Green light for Guernsey QROPS – but not for non-residents

Guernsey QROPS are go – but only for retirement savers who live on the Channel Island.

HM Revenue & Customs has relaxed some rules for qualifying recognised overseas pensions (QROPS) but still won’t let providers offer their schemes to offshore residents.

HMRC has told the Guernsey Income Tax Office (ITO) that if a QROPS makes a rule change that means from the date of that change no future QROPS members can be Guernsey non-residents, the scheme will be reinstated as a QROPS.

The guidance also lets Section150E schemes become QROPS, providing the scheme is run by an employer for employees who are resident in Guernsey. Public sector schemes can also be relisted.

Guernsey’s Director of Income Tax, Rob Gray said: “We have been working hard over the last few weeks to protect the QROPS status of purely domestic Guernsey schemes which have been caught up in the action taken by HMRC.

“I am delighted that HMRC has recognised and accepted the arguments that we have made. These clarifications, which widen the approach originally taken by HMRC, should enable Guernsey schemes that were only ever set up for Guernsey based employees to continue to be QROPS.”

“Talks with HMRC are ongoing regarding Guernsey schemes that have members resident in the other Crown Dependencies, like the Isle of Man and Jersey, as well as other aspects of QROPS.”

ITO is now urging QROPS providers with schemes meeting the new rules to contact HMRC for relisting.

QROPS rules were amended by HMRC in April and May, leading to more than 300 Guernsey QROPS struck off the UK QROPS list – leaving just three schemes open for transfers.