Castle Trust Group has launched a QROPS in response to strong demand from individuals with pensions valued at less than GBP75,000. The Equus Silver Retirement Annuity Trust Scheme, managed and registered out of Gibraltar, has now been added by the HMRC to its official list of recognized QROPS.
What are the QROPS in simple terms? These are the schemes that have been designed to simplify the tax affairs of UK residents wishing to reside elsewhere. To assist with the process, the UK tax law provides tax-free treatment of the transfer of pension schemes to qualifying overseas vehicles.
Castle Trust’s initial Equus Retirement Annuity Trust Scheme, launched in 2009, has been one of Gibraltar’s oldest HMRC listed QROPS. Equus Silver scheme is the firm’s second issue offering an equal low cost to set-up and annual management fee of GBP299 to attract those with smaller pension assets.
Steven Knight, Castle Trust Group Chairman, explains the appeal: “This new QROPS aims to make the management of pensions as simple and inexpensive as possible without compromising on investment choice,” providing more than 1,000 funds in various currencies.
He adds: “It will particularly benefit people who have lower value portfolios that otherwise would adversely suffer from high minimum professional charges on the management of their pension. At this level, Equus Silver is directly comparable with the cost of providing a UK Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)”. A number of investment bonds, such as issued by Generali, Skandia, Royal London 360, and Friends Provident International, can be particularly suitable for retirement portfolios of this level.
Looking at the Gibraltar jurisdiction as a whole, there has been a strong demand across the board for QROPS managed out of Gibraltar. There is the security of a 2.5% tax rate that is comparatively low as well as a sensible approach to determining distribution levels. In addition, the Gibraltar pensions sector is making an effort to retain and enhance its international reputation including the introduction of new restrictions to prevent transfers to jurisdictions that do not maintain sufficient anti-avoidance standards required by HMRC.
Interested to know more about the benefits of the QROP scheme? Get in touch with us to assess your eligibility and learn about various pension portfolio options that might be available to you.