Effective pension planning is an intrinsic part of both retirement and estate planning. Taking advantage of international schemes that afford more flexibility and control of your UK pension may be highly beneficial. The full value of your UK pension can not be passed to your loved ones in death, and therefore everything could be lost if you were to die unexpectedly.
With an ever increasing number of professionals living and moving abroad in the last decade, people from all nationalities may find that they accrue UK pension rights that have become frozen because of their move away from the UK. The ability to contribute ceases and there is little access to the money until retirement, which has traditionally been at the age of 65.
In April 2006, HMRC changed regulations surrounding UK pensions, creating the Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS), enabling pension holders to transfer their pensions to a different jurisdiction. A QROPS scheme must be legally recognised by HMRC and meet several criteria to qualify as a provider.