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Recognised Overseas Pensions Schemes

Where transfers of funds are made from a UK-registered pension scheme to an overseas one, that overseas scheme must be ‘recognised’ by HMRC to maintain UK tax benefits. HMRC publishes an updated list of overseas pension schemes that have told them they meet the necessary criteria to be a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS).

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The list only includes those ROPS that have asked to be included on the list; therefore, it might not contain all recognised schemes. That is why it is called a list of notifications, i.e. a list of ROPS that have been notified to HMRC for inclusion on the list.


It is important that professionals are aware of this list and the link on where the most recent information can be found. It is also important that the same professionals know that the list is updated on the 1st and the 15th of each month.


I have advised in the past that it is not really necessary to publish newsletters every time there are changes, even though this does fill space in weeks where news is scarce. Newsletters should be educating professionals on where to get the information for themselves and/or analysing the information rather than just replicating or spoon-feeding – although, in October 2017 there have been three updates to the ROPS list:


01 October 2017


  • 16 schemes added and
  • 4 removed


10 October 2017



  • 7 schemes added
  • 1 removed and
  • 14 amended


15 October 2017


  • 15 schemes added
  • 3 removed and
  • 1 amended


So, having said there is not really a need for newsletters to publish updates to this list as long as professionals are empowered to look for themselves, maybe there is a need if HMRC cannot keep to its previously advised timescales! Even so, the newsletter needs to come with the advice that the list may not cover all ROPS and there is no guarantee that tax benefits are maintained, even if it is on the list.


Also, with regards which schemes have been added, removed and amended, perhaps one day the link will actually tell us which schemes these are!

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