QROPS, the Proposed Annuity Changes and UK Drawdown

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Following Global QROPS Ltd’s news item, posted on our website on 28th August 2010, regarding the proposed annuity changes featured in the UK Treasury’s consultation document – published as a result of the UK Emergency Budget on 22nd June 2010 – this Global QROPS Ltd news item has been composed to further clarify the terms ‘capped’ and ‘flexible’ drawdown.

With effect from 6th April 2010, according to the recently drafted consultation paper, the UK government are looking to abolish compulsory annuity and alternatively secured pension. Abbreviated to ASP, alternatively secured pension is effectively ‘drawdown’ directly from a member’s pension fund – for pension members aged 75 or over.

Currently, prior to age 75, a member of a UK pension or a QROPS, has the option of USP (unsecured pension) which is drawdown pre age 75. USP allows income on the basis of zero to 120% of the GAD (Government Actuary Department) limit until age 75, when the less flexible ASP rules apply.
As Global QROPS Ltd understands, the proposals state that there are two types of drawdown to become available: ‘capped’ and ‘flexible’ drawdown.

Capped drawdown will be on the same basis as USP, but with the ability to continue past age 75 – although the upper limit of 120% GAD will be reviewed to see if it is still a realistic rate to use.

Flexible drawdown will allow an individual to draw an unlimited amount from their fund, with the proviso that the member can demonstrate that they have secured a sufficient minimum income to prevent them from falling back onto the State. The method of assessing this income (known as the Minimum Income Requirement) has not yet been decided.

It is important that people looking to transfer to QROPS (especially those within the QROPS reporting period) are aware of the rules as the levels of income that they take from the QROPS could be affected by this.
For further information, please speak to an adviser at Global QROPS Ltd.