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QNUPS 2014

Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes


  • You have heard of QROPS but what of QNUPS?


  • How are QNUPS different from QROPS?


  • Who can have a QNUPS?

 What is QNUPS?

QNUPS is important for both retirement planning and mitigating UK Inheritance Tax (IHT). In fact the UK IHT planning element was brought about as a result of lobbying over the original QROPS rules. It is important to note that QNUPS is a pension scheme.


 If you think the technical description may help, it is ‘The Inheritance Tax (Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes) Regulations 2010’ [S1 2010/0511] have introduced this acronym ‘QNUPS’.



How do QROPS and QNUPS differ

QNUPS were introduced in February 2010, but have largely been overshadowed by QROPS. Perhaps we should show some of the differences, but please don’t think that my list is exhaustive;





Can I transfer in Residential Property?



Can I transfer in existing assets such as investments, cash, antiques & fine art



Can funds be transferred from a UK Pension Scheme?



Can I transfer in from sources other than UK pensions?



Are the funds immediately exempt from UK Inheritance Tax (IHT)



Must I take an income?


yes by age 75

Do regular reports have to be sent to the UK tax authorities (HMRC)?



Can I add to my funds without restriction?



Can I make contributions after I retire?




If you have your own questions on the difference between QNUPS & QROPS, please do not hesitate to email me

 Who can have a QNUPS?

There are a wide range of people who can potentially benefit from having a QNUPS;


  • UK expats who already have a QROPS
  • Expats who are likely to return to the UK in the future
  • High Net Worth UK resident or domiciled individuals who have already utilised the maximum tax-relieved pension contributions
  • Anyone who from 6th April 2010 became restricted to basic rate tax relief on UK pension contributions
  • UK resident individuals could take out a QNUPS but the Trustees might insist on seeing the tax advice received. An Independent UK Chartered Tax Adviser can be recommended if you email me



It’s very difficult to be precise about who might benefit. If you would like to know for yourself, without obligation, please send me a brief outline of your circumstances and I will check for you. Just email me



In-Specie Transfers

QNUPS provides an excellent opportunity for in-specie transfers. Investments you have built up, properties you own and other assets can just as easily be a contribution to a QNUPS. The investment does not have to be cash but cash is not excluded. Indeed the investments that can be held in a QNUPS are much less prescribed by HMRC than traditional pensions. Remember, however, that the QNUPS has to be a Pension Scheme but it is also a plan to defend assets from Inheritance Tax (IHT).


If any adviser suggests selling your assets and buying another financial structure beware. In-Specie Transfers offer a much more cost effective route, normally, and also selling assets can lead to an encashment charge or even a tax bill (e.g. Capital Gains Tax)


Residency, Nationality and Domicile

Anyone irrespective of domicile, of any residency or nationality, can commence a QNUPS. However, those who most benefit will be anyone with a UK IHT liability. Please remember that even if you are UK non-resident you may still have a UK IHT liability. You will need professional advice, which I can arrange if you email me with brief details.


It is all too easy to assume that emigrating from the UK will avoid UK IHT. It will not



Professional Advice

I only ever refer to qualified, authorised and regulated advisers. Please email me with brief details and I can be sure to get YOU the best advice available.


This post is brief as QNUPS will vary so much depending on individual circumstances



Further reading

The following are posts to Financial Pages in Spain which may also be relevant


QROPS 2014


Offshore Financial Planning


La Torre Fx – Foreign Exchange