Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (“ROPS”) Print
ROPS are specifically designed to enable non-resident individuals, who have accrued pension benefits in the UK, to transfer these out of the UK. In order to be in a position to receive transfers from UK Authorised Pension Schemes, the overseas scheme needs to be registered as a ROPS with HMRC in the UK.
If a scheme is registered as a ROPS this does not necessarily mean that a transfer will be permitted. Significant penalties may be charged to the pension fund, either at the date of transfer or within ten years of the transfer taking place.
ROPS have been promoted by some unauthorised advisers as a way to access the entire pension fund. This often involves very high fees and no guarantee of success. Advice should be sought from an authorised financial adviser before proceeding with any transfer. Broadly speaking HMRC are looking for the overseas scheme and the legislative environment in which it operates to offer a similar range of benefits and restrictions to those in the UK.