If a registered pension scheme pays a transfer value to an overseas scheme, the transfer payment will only be an authorised payment if the receiving scheme is a "qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme" (QROPS).
The test for whether a scheme is a QROPS is complex. From 6 April 2017, the rules are changing and some schemes which would previously have been QROPS will no longer qualify. A scheme administrator who receives a request to transfer benefits abroad where the transfer will not complete until after 5 April 2017 will need to be satisfied that the receiving scheme satisfies the new QROPS test, otherwise the transfer will be an unauthorised payment.
For any overseas transfers currently being processed, scheme administrators should be alert to the possibility that time may be of the essence if the receiving scheme is a QROPS under the current rules, but will cease to be one from 6 April 2017.