Business & Finance Finance

QnupsIn Brief

QNUPS, which is the short form of Qualifying Non UK Pension Scheme, is one of the overseas pension schemes that are exempt from Inheritance Tax (IHT) in the UK. The UK Government introduced it as part of the IHT Regulations in February 2010. As the name suggests, the scheme has to meet certain qualification criteria of Her Majestys Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in order to be eligible for tax exemption. Among the various criteria is the stipulation that the scheme should be located offshore. However, it need not necessarily be located only in countries with which the UK has double taxation agreements.

Any individual above the age of 18 who is a citizen of the UK is eligible to park their funds in a QNUPS scheme. While planning your retirement one aspect that should be looked into is the amount of death duty that your loved ones will have to pay on what they inherit from you. Making an investment in a suitable scheme will allow you to pass on your estate to your heirs free of death duties. Even if you are at present permanently resident in another country but have UK domicile, you can make investments in QNUPS.

Another big draw for QNUPS arises from the fact that unlike other offshore schemes where you can only save lifetime contributions that you earn from employment, it allows you to deposit almost anything of value that you would like to include in your inheritance. Right from antique furniture, heirlooms, residential property or any other assets that may or may not be part of traditionally accepted items can be included in this retirement funding scheme. Imagine the saving that your loved ones would make on inheritance tax payable!

Similar to other schemes, a person can access the funds put into a QNUPS scheme only after the age of 55. Therefore, it is more suited to a person who is planning their finances after they retire than for a younger person who is looking to make an investment from which they can get returns without being taxed. However, it is possible to get loans against the amount invested in the scheme. Each scheme has different stipulations but in general, you get access to tax free withdrawals earlier than with some of the traditional UK based schemes. This is one of the reasons why this scheme is very popular with UK citizens who are planning how to manage their finances once they retire.

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