Can An Australian Self Managed Super Fund (SMSF) Be Used As A QROPS?

Posted by Simon Harvey on 27/11/11 13:32

When looking at a UK pension transfer to Australia and all of the Australian QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) products available, many people that may have previously invested their pension funds in a UK Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or a Small Self Administered Scheme (SSAS) in the UK, could be looking for a similar option in Australia.

Australia does in fact have Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF), which are schemes that share many of the same principles as UK SIPPs and SSASs. For people migrating to Australia that have existing UK SIPPs and SSASs – and therefore have a history of managing and choosing there own investments – the idea of using SMSFs appeals.

However, can a UK pension transfer to Australia into a SMSF? Is it possible for an Australian SMSF to be registered and approved as a QROPS?

The answer to this is ‘yes’. The UKs Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will register and approve SMSFs providing the scheme matches the QROPS criteria and the scheme manager – who in this case would normally be the member – follows the ongoing rules.

As with investment choice and management, a member would have the responsibility of applying for QROPS status for their SMSF and ensuring that, once the status is confirmed, the rules are followed within the QROPS reporting period. Global QROPS Ltd can provide help and guidance with this.

In summary, a UK pension transfer to Australia can be accepted by a SMSF – providing the rules are followed.