Malta captures interest of Guernsey pension operators

Dr Cristina Maria Scerri | Published on 03 May 2012

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Focus is shifting from Guernsey to Malta as a QROPS jurisdiction. Malta is generating a lot of interest amongst Guernsey-based qualifying recognised overseas pensions scheme (Qrops) providers which are seeking to set up new schemes in an approved jurisdiction.

Guernsey has lost 300 qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (Qrops) after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) implemented new rules forcing residents and non-residents to pay the same rate of tax. HMRC has recently confirmed that it would only allow Guernsey Qrops to be for Guernsey residents thus according to HMRC’s official list of approved Qrops there are now only three schemes approved to operate in Guernsey compared to over 300 before the implementation of the new rules.

Malta which is an EU Member State, has around 60 double taxation agreements (DTAs) and a favourable tax regime, is set on becoming a popular choice for Qrops. Malta has also good relations with the HMRC. Malta is deemed to have the right characteristics for Guernsey QROPS seeking to identify a jurisdiction where they would not be hit with a large tax increase.

Eight operators are currently registered in Malta with up to four schemes each, however, sources envisage that the number can double to 16 by the end of the year and that Malta could potentially host up to 40 by 2017.  Commentators have stated that 90 per cent of Guernsey’s schemes were now planning to establish themselves in Malta.

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