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Govt guarantees overseas pension transfers after Brexit

Govt guarantees overseas pension transfers after Brexit

The government has confirmed members of UK pension schemes will be able to transfer their pension to EU schemes under any Brexit scenario.

In a written answer to Parliament, Guy Opperman, minister for pensions and financial inclusion, said the current rights of citizen in transferring their pensions to overseas pension schemes will be maintained, even under a no deal Brexit.

He said: "The UK and EU have already agreed the terms of an implementation period lasting until the end of 2020.

"During this implementation period, access to one another’s markets will remain unchanged and on the current terms, ensuring continuity for consumers and businesses."

After Brexit, he said, "whether they are a UK citizen or a non-UK EU citizen, they will continue to be able to transfer their pensions to overseas pension schemes.

"Equally, UK pension schemes will continue to be able to receive transfers from overseas pension schemes."

However, the condition in which these transfers will be made aren’t guaranteed.

FTAdviser reported yesterday (13 September) that HM Treasury has confirmed it is uncertain whether pension transfers to an EEA-based Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (Qrops) will be exempt from tax after Brexit.

Separately, in August, the government confirmed that about 220,000 UK citizens aged 65 plus living in the EEA could lose access to their pension in a no-deal Brexit situation.

It said British expats "may lose the ability to access existing lending and deposit services, insurance contracts (such as a life insurance contract and annuities) due to UK firms losing their rights to passport into the EEA, affecting the ability of their EEA customers to continue accessing their services".

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are 900,000 Brits currently living in the EU, of which 220,000 are aged 65 plus.

maria.espadinha@ft.com