Fifteen India QROPS schemes have been removed from the official HMRC QROPS list which was published on 16 July.
There are several reasons why a scheme may have been delisted by the HMRC, such as a scheme no longer complying with the QROPS rules, abuse of the QROPS regime, or winding up for operational reasons.
QROPS Adviser Group has previously noted that many Indian QROPS schemes ran the risk of being delisted, as they were not ‘true’ pension schemes, in the sense that the rules which governed them were not strict enough to ensure that they would be used to provide the scheme member with an income for life. For example, some Indian QROPS schemes allow a member to start to draw an income from an annuity at age 30 or 35, which in our view is clearly not within the spirit of the QROPS legislation.
We therefore welcome the move by HMRC to clamp down on such schemes which allow a member to access their pension pot at such an early age, and we would be at all surprised if we saw more schemes facing the axe in the coming months, as Indian QROPS schemes face increased scrutiny.
QROPS Adviser Group is also aware of the practice of some local Indian QROPS providers insisting that clients signing up to ther scheme sign a disclaimer waiving the insurance company of any liability should the scheme subsequently be delisted by HMRC and the client liable to pay a 55% tax charge.
In the case of the Indian QROPS schemes which were delisted we have no reason of knowing the reasoning of HMRC, and it would not be appropriate for us to speculate as to the reasons why these particular schemes were removed.
The 15 Indian QROPS schemes which were removed from the 16 July HMRC list are as follows:
Schemes which were removed from the July 16 HMRC QROPS List:
Aegon Religare Pension Plan
Aviva Pension Builder
Birla Sun Life Insurance Freedom 58
Birla Sun Life Insurance Secure 58 Plan
Birla Sun LifeInsurance Flexi Secure Life retirement Plan II
Flexi Secure Retirement Plan [Birla Sun Life]
IDBI Federal Retiresurance Guranteed Pension Plan
IDBI Federal Retiresurance Milestone Pension Plan
IDBI Fortis Retiresurance Pension Plan
Max Life Life Maker Pension Plan
Max Life Smart Invest Pension India
Max Life Smart Invest Pension Plus
Max Life Smart Invest Pension Super
Met Advantage Plus
Met Pension Plus
Approved QROPS schemes based in India (12 schemes):
HDFC Life Guaranteed Pension Plan
HDFC Life New Immediate Annuity Plan
HDFC Life Pension Super Plus
HDFC Life Personal Pension Plus
HDFC Life Single Premium Pension Super
ICICI Pru Immediate Annuity
ING Golden Years Retirement Plan
Max Life Forever Young Pension Plan
Max Life Guaranteed Life Time Income Plan
National Pension System (NPS)
New Best Years
SBI Life – Annuity Plus
For the full list of approved QROPS schemes published by HMRC, please go to www.hmrc.gov.uk/pensionschemes/qrops.pdf.