Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS)

The Equus Retirement Annuity Trust Scheme is a Gibraltar-based pension scheme provided by Castle Trust & Management Services Limited, part of the Castle Trust Group.

It is an overseas pension scheme registered in the UK with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with registered number QROPS 502472. It is recognised by HMRC as eligible to receive transfers from UK pension schemes and therefore is of significant benefit to individuals with UK based pension schemes who have, or intend to leave the UK.

The Equus Retirement Annuity Trust Scheme is open to both residents and non-residents of Gibraltar and operates in accordance with the Laws of Gibraltar.

Benefits

  • The ability to pass on your pension fund tax free to named beneficiaries following your death
  • Consolidation of all your pension arrangements into one plan for simplicity.
  • Tax free lump sum of up to 30% of the fund value once you reach age 55
  • Mitigation of UK tax once you have left the UK
  • Only 2.5% Gibraltar income tax payable on income
  • Your Pension fund and income can be denominated in a different currency to avoid currency fluctuations.

Eligibility

  • Gibraltar residents
  • Individuals with UK registered pension schemes who have become non-resident, or intend to become non-resident in the near future.

Permitted Investments

  • Cash deposits in any currency
  • Government and Corporate Fixed Interest Securities
  • Equities (quoted and unquoted)
  • Pooled funds including collective investment schemes
  • Structured Products and derivatives
  • Commercial Property and land
  • Gold Bullion
  • Loans to unconnected parties
  • Borrowing to acquire assets or enhance cash flow limited to 50% of net asset value

Where your pension fund originates from a UK scheme the purchase of certain assets are "unauthorised" and their purchase, directly or indirectly, attract tax penalties of up to 70% of the price paid - or more.

These include:

  • Loans to members
  • Residential property
  • Loans to acquire residential property
  • Tangible moveable property such as works of art, classic cars, fine wine etc - but Gold bars are uniquely permitted

Pension and lump sum benefits

  • Benefits may be drawn at any time from age 55 or earlier if a need arises due to incapacity
  • Benefits may be drawn whilst you continue to work
  • The lump sum may be drawn from age 55.
  • A lump sum of up to 25% of the fund may be drawn tax-free. A higher lump sum may be available in certain circumstances.
  • The lump sum may either be drawn in one tranche or in several stages as required

Two methods of pension withdrawal are available:

  • Scheme Pension - pension rates are calculated and regularly reassessed according to the member's specific circumstances while the fund can remain invested.
  • Annuity - all or part of the fund can be used to purchase an annuity at any point - but this is not mandatory.

Pensions are subject to Gibraltar Income Tax at the rate of 2.5%.

Death Benefits

  • On death, before any benefits are drawn, the Member's interest can be distributed tax free to beneficiaries selected by the Trustee

Further pension considerations as to applicability

Lifetime allowance charge

If you have total UK sourced pension funds in excess of the current Lifetime Allowance of £1.25m, the excess funds transferred will be subject to a 25% tax charge.

Return to the UK

On your return to the UK, UK pension legislation may apply to your pension assets within the Scheme. Specialist advice is necessary as we are aware it is possible in most circumstances to structure affairs prior to returning to the UK that may provide a better solution. We do not give advice in this area but can provide you with details of specialists with whom we have worked in this area to achieve the optimum solution.


Contact Us

For further information or to arrange a call back from our QROPS Team please contact us.


Disclaimer: This website contains general information only, without any warranty that the content is accurate, complete or fit for a particular purpose. It does not constitute professional advice. The Castle Trust Group does not accept any responsibility for loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in this website and recommends that for a specific matter a suitable professional is consulted.