Data direct from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
shows that during the first half of this year there were more
pension transfers into Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension
Schemes (QROPS) in Guernsey than any other jurisdiction
The HMRC figures show that of the total number of pension
transfers out of the UK into QROPS between 1 January 2011 and
30th June 2011, 32% went into QROPS based in Guernsey.
New Zealand was the second most popular destination at 28%,
Australia third on 20% and then the Isle of Man at 5%, followed by
Hong Kong and Malta both on less than 1%, with the remainder a
combination of smaller numbers to a variety of other centres.
Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the
promotional agency for the Island's finance industry, said:
"Since the QROPS regime was established back in 2006, it has
been clear from anecdotal evidence that the industry has seen
massive growth and that Guernsey has become one of the leading
jurisdictions globally however, our understanding of the market has
been limited by the lack of independent data. Therefore, the
publication of these figures is long overdue but hugely welcomed
and of course, it is very pleasing to see that Guernsey leads the
way in terms of numbers of transfers at the present time."
HMRC made a series of changes to the UK pension system from
6th April 2006 – known as 'A' day. The
overhaul included withdrawing the existing agreements for the
transfer of UK pension rights to overseas schemes and meant that,
in effect, this would only be possible if the receiving scheme was
recognised by HMRC as a QROPS. However, there has been a lack of
independent data about the marketplace until the HMRC released
these figures following a freedom of information request by
The figures show that the value of funds transferred into QROPS
globally was £121.5 million in 2007, before trebling to
£358 million in 2008 and then rising to £366 million in
2009 and £471 million in 2010. That took the cumulative total
of funds transferred of more than £1.3 billion by the end of
last year and it is projected that the amount transferred during
2011 could pass the £500 million mark.
The HMRC figures for numbers of transfers from 2007 through to
the end of June 2011 show that 47% have been made to Australia, 23%
to New Zealand and 10% to Guernsey, followed by 2% to the Isle of
Man, 1% to Hong Kong and less than 1% to Malta, with the remainder
a combination of smaller numbers to a range of other centres.
However, the figures solely for the first six months of this
year show a different picture, with Guernsey out in front, followed
by New Zealand and then Australia.
Mr Niven said that Guernsey differs from Australia and in part
New Zealand, in that it is primarily a 'third country'
QROPS destination, meaning that most of the QROPS transferred to
the Island are for individuals who have left the UK to live
elsewhere, such as in Europe or Asia. Yet, Australia's QROPS
market is comprised almost exclusively of those going to the
country to live, while the New Zealand transfers are a mixture of
third-country QROPS and those of individuals moving permanently
from Britain to New Zealand.
Mr Niven added: "Guernsey's longstanding heritage in
providing trust and pension schemes meant that the Island was
ideally positioned to maximise the opportunities from this emerging
niche market. Our reputation for stability and security has been
reinforced through the proactive approach our authorities have
taken to ensure Guernsey schemes continue to be approved by HMRC
and the way the local providers have led the way in the Island
becoming the first jurisdiction to adopt a code of practice.
"In addition, Guernsey Finance has been leading the charge
in promoting the Island's expertise to clients and advisers,
both directly through our own events or via the international trade
media and individual providers have also stepped up their game in
terms of marketing to their client base. This work is now clearly
coming to fruition with the data showing that Guernsey is the
unequivocal leader for third-country QROPS as well as being the
most favoured jurisdiction bar none at the present time. This means
the Island is ideally placed to strengthen its position and
capitalise on the continuing growth and development of the QROPS
market as it matures in the coming years."
On 1 January 2017 the Financial Services Rule Book 2016 comes into operation. With this will be the requirement on all Isle of Man licence holders to establish, implement and maintain an effective whistleblowing policy.
The Ministry of Human Resources has recently issued a string of new ministerial resolutions and decrees designed to address gaps in the employment regulatory framework and reinforce existing legislation...
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