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New Zealand Considers QROPS Code Of Conduct

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) providers in New Zealand, having come under recent scrutiny by the regulator, are now working together to develop a voluntary code of practice for both product suppliers and advisers. It is hoped that this code will improve the reputation of the market, and comes weeks after Guernsey released its own voluntary code of conduct.

QROPSs are offshore pension arrangements that enable British expatriates to have access to an income abroad, and it is estimated that they have the potential to bring NZD300m (USD238m) of new funds into New Zealand each year.

Competition between suppliers in this lucrative market, however, has led to insufficient checks being undertaken, and so potentially permitting the investor to have access to their funds earlier than permitted by UK regulations. UK Revenue and Customs has shut down a number of QROPS for failing to comply with regulations, and there have been rumours that HMRC was planning to put in place an investigation into the way that New Zealand QROPS were being managed.

David Greenslade, Managing Director of Strategi, a New Zealand-based best practice and compliance consultancy heading this initiative, believes that this voluntary code is a sign of the emerging new professionalism within the industry. “When the wider industry realises there is a potential issue with a sub-sector of products or services, it takes pro-active steps to rectify things without having to wait for the regulator or government to initiate change. This bodes well for the industry in the future,” the firm said.

David Howell, Group Chief Executive of Guardian Wealth Management, noted that the move by the QROPS providers in New Zealand to instigate a code of conduct is welcomed as a way to bring greater stability to the QROPS market in the jurisdiction, ensuring that New Zealand can benefit from being a credible centre for QROPS schemes.

“For those living overseas, it is important that they seek advice from a qualified financial adviser with experience in this field of expertise, and who is regulated to give advice in the jurisdiction. The adviser will undertake the proper pension transfer review to ensure a QROPS is suitable for the individual concerned," Howell said.

“QROPS can deliver considerable advantages for people living permanently overseas, including tax benefits and the ability to pass on the remainder of the pension pot as inheritance. However, there are expenses incurred in transferring a pension to a QROPS and as they can create tax implications for anyone returning to live in the UK, anyone considering a QROPS must ensure they take proper advice on whether it will meet their needs," Howell added.

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The Report

Offshore Trusts Guide: Introduction

The History of Offshore Trusts
Development of Professional Competence in the Jurisdictions
What Future for the Trust?
The New Age of Transparency
The Swiss Association of Trust Companies
The Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners

Offshore Trusts Guide: Jurisdictions

Bahamas

Bahamas: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bahamas: 2006 Private Trust Companies Legislation

Barbados

Barbados: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Barbados: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Bermuda

Bermuda: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Bermuda: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

British Virgin Islands

British Virgin Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
British Virgin Islands: Special Trusts Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: The Trustee Act 2003
British Virgin Islands: :Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees
British Virgin Islands: New Laws on Private Trust Companies
British Virgin Islands: New Private Trust Company Regulations

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cayman Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cook Islands

Cook Islands: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cook Islands: Supervisory and Licensing Regime and Fees

Cyprus

Cyprus: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Cyprus: Supervision, Licensing and Tax

Gibraltar

Gibraltar: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Gibraltar: Legislation, Regulation and Supervision

Guernsey

Guernsey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Guernsey: Trusts Law 2007

Isle of Man

Isle of Man: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Isle of Man: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Isle of Man: Uses Clients and Tax Treatment

Jersey

Jersey: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Jersey: Supervisory and Licensing Regime
Jersey: Trusts Amendment Act 2006
Jersey: Foundations

Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Liechtenstein: Regulation Supervision and Transparency
Liechtenstein: Characteristics of Liechtenstein Trusts
Liechtenstein: Foundations

Madeira

Madeira: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Malta

Malta: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Malta: The Trust and Trustees Act 2004

Mauritius

Mauritius: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Mauritius: Characteristics of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Additional Provisions of the 2001 Trusts Act
Mauritius: Tax Treatment

Monaco

Monaco: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Nevis

Nevis: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Panama

Panama: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Panama: Requirements for Acting as Trust Company in Panama

Seychelles

Seychelles: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos: Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees
Turks & Caicos: The Voidable Dispositions Ordinance

Vanuatu

Vanuatu Legal Framework and Formation Rules and Fees




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