UK pensioners attracted to Malta residence incentives

Dr Jonathan Pisani | Published on 02 Apr 2012

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George Osborne’s announcement last week that the tax-free portion of pension income will be reduced – dubbed the ‘Granny tax’ – is reported to leave pensioners footing an additional £1000m bill.  The announcement strikes further discord on the realisation that pensioners who had elected to make pension contributions, did so under different terms.  Now their life savings are locked into a pension fund which is subject to tax on different terms.

Nevertheless hope lies south, in the Mediterranean island of Malta.  Malta offers extremely competitive incentives for non-resident persons to take up residence in Malta.  Malta residence may be achieved through the Highly Qualified Individual Rules, the High Net Worth Individuals Scheme or the Ordinary Residence Scheme.  A successful applicant under either of the former two schemes affords the applicant a ‘special tax status’.  The applicant is entitled to pay a flat tax rate of 15% on income which arises overseas and is remitted to Malta.  

Malta acceded to the European Union on the 1st May 2004 and joined the Euro on the 1st January 2008.  The island and its people are welcoming, it enjoys a low level of crime, and the weather is mild.  In addition Malta boasts of a vibrant economy and affordable cost of living, all things considered, making Malta residence an alluring prospect. 

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