A Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is an overseas pension scheme in which
cash and assets that are not eligible for 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 investment and savings
opportunities for British nationals, whether they are expats or still residents
of the UK.
A QNUPS offers an excellent vehicle to top up the overall amount of assets and capital
that needs to be set aside for a comfortable retirement, as many individuals do
not have enough capital within their existing pension scheme to provide them with
the level of income they will require in retirement. If you’re thinking of transferring
your pension to a QNUPS, an actuary will help you establish the level of retirement
benefits required to sustain your standard of living in retirement. Based on that
information, a sensible funding level of contributions to the QNUPS can be settled
with your financial adviser.
QNUPS can offer some great benefits, especially concerning 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 – as long as it
is sensible to one's standard of living. For this reason, the approval of an actuary
may be needed.
As a full member of the European Union, Malta is one of the deVere Group's preferred
jurisdictions for QNUPS for a number of reasons:
- Malta has been a successful full member of EU since 2004
- Pension administrators in Malta are all fully licensed in line with HMRC requirements
- Malta has met full IFRS standards since 1997
- Malta has a reputable comprehensive, legislative and regulatory framework through
- Financial Conduct Authority.
- Malta has a sophisticated ICT infrastructure in place nationwide.
- Malta offers investor protection through a vast tax treaty network with over 59
Double Tax Treaties at the time of writing.
Furthermore, Malta is a member of the following bodies:
- International Organisation of Securities Commission
- International Association of Insurance Supervisors
- European Banking Authority
- European Insurance & Occupational Pensions Authority
- European Securities Marketing Authority
Who can benefit from a QNUPS?
Both UK residents and non-UK residents who still maintain a UK inheritance Tax (IHT)
exposure can benefit for a QNUPS.
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 their retirement pot is not enough for them to maintain their
lifestyle after they stop working. A QNUPS therefore creates an ideal vehicle to
build an individual's retirement provisions, in a way that matches their retirement
Since 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.
A QNUPS can also benefit people who travel frequently from one country to another
and live and work in different locations for long periods of time. Instead of creating
a pension plan that has to be funded in one country only, a QNUPS will serve as
a fully international retirement plan that can be contributed to and accessed no
matter where the individual resides.
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.
Visit the deVere Group - QNUPS page
to find out more.