Can I transfer my UK Pension to another Country?

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For anyone trying to move overseas for a short or long period, one of the most significant things is sorting out your finances.

This factor is crucial for those workers already close to the retirement age and retirees alike. When you start living in a new country, having access to your finances is vital.

You’re navigating unfamiliar territory, and money will occasionally be needed for contingencies.

This article will discuss the possibility of transferring your UK pension to another country as the pension revolution unfolds.

We’ll also explain how to perform expat pension transfers as you’re migrating to a new nation so you can start organising your life.

Is a UK Pension Transfer Abroad Possible?


You can transfer your UK pension when making a move abroad. However, there are factors that you must consider regarding this transfer.

First, you could incur high tax rates while transferring your pension. Depending on the country you’re migrating to, the process could become complicated and expensive. It is important to consult a tax specialist months before making your move.

Second, you’d best move your pension to a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS). Essentially, it denotes that it is on HMRC’s approved QROPS schemes, allowing the pension transfer to be much simpler.

Transferring your pension to a non-QROPS scheme comes with two possible drawbacks. First, the transfer could be denied since most UK pension providers only allow QROPS schemes. Second, if the transfer goes through, you could get hit with a high tax rate, reaching levels of 45% and above.

You need to find a QROPS scheme to avoid getting slammed with increased tax rates.

Steps to Making a UK Pension Transfer Abroad

When individuals near retirement age, they start to make retirement plans. Suppose you’ve done some research about pensions and adapting to life overseas. In that case, you should be good to go regarding pension transfer. That is if you’ll have the vital information ready.

Here are steps on how to transfer your pension transfer overseas:

1.    Search for a QROPS Scheme

The first step is to search for a QROPS accessible in the country you’re moving to. The best way to search is to go through the overseas pension schemes notification list. You’ll see an organised list of QROPS schemes that fulfill HRMC’s conditions.

2.    Verify that your UK Pension Scheme Permits Transfers

The second step is to ensure that your UK pension scheme will consent to a transfer to another pension scheme abroad. Typically, it should allow the move if it is a QROPs. Nevertheless, it is crucial to confirm this fact. You could be informed about expenses, requirements, and tax implications before making the transfer.

3.    Complete the Required Form

Once you’ve completed Form APSS263, you’ll need to submit it to your pension scheme. The information requested in the form includes personal information like your names, your UK address, employment, and National Insurance details.

An important thing to note is that you should try to complete everything requested on the form. Failing to make the information available within two months will get you taxed at a 25% rate.

QROPS aren’t Always Exempt from Taxes

You can get taxed on your pension even if you transfer to a QROPS scheme in the new country. It depends on the place where you live and the location of the QROPS. There’s a 25% tax if your QROPS is in a country like Gibraltar and you don’t live in the country.

However, if you transfer to a QROPS outside specified countries like Gibraltar and live in the same country as the QROPS, you won’t get taxed.


Many UK retirees are curious to know if their pensions can be transferred overseas. The move is possible, but the procedure must be researched, so you don’t incur high tax rates. You need to search for a QROPS scheme, verify that your current pension scheme allows transfers, and complete the required form.

Manuela Willbold

Manuela Willbold

Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo
Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.
Manuela Willbold
Manuela Willbold
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