UK Pension Transfers to QROPS in Switzerland
UK pension transfers to Swiss QROPS have been halted for 2015. There were multiple issues with most Swiss QROPS including not passing HMRC’s age related benefits test and also providing loans for residential mortgages which is strictly prohibited under the new ROPS rules in 2015
The only Swiss pension fund which is a qualified ROPS is the Cern pension fund, which is a closed occupational pension scheme for scientists and employees working in Cern on the Hadron Collider.
So, where does that leave Swiss residents who used to work in the UK and British expats living or moving to Switzerland?
UK Pension Transfers to Malta for Residents of Switzerland
An appropriate tax planning tool is to transfer your pension to a QROPS in Malta. Malta is an EU country and QROPS trustees in this jurisdiction speak English.
You can transfer your UK pension into Swiss Francs or EUR and you can take a much larger tax-free lump sum than the UK. You also get to pass the entire pension pot on to loved ones upon death, whilst if you leave your pension in the UK, often a final salary scheme will only pay a spouse half on death and only as an income. A QROPS in Malta pays out 100% as a tax-free lump sum on death.
The main benefits of a Malta QROPS for Residents of Swizterland is avoiding a tax on death after 75, potentially reducing your income tax bill, reducing currency volatility, taking control of your pension investments and total control of the distribution of pension assets tax-free on death.