HMRC recently announced changes to the reporting system for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). These changes focus on the handling of information in the pension transfer process. An online filing system is to be introduced from December 2013, with a view to streamlining the process. This new electronic service can be used by QROPS providers to send directly the required information on pension transfers to HMRC.
Several changes have been made to the reporting system. The existing APSS 262 and APSS 263 forms will now require details of the date the member left the UK if their principal residential address is overseas. The requirement for the year of birth has also been changed to that of the members full date of birth. In addition, all QROPS scheme manager will be assigned an ID number, which will have to be included when completing both forms. HMRC will be writing to scheme managers to inform them of their number before the online system goes live in December 2013.
There have been concerns within the QROPS industry that any changes in the reporting system would have an adverse effect on business. Thankfully these fears have been allayed, and providers and advisors alike can feel secure for the future of the QROPS sector. Change is often for the best in the pensions industry. This particular change has come about as a result of new ways of administering business. It is hoped that this will result in better processes and the speedier resolution of filings.