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STM develops HMRC-friendly Gibraltar QROP scheme
STM Fidecs, the Gibraltar-based trust company and pensions administrator, has developed a QROPS scheme that has been approved by both Gibraltar’s Income Tax Commissioner and HM Revenue & Customs...
By: Iain Farr
Details of the new scheme and the features that have made it acceptable to both HMRC and the Gib tax authorities were not immediately disclosed. However, David Erhardt, pensions director of STM Fidecs’s AIM-listed parent STM Group, said that the company’s knowledge of Gibraltar’s tax system and QROPS had enabled it to find a way through the impasse.
As reported, all UK pension transfers to Gibraltar have been suspended since September, 2009 following concerns that clients could face possible tax penalties as a result of HMRC’s alleged concern that Gibraltar’s 0% tax on the pension income of residents over age 60 was inconsistent with the UK’s QROPS regulations.
At the time it was announced, the suspension on transfers of UK pensions into so-called Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes in Gibraltar was expected to be resolved within a matter of weeks, once HMRC and Gibraltar authorities had a chance to meet and resolve the matter. But instead it has dragged on for more than 18 months, with no indication recently that the matter was even still being discussed.
At STM Fidecs, HMRC’s acceptance for listing of its new QROP scheme – which is called the STM G.I.B. Pension Transfer Plan – is being welcomed, Erhardt said, as Gibraltar is “a convenient location for expatriate Britons living in southern Spain, who like to be able to visit their pension trustees in a face-to-face meeting”.
“It is also a welcome addition to the STM Group multi-jurisdictional ‘QROPS Wrap’, and follows hot on the heels of the STM Malta QROPS launch,” he added, referring to a scheme launched in December.
Erhardt said STM’s three previously-established QROP schemes, like the other seven schemes listed on HMRC’s website, remain suspended.
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