Once you leave active membership of the pension scheme you have the option to transfer the value of your deferred pension benefits to another registered pension scheme.
You are able to request to transfer your benefits at any time up until one year prior to your Normal Pension Age under the scheme.
Your statement issued to you by the pension scheme upon leaving active membership will provide full details of how to go about requesting a transfer of your benefits.
If the transfer is overseas, then benefits must be transferred to a “Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme” (QROPS), which is essentially an arrangement which is recognised by HM Revenue & Customs in the UK as meeting certain criteria.
The government website contains a list of pension schemes that have told HMRC that they meet the conditions to be a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS) and have asked to be included on the list. An updated list of ROPS notifications is published on the 1st and 15th day of each month. This list is not exhaustive and does not guarantee that transfers to these arrangements will be free of UK tax. It is the responsibility of the individual and their adviser to determine if there is any tax liability upon any transfer of pension savings.
The Budget announcement in March 2017 announced that transfers to QROPS requested on or after 9 March 2017 may incur a tax charge at a rate of 25% in some instances.