Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme - QNUPS
A QNUPS is an overseas pension scheme in which cash and assets
that are non-UK tax relief can be contributed. QNUPS regulations
were introduced by UK HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on 15th
February 2010. The creation of the QNUPS legislation has provided
significant opportunities for British domiciles, irrespective of
whether they are resident in the UK or are expatriates.
Many individuals have insufficient capital within their existing
pension scheme to provide them with the level of income they will
require in retirement. For such individuals, a QNUPS offers an
excellent vehicle to top-up the overall amount of assets that need
to be set aside for a comfortable retirement. An actuary, based
upon your assets and lifestyle, will be able to establish the level
of retirement benefits required to sustain your standard of living
in retirement. Based on this information, a sensible funding level
of contributions to the QNUPS can be agreed.
QNUPS can offer some great benefits, especially the extraction
of wealth in a tax-efficient manner which is usually the most
difficult issue to solve.
The key points of a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme:
- Depending on your circumstances, it may be possible to
contribute to a QNUPS after you have retired.
- The pension fund can be used by the member during his lifetime
and any remaining balance can be passed on to their chosen heirs
upon the member's death.
- You do not need to have any earned income from employment in
order to make a contribution.
- There is no maximum contribution that can be made into a QNUPS
(but must be sensible to one's standard of living and may need
the approval of an independent actuary).
As a full member of the European Union, Malta is one of the
deVere Group's preferred jurisdictions for QNUPS. Here is a
list of reasons:
- Malta has been a successful full member of EU since 2004
- Pension administrators in Malta are all licensed
- Malta has met its full IFRS standards since 1997
- Malta is a member of the following reputable entities:
- International Organisation of Securities Commission
- International Association of Insurance Supervisors
- European Banking Authority
- European Insurance & Occupational Pensions Authority
- European Securities Marketing Authority
- Malta has a reputable comprehensive, legislative and regulatory
framework through the Malta Financial Conduct Authority.
- Malta enjoys a sophisticated ICT Infrastructure
- Malta offers investor protection through a vast tax treaty
network with over 59 Double Tax Treaties at the time of
Who can benefit from a QNUPS?
A QNUPS is ideal for both UK residents and non-UK residents who
still maintain a UK inheritance Tax (IHT) exposure - which is
likely to be any British citizen living overseas, as domicile
status is incredibly hard to lose and all British domiciles are
taxed 40% IHT on their worldwide estate when they die.
With UK retirement rates being at near record lows, even
individuals who have a fully funded UK pension in line with the
current Lifetime Allowance limit (£1.5 million) can find that
they do not have a large enough retirement pot to satisfy their
retirement needs. A QNUPS therefore creates an ideal vehicle to
build an individual's retirement provisions in line with their
retirement income expectations and because QNUPS are not subject to
lifetime allowance limits there will not be the same severe tax
penalties that a UK resident will suffer should they fund their UK
registered schemes over the lifetime allowance limit.
Often, expats have very little options for funding pension plans
in the country that they reside in. In addition, as globalisation
takes hold, many individuals are now constantly on the move from
one country to the other as employment opportunities arise.
Generally, people leading such an international lifestyle are often
unwilling to leave assets situated in one country when they depart.
For such individuals, a QNUPS can be created in order to create a
fully international and passport able retirement plan that can be
contributed to and accessed irrespective of where the individual
While both UK residents and expats creating a QNUPS should do so
for retirement provisions, any funds that remain in the QNUPS on
death do not attract a UK IHT charge and can be passed to
beneficiaries of the member's choice rather than being distributed
in accordance with their Will.