As a QROPS shopper, there are a number of decisions that you have to make before you settle on an overseas pension scheme. The questions below may help you come to the right decision.
Should you get one at all?
This is not a trick question. For the majority of investors, a QROPS will present a unique opportunity for a low tax, highly flexible pension. However, if you have already started taking benefits from your UK scheme, or if you have a final salary deal that cannot be matched elsewhere, then a QROPS may not be suitable.
Not all QROPS advisers are created equal. If you choose an adviser who has access to the whole of the market, then you effectively ensure that you have the full range of the thousand or so HMRC approved schemes at your disposal. However, if you stick to a tied agent, you limit yourself to the few that they are able to recommend.
As with all types of financial advice, it is best to go to someone who has plenty of experience of recommending the kind of foreign pensions that you have considering. If in doubt, ask what your IFA is used to dealing with. A generalist UK financial adviser may not have the depth of experience in offshore investments that is required.
Fortunately, you are not tied to your country of residence for your QROPS. Accordingly, you can choose anywhere that has QROPS for sale. QROPS are available all over the world from little country Malta all the way to New Zealand, although in practice places like the Isle of Man and Guernsey are very popular thanks to their tax neutral systems.
Which kind of QROPS?
Finally, you may wish to consider what kind of QROPS you are looking for. QROPS come in all shapes and sizes, hold a number of different assets and have a variety of structures. And if you cannot find a scheme that you like, why not ask your QROPS adviser about the possibility of creating your own?