HMRC updates the list every two weeks, and it is read with interest by QROPS industry executives, who are quick to spot any changes.
No details about why the schemes disappeared sometime before the 25 Jan list was published were immediately available. The press office of Tatra did not reply to a request for comment late this afternoon, while an HMRC spokesman said he was “unable to comment on individual schemes and jurisdictions”.
Pension administrators in other jurisdictions said they also did not know what reasons lay behind the sudden absence of the four DDS Tatra Banky schemes from the HMRC list, but speculated that routine investigations HMRC is understood to carry out on schemes around the world had turned up something that, as one put it, “they [HMRC] don’t care for”.
Pension experts and advisers also said that it was unlikely the Slovakian schemes had many members, as the country is not a major retirement destination for Britons. Most of the pensions would have been those of Slovakians who worked in the UK and had returned home.
Tatra Banka is based in Bratislava, and is a part of Austria’s Raiffeisen Zentralbank group.
As reported, QROP schemes in Cyprus and Singapore also vanished from the HMRC list, in 2012 and 2008 respectively, while pension trustees in Gibraltar suspended pension transfers to that jurisdiction in 2009, pending resolution of concerns HMRC was known to have over how pensions were taxed there.
The matter was resolved last year and pension transfers have resumed, with a number of new schemes having been added to the list, including Sovereign Trust's Calpe Retirement Benefit Scheme, and London & Colonial’s “EU QROPS”.