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Transferring Your Pensions Scheme Overseas - There Is A Choice


Historically, Guernsey was the only option for expatriates transferring their pension scheme. This was irrespective of their requirements or personal circumstances. This is now changing with the establishment of new QROPS jurisdictions, and a greater awareness of the issues involved which means that clients now demand a bespoke solution

Removing QROPS barriers
Until recently, expatriates wanting to move their QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pensions Scheme) to another jurisdiction have had to pay hefty transfer fees.
Now, Gibraltar-based pensions administrator STM Fidecs has launched a multi-jurisdictional QROPS which allows expatriate UK pensioners to move their pensions between several countries without incurring additional fees.
Maximising QROPS benefits – wherever you are
To be effective, a QROPS must be held somewhere that works most efficiently with the taxation system of the country in which the scheme holder lives – for example, in a country which has a double taxation agreement with their place of residence.
Portable QROPS means that retired expats who relocate to another suitable jurisdiction can take their pension with them free of charge, unlike many schemes which have extra costs hidden in the small print. With transfer fees potentially running into the thousands it represents a significant saving.
Multi jurisdictional schemes can offer schemes in countries such as Malta, the Isle of Man, Guernsey, Switzerland, New Zealand and Gibraltar. When choosing a QROPS provider, the individual must be fully aware of their choices and also which QROPS jurisdiction is best suited to their individual circumstances.
A Gibraltar based QROPS provider expects to have their own multi-jurisdictional QROPS available in the coming months. Their intention is to supplement a number of their own schemes in Gibraltar, Guernsey and Malta with the white label services of other companies that meet their strict competence and service requirements. These would be based in other jurisdiction such as the Isle of Man and New Zealand, ensuring that their client’s have a number of choices and are able to provide the best QROPS for their needs and not the only one on offer as can be the case with some QROPS providers.

Taxing issues
Currently, there are frustrating issues over the taxation of pensions for the over-60s in Gibraltar, causing the voluntary suspension of transfers here since 2009. The multi-jurisdictional QROPS means Gibraltar residents can open a scheme in a jurisdiction such as Malta, for example, and then move it to Gibraltar when the issues have been resolved.
The important thing to remember is that one QROPS does not fit all. Clients often need to respond to changes in QROPS legislation in different jurisdictions or changes in the tax codes either where they are living or where their QROPS is located.
Multi-jurisdictional QROPS makes it easy to transfer funds across international borders without the huge costs associated with some schemes.
The QROPS wrap (a phrase coined by STM) is a step in the direction of pan-European pensions, which don’t currently exist but which I think are inevitable in future.

Sensible savings
Setting up a multi-jurisdictional QROPS is a sensible choice for expats, providing the freedom to move the scheme around without eating into the funds whenever a transfer is required. As cross-border QROPS schemes look set to become far more common in years to come, acting now could help save money for retirees straight away.

To find out more about QROPS, please contact STM Group, the leading HMRC approved QROPS provider or e-mail or call 00350 200 51356
To read more about our Malta QROPS please visit


 QROPS Malta
 QROPS Guide
 QROPS Pensions
 International Pensions

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