IVCM, the re-branded international pensions fund business formerly known as Brooklands, has said that an Australian QROP scheme it is currently associated with is “back on the HMRC QROPS list”, after having been removed by the UK tax authority last year, in the wake of new rules designed to ensure that individuals aren’t able to take their UK pensions before the age of 55.
Every two weeks, HM Revenue & Customs updates its list of all the non-UK pension funds that say they meet the requirements to be considered a regulated overseas pension scheme (or ROPS, as HMRC is now calling them, instead of “QROPS”, to remove the suggestion that they are “qualifying”).
This list is published online, and closely studied by those in the industry.
The Australian QROP scheme in question is the Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan, (TMSP), managed by Tidswell Financial Services Ltd, an Adelaide, Australia-based superannuation scheme trustee.
In a statement, which IVCM said it was making in association with Tidswell, IVCM said the TMS plan has now “received confirmation from HMRC that [it] will maintain the QROPS reference number for this plan”, and that, therfore, the TMSP, which is not yet on the just-updated HMRC ROPS list, “will appear on [it] … shortly”.
IVCM added that the TMSP scheme was the first Australian retail superannuation scheme to obtain HMRC QROPS recognition following the introduction of the Pension Age Test regulations on 6th April 2015.
That was when all but one Australian scheme on the list of more than 1,500 were suddenly delisted, along with thousands of others in other jurisdictions, throwing the UK pension transfer industry into turmoil.
Paul Evans, the Dubai-based group chief executive of IVCM and executive director of the Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund, said his company has worked with Tidswell “over the last few months” to bring the TMSP scheme back onto the HMRC list.
The the Australian Expatriate Superannuation Fund is described by IVCM as a sub category of the Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan, and is to be the brand marketing name for the ROPS scheme in Australia. The fund is being headed up by Dannielle Fox, a former financial adviser who is its regional managing director. She will help and support Australian financial advisers with those of their clients whose pensions are in the TMSP, Evans said.
Brooklands Trustees in administration
As reported, Brooklands Trustees, a UK-regulated company with offices in London, which marketed pension products to UK residents and expats under the Brooklands name, went into administration last month, and transferred oversight for its pensions to other entities.
According to an informational document sent to industry contacts at that time, a copy of which was seen by International Investment, UK-based Heritage Pensions Ltd was appointed “the new operator of the Brooklands SIPP” (self invested personal pension)”, and IVCM Heritage Trustees Ltd was named the new trustee of the Brooklands SIPP.
At that time, Evans explained that Brooklands has been caught up in a Financial Ombudsman Service matter which involved a client who lost money in an unauthorised Australian property fund that had been held in his Brooklands SIPP.
For this reason, Brooklands Trustees had sold the responsibility to manage and run the Brooklands SIPP in the UK, while IVCM – as the overseas-focused arm of Brooklands was renamed in 2015 – would “continue to provide administration services to the SIPP”, at the same time remaining “the main point of contact for advisers and clients”.