Connect with us


Phuket Finance: UK bill reassures QROPS retirees

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: With the recent release of the draft finance bill for 2013, the UK government has eased worries of the QROPS (Qualified Recognized Overseas Pension Schemes) industry that new legislation might close down the market.

Last year, offshore pension providers were quite shocked when HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) removed overnight the ability of expat retirees to transfer their pensions to Guernsey, which had been at the forefront of the offshore pension transfer industry.

There have been some minor changes in this year’s bill – mainly dealing with reporting requirements in the event that a pension scheme should no longer be a QROPS in the future – but overall it is seen as a positive nod from the government that they aren’t going to close down the market.

Many retirees were worried that their right to transfer a pension to a jurisdiction other than the one they reside in, might be legislated away. Obviously, this would be a huge blow to anyone planning to retire in Thailand, as there is no qualifying scheme administered from this country.

If you have large potential tax liabilities when drawing your pension, transferring to an offshore pension scheme is a way to stretch the after tax value when drawing your pension down. In Gibraltar you will pay a flat 2.5% income tax regardless of the amount, which can almost double the spending power of your pension if you are in the upper tax bracket of the UK.

However, one needs to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs, and many smaller pensions are simply not worth transferring. HMRC has been proactive in giving warning to advisors who do not provide accurate advice in this area, even going so far as threatening to seek hefty fines from companies that falsely claim to be specialists.

For instance, even with our firm’s FSA (Financial Services Authority of the UK) regulated branch, which has staff holding specialist qualifications for pensions and taxation, we have been advised by counsel to refrain from use of the word “specialist” despite the number of successful transfers we have completed.

That being said, I would make sure any company advising you on the transfer of your UK pension would be regulated within the UK and hold the required qualifications to give the proper exit advice. Keep in mind that as far as Thailand goes, regardless of what qualifications an advisor holds in other jurisdictions, their advice in this country is not regulated by those agencies.

While there is no guarantee the HMRC will not do a 180 degree turn next year, it is good to know that for now expats retiring to countries such as Thailand will be able to move their pensions to a safe jurisdiction and potentially save a fortune in taxes. The larger the pension is, generally speaking, the larger the potential tax bracket and thus the greater the potential benefits from moving the pension offshore.

David Mayes MBA lives in Phuket and provides wealth management services to expats around the globe, focusing on UK pension transfers. He also runs Humble Asset Management, a British Virgin Islands based alternative investment fund. He can be reached at or 085-335-8573.

— David Mayes


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand20 mins ago

Thailand News Today | Australian released from death row, Samui restaurant raided | September 20

News1 hour ago

Pathum Thani man allegedly lights building on fire, sticks around to laugh and smile

Thailand2 hours ago

Australian and American on Thai death row released from Thai death row, Supreme Court clears drug trafficking case

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

World3 hours ago

Insect snacks hit Japanese vending machines

Thailand3 hours ago

The Return of ‘THE TIM’ | Thaiger Bites | September 20

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 12,709 new cases; provincial totals

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

Pattaya laundry shop reports ladies’ underwear thief is on the loose

World5 hours ago

Hanoi to ease Covid restrictions this week

Thailand5 hours ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Thailand6 hours ago

Government believes more suspects involved in theft from budget meant for the disabled

Thailand7 hours ago

Dual Pricing and Reduced tax on Alcohol | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 92

Thailand7 hours ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok8 hours ago

Bangkok residents warned of flooding risk as torrential rain forecast this week

Thailand8 hours ago

Government seeks to regulate infectious waste disposal charges

World8 hours ago

Manny Pacquiao to run for president of the Philippines

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14 | Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11