How long does it take to set up a QROPS?

Every case is different, and timescales depend completely on your own personal situation.

paperworkThe decision to transfer a UK pension fund to a QROPS is an important one, and the procedures involved in doing so can be complicated, but in general terms a timespan of around three months can be taken as a rough estimate.

This may be shorter or longer, depending on the nature of the original UK plan: cases such as NHS or Post Office pensions generally take longer than three months, but a specialized QROPS adviser will be able to warn clients about such delays in initial discussions.

1The first step in setting up a QROPS is to ascertain all the details of the original UK or Irish pension scheme, and this in itself can be quite a complex business. In the hands of an experienced professional, though, the process is more efficient and can normally be completed in a couple of weeks once authorization forms have been signed. This is the case even if an individual has lost touch with a pension fund set up many years before, as QROPS advisers have devised systems which deliver even when the UK government’s own pension tracing service is not up to the task.

2Once all the details have been gathered, the next step is to analyse them and compare UK scheme benefits with those available from a QROPS, taking into account not only the financial details but also, crucially, the personal circumstances of the individual pensioner. At this stage third-party advice from a specialist is essential in making an informed and beneficial decision on whether or not to go ahead and make a transfer into a QROPS, and face-to-face discussions are generally advisable so that each client is fully aware of the implications of the proposed scheme.

3Having given the matter due consideration, if the client decides to go ahead then the adviser will deal with the chosen QROPS provider or pension administrator, guaranteeing that all the bureaucracy is completed as quickly as possible and with the minimum of fuss. At the same time the transfer request will be made to the existing UK fund administrator.

The timescale from this point depends solely on how efficient the original UK administrators are and how willing they are to effect the transfer.

Three months (or longer) may seem like a long time, but the intricacies of dealing with pension administrators, particularly those in the UK, and arranging for them to transfer funds are numerous and complex, and are best entrusted to experienced professionals in the field.

The timescale can be shorter should the situation be straightforward, however, it must be stressed that it is always advisable to allow 3 months, as although promises may be made by some companies in order to try and attract clients, the length of time required for appropriate paperwork to be provided is often completely outside of the control of any QROPS specialist and no matter what promises are made, faster service is just not physically possible.

Further information about QROPS:

History of QROPS, why were QROPS created?

Benefits of taking out a QROPS for ex-pat residents

The most frequently asked questions in reference to QROPS

How long does it take to set up a QROPS

What are QROPS?

QROPS jurisdictions. Where can QROPS be based?

Talk to us about your QROPS needs

What Our Clients Say:
“I was a little weary at first having heard about QROPS transfers but everything went smoothly and completed satisfactorily. Thank you so much.”
Mr. D., Malaga, Spain

The authorization form

These in no way represent a commitment to taking out a QROPS: they simply allow the adviser to make the necessary enquiries.

Lost pension?

Unsurprisingly, when it is necessary to track down a “lost” pension plan the timescale is normally lengthened.