Guidance

Overseas pensions: tax relief on your contributions

Information on the UK tax relief you can get on contributions to overseas pension schemes and how to claim it.

Overview

You can get UK tax relief on contributions you make into certain types of overseas pension schemes. You can get relief on your contributions up to the value of your earnings that are subject to UK Income Tax. You must report the payments to your pension scheme in your tax return.

You’ll still have to pay tax charges if you exceed the annual or lifetime allowance.

Types of tax relief

Migrant member relief

You can get migrant member relief on contributions to an overseas pension scheme if you moved to the UK and:

  • you were paying into the scheme before you moved to the UK
  • you were receiving tax relief on those contributions
  • the pension scheme is a qualifying overseas pension scheme (QOPS)

You need to tell the overseas scheme manager that you’re going to claim migrant member relief.

Double taxation relief

You can get double taxation relief on contributions to an overseas pension scheme if:

  • you were paying into the scheme before you moved to the UK
  • you were receiving tax relief on those contributions
  • contributions to the scheme are covered by a double taxation agreement

You need to check the UK’s tax treaty with the country where your pension is based to see what relief you can get under the double taxation agreement.

Transitional corresponding relief

You can continue to get corresponding relief if you received it on contributions to your overseas pension between 6 April 2005 and 5 April 2006. Contributions must be made to the same overseas pension scheme to get tax relief.

Your overseas scheme manager will need to report benefit crystallisation events to HM Revenue and Customs for you to get tax relief.

Calculate your tax charges

You need to pay tax on your contributions if:

  • you have pension savings, that have received UK tax relief, worth more than £1 million (lifetime allowance)
  • more than £40,000 in total is added to your pensions schemes (including non-UK registered schemes) in a tax year (annual allowance)

You’ll need to work out when you go over either of these allowances so you can pay the right amount of tax on your contributions. You can use the self assessment help sheet to help you calculate your allowances and tax charges.

Your overseas pension scheme doesn’t have to send you a statement to tell you:

  • if you’re over the lifetime allowance
  • how much you’ve paid into your pension

How to claim tax relief

You can claim tax relief in your Self Assessment tax return.

In the ‘Additional information’ section, you must put details of the:

  • scheme name
  • scheme address

If you’re claiming double taxation relief you’ll also need to include the tax treaty and article that you’re using to claim double taxation relief.

If you’re claiming migrant member relief you’ll also need to include the QOPS reference number for migrant member relief claims.

If you’re claiming corresponding relief you’ll also need to include the SF74 reference number for transitional corresponding relief claims.

Ask your overseas scheme manager for this information.

If you have any tax charges add them to the ‘Pension savings tax charges’ section.

Published 5 December 2016
Last updated 6 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. Amendments made following changes to the pension tax rules for overseas pension schemes, that take effect from 6 April 2017.
  2. First published.