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Guernsey leads the way in QROPS

More pension transfers went into Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) in Guernsey than any other jurisdiction during the first half of 2011, according to a report from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Of the total number of pension transfers out of the UK into QROPS between 1 January 2011 and 30 June 2011, 32 per cent went into QROPS based in Guernsey. New Zealand was the second most popular destination (28 per cent), Australia was third on 20 per cent and the Isle of Man the best of the rest, receiving five per cent of transfers.

15 October 2011

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Peter Niven, chief executive of Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the Island’s finance industry, said: “Since the QROPS regime was established in 2006, it has been clear that the industry has seen massive growth and that Guernsey has become one of the leading jurisdictions globally. However, our understanding of the market has ?been limited by the lack of independent data. Therefore, the publication of these figures is long overdue and hugely welcomed and, of course, it is very pleasing to see that Guernsey leads the way in terms of numbers of transfers ?at the present time.”

HMRC made a series of changes to the UK pension system from 6 April 2006 (‘A’ day). The overhaul included withdrawing the existing agreements for the transfer of UK pension rights to overseas schemes and meant that, in effect, this would only be possible if the receiving scheme was recognised by HMRC as a QROPS.

The latest figures from HMRC show that the value of funds transferred into QROPS globally has risen year on year since the changes came into effect. ?In 2007 the toal value was £121.5m, before trebling to £358m in 2008 and then rising to £366m in 2009 and £471m in 2010. That took the cumulative total of funds transferred to more than £1.3bn by the end of last year and it is projected that the amount transferred during 2011 could pass the £500m mark. n

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Pensions