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HMRC internal manual

Pensions Tax Manual

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International: qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS): re-notifying QROPS status

Glossary PTM000001
   

 

Regulation 3(1A) - (1D) The Pension Schemes (Information Requirements - Qualifying Overseas Pension Schemes, Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Schemes and Corresponding Relief) Regulations 2006 SI - 2006/208

From 6 April 2016 qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS) scheme managers will have to re-notify their scheme’s recognised overseas pension scheme (ROPS) status at certain intervals. This will normally be once every five years. The re-notification date for each QROPS will be set by the date of the letter sent by HMRC notifying the scheme manager of the QROPS reference number (the HMRC QROPS reference letter).

The required renewal or re-notification date will depend on if the HMRC QROPS reference letter was sent before 6 April 2011 or on or after 6 April 2011.

Re-notification dates for schemes where the HMRC QROPS reference letter was sent on or after 6 April 2011
Re-notification deadlines for schemes where the HMRC QROPS reference letter was sent before 6 April 2011
What happens if a scheme manager doesn’t re-notify their ROPS status?
How does a scheme re-notify their ROPS status?
The re-notification process

Re-notification dates for schemes where the HMRC QROPS reference letter was sent on or after 6 April 2011

The re-notification date will be every five years following the date of the HMRC QROPS reference letter. So if the HMRC letter was dated 15 June 2012 the scheme manager must re-notify the QROPS status of their scheme on:

15 June 2017

15 June 2022

15 June 2027 and so on

Scheme managers can submit their re-notification up to six months before the re-notification deadline. So for the scheme with the HMRC QROPS reference letter dated 15 June 2012 the earliest the scheme manager can send in the re-notification is 16 December 2016 - six months before their renewal deadline of 15 June 2017.

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Re-notification deadlines for schemes where the HMRC QROPS reference letter was sent before 6 April 2011

These schemes will already be more than five years old by the start of the new re-notification process. The regulations give HMRC the power to set the scheme re-notification date until the 15th anniversary of the date of the HMRC QROPS reference letter. Because of the age of these schemes HMRC wants re-notification before the 10th anniversary of the HMRC QROPS reference letter. HMRC will tell the scheme managers of QROPS with an HMRC QROPS reference letter dated before 6 April 2011 when they should re-notify the status of their scheme.

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What happens if a scheme manager doesn’t re-notify their ROPS status?

If a scheme manager is due to re-notify the status of their scheme as a ROPS and doesn’t successfully do so, HMRC will suspend the scheme from the published list if it appears on it and can exclude the scheme from being a QROPS.

From the date of the exclusion, and for the duration of that exclusion:

  • transfers from a registered pension scheme to the excluded scheme will be an unauthorised payment and taxable accordingly, and
  • any transfer (to the excluded scheme) from an overseas pension scheme that has:

    • received UK tax relief, or/and
    • whose funds were derived from a recognised transfer from a registered pension scheme,

may be taxed as an unauthorised payment under the member payment provisions of Schedule 34 Finance Act 2004. This depends on whether or not the member is UK resident or has been UK resident in any of the previous five tax years.

Schemes that have lost QROPS status on or after 14 October 2013 are still required to send other reports to HMRC - see PTM112800.

Exclusion of a scheme for failure to renew their QROPS status isn’t automatic; it is a decision HMRC must make. So it’s important that scheme managers who are having difficulty or have questions on the re-notification process contact HMRC for help. This can be taken into account when HMRC consider whether or not to exclude a scheme. In practice HMRC will usually exclude a scheme from being a QROPS where:

  • the scheme manager hasn’t contacted HMRC to re-notify the scheme status, or
  • an incomplete re-notification for the scheme has been submitted and no constructive action is taken by the scheme manager to correct the errors within a reasonable time.

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How does a scheme re-notify their ROPS status?

The information needed to re-notify the ROPS status is broadly the same as that needed when a scheme first notifies it wants to be a QROPS to HMRC. A scheme manager re-notifies the ROPS status of their scheme by submitting a re-notification using form APSS 251 together with a copy of the scheme rules if this is required by the APSS 251.

A scheme manager can renew the QROPS status of their scheme up to six months before the scheme’s renewal date.

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The re-notification process

Around six months before a scheme’s re-notification date Pension Schemes Services (PSS) will write to the scheme manager (as shown in PSS records).

Such a letter is intended to be helpful, however the legislation doesn’t require HMRC to remind a scheme to re-notify. If, for whatever reason, the scheme manager doesn’t receive the reminder and fails to re-notify, HMRC will still be able to exclude the scheme because of the failure to re-notify.

When a scheme manager has successfully completed the re-notification for the scheme, HMRC will send them a letter:

  • confirming receipt of the re-notification, and
  • advising the scheme manager of the next re-notification date for the QROPS.