a similar situation compared to the 70’s. Drawing comparisons especially for those that lived through that era would be unhelpful. However a minor point worth considering were the restrictions on the flow of capital out of the UK. For those lucky enough to travel abroad then a limit of £25.00 cash per person was the restricted limit under the Exchange Control Act 1947. My wife still has her old passport with form PP/A dated 14.02.73. One of her clients of 100 years still remembers how difficult it was to bring money into Spain to buy a plot of land.

For those that already are living in Europe or plan to in the very near future under the golden visa rules, I am not suggesting a wholesale restriction of capital movement . A difference though between the 70’s and now is the growth in personal wealth, with the primary asset being property. The 2nd biggest asset and perhaps underrated was the growth of money purchase pensions after Mrs Thatcher came to power and for those in their 50’s & 60’s this could be quite considerable. The opportunity to “ distance work “ may have an impact on younger professionals and for those relocating here.

The current government is under extreme pressure, especially the need to raise tax revenue to balance the books, along with the alleged reports of threats to tear up all agreements with Europe.One politically “safe option” and unlikely to cause uproar and outrage by the general public would be to curtail or even stop transfers to a QROP for those lucky to live or move to Europe.

QROPS SPAIN

Why would the government do this ? The payment of a pension held in the UK could be taxed at source as are the current Civil Service Pensions, thereby retaining the long-term tax revenue stream. It would mean filing tax returns both in the UK & Spain. The pension commencement lump sum could also come under review. There certainly wouldn’t be a public outcry for those “ lucky” enough to have sizeable pension pots.

The UK Budget Bill normally has to be debated and passed into law which takes about 3 months. In 2015 negative amendments were made to the QROPs rules that took effect immediately on the day after the budget and was quietly “slipped in”. A case of “ the devils always in the detail”! After all the principle of if one can get away with it once, why not try to repeat a similar process again?

There are many advantages in transferring to a QROPs and at The Spectrum IFA Group we offer and recommend a thorough assessment and report of your individual situation by our qualified specialist at no cost to you. An additional benefit is the long-term service provided as UK based advisers can no longer provide this for residents in Spain and the individual can retain control via a local adviser. A transfer to a QROP doesn’t only apply to UK nationals but any European worker that has built up a “pension pot”. I have been heavily involved in the pensions market since 1987 and have a wealth of experience in this field so if you have any concerns or interest please contact me to arrange a no-obligation initial meeting.

e.mail : david.hattersley@spectrum-ifa.com

Telephone or Whats App : 0034 711 051 938

Article by David Hattersley

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