Clause 52 - Overseas pension schemes: general

Finance Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 9:15 am ar 11 Mehefin 2013.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Minister (Treasury)

Clauses 52 and 53 introduce a series of technical arrangements on qualified recognised overseas pensions schemes, which have the wonderful acronym QROPS—I am not sure quite how that is pronounced. Will the Minister give us a sense of whether there will be any particular benefit from these clauses? I would like to hear the rationale behind them put on the record.

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Individuals can transfer their pension savings in a UK-registered pension scheme to a QROPS, free of tax. The rules were designed to allow individuals who leave the UK permanently to continue to save for their retirement in their new country of residence. However, HMRC found that the QROPS regime was being used increasingly as a route to convert UK pension savings into a single lump sum payment to escape UK taxation. That was clearly unacceptable, so the Government published a statement explaining the policy intention of the QROPS regime on 6 December 2012.

The changes made by clause 52 strengthen the QROPS regime in a number of ways to ensure that it can be monitored more effectively and that the correct UK tax charges are applied. The clause specifies additional criteria that HMRC may use to exclude a scheme from being a QROPS, and also amends the powers to make regulations so that information will have to be provided by schemes that cease to be QROPS after the Bill receives Royal Assent. A new system of re-notification for QROPS will also be introduced.

Draft regulations were published for consultation on 24 May, and the consultation will close on 21 June. Subject to any amendments as a result of the consultation, the regulations will be introduced when the Bill receives Royal Assent.

If the hon. Gentleman has no other questions on the clause, I commend it to the Committee.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 52 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 53 ordered to stand part of the Bill.