As an expatriate, you benefit from being able to transfer to a QROPS as well as a SIPP, but with legislation always changing it can be difficult to know which option is best for you. Let us help you clear up the differences. At the end of each year, you will be awarded a bonus depending on how the fund has performed and what the market conditions are likely to be in the future.

Won’t I be fined 25% for transferring into a QROPS?

Transfers to QROPS after the 9th March 2017 will only be subject to a 25% tax charge if both the individual and the QROPS are in a different country. This doesn’t leave many options available.

Which is the best option if I’m unsure where I will retire?

If you are unsure then a SIPP will most likely be more suitable, as the 25% tax charge will still be applicable if you move to a country outside of where your QROPS is within 5 years.

Can I transfer from a SIPP to a QROPS or vice versa?

Depending on the trustee, the answer is generally yes. Most trustees offer both QROPS and SIPPs, meaning you can move from one to the other. This means that if you feel you have transferred to the wrong one, you can do something about it.

Do they both cost the same?

They do not. SIPPs are generally half the price of QROPS, so if you have a small pension pot it could be a lot cheaper to have a SIPP. Cost should not be the sole reason for choosing a SIPP though, as a QROPS could still be the most favourable option for you, depending on where you live and what your retirement plans are.

Lifetime Allowance

Lifetime allowance has dropped from £1.8m to £1m in just 8 years. The way a SIPP and a QROPS is taxed on the Lifetime Allowance Tax is extremely different and is the biggest factor for deciding which option to choose.

Gross Taxation

QROPS are paid gross of tax from the UK, meaning you don’t have to file your tax returns each year to claim your tax back as you would in a SIPP, but there is a very simple way of doing this with a SIPP now also.


QROPS can be utilized as a vehicle for high-risk investments which would no longer be accepted by SIPPs as they wouldn’t pass the due diligence checks.

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