QROPS Hong Kong Guide 2015
QROPS in Hong Kong have had issues in the past and even were closed at one point, but now all the creases have been ironed out and a Hong Kong QROPS is one of the best destinations for transferring a UK pension offshore. This is because benefits under a HK QROPS are not vested.
The Hong Kong Occupational Retirement Scheme Ordinance (ORSO), Hong Kong tax regime and effective use of double taxation agreements with Hong Kong means that no matter what your nationality, no matter where you currently reside for tax purposes, either now or in the future, the Hong Kong Occupational Retirement Scheme Ordinance works as an extremely efficient tax-planning tool.
HMRC have recently updated their QROPS list, now called a ROPS list and the Hong Kong QROPS we work with have gone through a rigid vetting process to make sure their QROPS ticks all the boxes for HMRC in the UK. We have selected the most professional HK QROPS to work with.
Retirement Benefits of a QROPS in Hong Kong
- No income tax on a Hong Kong QROPS in Hong Kong
- No death tax on a Hong Kong QROPS
- No tax on growth of a Hong Kong QROPS
- 30% tax-free cash lump sum can be taken; this is a lot higher than the UK tax-free amount
- 100% of a QROPS in HK is distributed as a cash lump sum to named beneficiaries on death, e.g. 50% to partner, 50% to children, whereas under a UK pension scheme, often the partner only receives half a pension on death and as income only.
- Hong Kong has 32 Double Taxation Agreements with other countries around the world and many of these mean that they are only taxed in Hong Kong and not abroad
- Clients can choose the currency of their offshore pension scheme in Hong Kong
- Clients have full control and choice over their investments
- HK QROPS can protect clients from divorce as the benefits are not vested
- As benefits are not vested, this means the QROPS can protect a pension from tax on growth in many cases due to how these benefits are viewed by foreign tax authorities
- HK QROPS are suitable for British expats moving to Canada and the USA
Hong Kong QROPS Providers
Currently, there are only four HK QROPS; two of which are closed occupational pension schemes; two which are QROPS which allow UK pension transfers from DB and DC pension schemes.
Capital Corporation Retirement Plan Hong Kong QROPS
GFS Superannuation Scheme 2 Hong Kong QROPS
Insite Limited Superannuation Scheme Hong Kong QROPS
Quartermain Retirement Scheme Hong Kong QROPS
We have made deals with the lowest cost QROPS in Hong Kong. Please email us for fees and information.
Hong Kong Double Taxation Agreements
A Hong Kong QROPS is a great tax jurisdiction for British expats wishing to retire in North America and Asia. In Asia, you avoid all taxes on your pension as long as you remain tax resident overseas. In North America, you avoid the problems of taxation on growth of the pension pot.
If you live in Canada or the USA, a Hong Kong QROPS is only taxable in Hong Kong. This means no tax on growth, no tax on the tax-free cash lump sum and no tax on death.
You would just pay tax on the income received in the USA and Canada.
If you live in Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand or Vietnam, you escape taxes altogether on your pension as long as you remain abroad.
Even if you move back to the UK, you can set up the QROPS in such a way as your tax bill will be minimal.
Here is the full list of the countries which have a Double Taxation Agreement with Hong Kong:
United Arab Emirates
Click here to see the specifics of each Hong Kong Double Taxation Agreement.
Why a Hong Kong QROPS is Suitable for Residents of the USA
If you are a tax resident in the USA or you are thinking of moving to work or retire in the USA and want to transfer your existing UK pension(s) out of the UK tax net, it is appropriate retirement planning to consider a transfer of a UK pension scheme to a QROPS in Hong Kong.
For British expats moving to the USA, using an unvested HK QROPS is a suitable retirement destination for your pension. Whilst Hong Kong does not have a Double Taxataion Agreement with the USA, the HK QROPS is a foreign trusts which ticks the IRS box of being a trust under 402 (b).
Assets contributed to Hong Kong pension trusts (QROPS in Hong Kong) belong to the trustee, which is why the pension trusts, including HK QROPS can sign IRS form F3520 as a 402(b).
Please see the IRS form 3520 in PDF format here.
Key Benefits of a HK QROPS for Residents in the USA
- Transfer all your pensions to Hong Kong under one umbrella in US Dollars
- Deferred Compensation Plans also referred to as a 402b
- You can access your retirement benefits early at 55 years old
- Suitable for US expats: both British expats working or retiring in the USA and US returnees
- No tax on growth
- You decide who gets the retirement benefits on death
- The whole pot is passed on tax-free on death
- Control over your investments: you can invest in both US shares, ETF’s and no load mutual funds
Please note, that under US Treasury Regulations governing tax practice, you are hereby advised that any tax advice contained herein was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
In other words, a Hong Kong QROPS is a suitable destination for your UK pension whilst resident in the USA, but you need to adhere to UK, HK and US tax laws. Your pension will be taxable on income in the USA when you receive retirement benefits.