In recent months pensions have dominated the news headlines. The
underlying theme being that the comfort zone that people of
previous generations have experienced with their pension provisions
is long gone and many existing schemes, and government fund pension
arrangements are no longer going to provide the level of retirement
support that people were expecting.
With people now having longer and healthier lives prudence
suggests that serious thought be given to ensuring that serious
thought be given to maintaining a comfortable lifestyle in their
There are many opportunities for pension gap to be covered by a
plethora of products from the traditional annuity scheme backed by
a life assurance product to a Self Invested Pension Plan
There are some scenarios however, where even these arrangements
may need some supplemental support.
Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes (QNUPS) came about as a result
of a Statutory Instrument introduced in 2010, and these schemes, as
expected have opened up further options for the growing expatriate
community, but have also provided some opportunities for UK
For example: If an individual has a high level of earnings and
wishes to contribute to a scheme an amount over and beyond the
amount they can and still obtain tax relief, they could join a
QNUPS where there is no ceiling of the amount they can contribute
(provided the amounts are appropriate to the individuals
circumstances, and are part of a bona fides pension planning scheme
– so as not to incur anti-avoidance provisions). It
should be noted that there is no tax relief available to any
contributions made to a QNUPS.
For example: If an individual has built up or received assets
(say from an inheritance or a divorce settlement), and was relying
on the benefit of these assets for their retirement, outside of a
pension scheme, then a QNUPS could, if planned properly, mitigate
their exposure to capital gains tax, income tax and inheritance
tax. One benefit of a QNUPS is that there is no need for the
contributions to come from earned income, but can come from many
types of asset from investment portfolios to property to
A QNUPS allows the following additional opportunities:
The individual may request that the Trustees advance them a
loan. The requirements of this would be that the loan is advanced
on commercial terms, and is secured, and – importantly
– is repaid before any drawdown or lump sum is paid.
A lump sum of 30% of the fund may be withdrawn before retirement
A QNUPS is a product written under a Trust Deed. It is not
necessary to follow a traditional retirement annuity on retirement.
The pension drawdown can be made from the funds held based on
actuarial rates and after death the funds are distributable to the
individuals nominated beneficiaries. The QNUPS is not part of the
individual's estate and, subject to proper planning, will not
incur UK Inheritance Tax which is currently 40% of assets held
above £350,000. Significantly, a contribution to a QNUPS gets
this relief immediately and does not need to wait for the seven
years that a gift would under the Potential Exempt Tax (PET)
A QNUPS is a trust structure written under Guernsey law which is
the leading jurisdiction in the provision of international pension
schemes. With a proud reputation for having a robust system of
regulation, professional infrastructure, and a cutting edge for
innovation and commercial sense in its practice, Guernsey sits in
the forefront of locations offering a range of pension solutions,
from Employee Share schemes, QROPS and International Pension
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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