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QROPS


“HMRC has dealt with schemes and jurisdictions that abused the QROPS regulation by removing their approval.” In future, there may be a temptation for the UK government to try


to plug its huge deficit by cracking down further on overseas residents. However, as Sayers says: “Under EU charter there is an emphasis on freedom of movement of individuals and moving assets with them. Our view is it would be difficult for HMRC to make significant changes to QROPS because they would have pressure from Brussels. They may tighten up criteria, but it is impossible to close QROPS down.” Meanwhile, Guernsey in particular is keen to protect its reputation


as a QROPS provider. The island has far more business in this area than Jersey, where pension rules don’t permit a non-resident to be in a pension fund there. Industry providers on Guernsey have recently come together to form a code of practice to help prevent any QROPS abuse and protect Guernsey’s already established and high reputation. However, experts believe there is a good chance the Jersey pension


rules may change to allow QROPS for non-residents. In that case, Jersey would have an instant competitive advantage as its pensions offer 30 per cent tax-free cash at retirement, while Guernsey only offers 25 per cent. And the business incentive for Jersey to change its rules is the huge potential for international pensions overall. As Peter Sayers says: “There is estimated to be £1trillion total pension assets from British non-residents, so QROPS is only scratching the surface.” n


MOIRA O’NEILL is Personal Finance Editor at Investors Chronicle QROPS criteria


l QROPS are for anyone looking to transfer their UK pension overseas, whether you’ve moved or are looking to move abroad. l QROPS are intended for people who are leaving the UK permanently. l You can have a QROPS in Guernsey but live elsewhere (this does not yet apply to Jersey). l UK rules remain in place until the member has been outside the UK for five complete tax years and then the rules of the jurisdiction in which the QROPS is based become effective. l Any advantages are lost if the member returns to the UK. l As you do not need to live in the jurisdiction in which your QROPS is based, you can choose the most suitable jurisdiction based on your personal circumstances. This can be particularly useful if are unsure where you will be living or if you will be travelling.


Channel Islands


To learn more, contact your broker, or visit www.barbican-ci.com/worldclass


Barbican Channel Islands is regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and is part of the Barbican Insurance Group, which trades as Syndicate 1955 at Lloyd’s


38 businesslife.je June/July 2010


Channel Islands


Channel Islands


Chan Islan


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