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Guernsey QROPS Masterclass Successful

Monday, September 20, 2010

Guernsey Finance, the promotional agency for the island’s financial services sector, has announced a strong turnout, of 60 delegates, at the Guernsey QROPS seminar, held on September 8 in Manchester.

Guernsey had already held two Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS) related events in London during the past year and the event in Manchester was the first of three ‘masterclasses’ being hosted across the UK this autumn, with seminars in Birmingham and Bristol to follow in the coming months.

QROPS are one of the financial planning techniques available to UK expats who have already moved or are planning to move overseas to retire. QROPS can provide investment flexibility and currency options for clients who live abroad (or are planning to relocate prior to retirement). They are an effective way to consolidate UK pension assets gathered throughout someone’s working life in the UK and provide flexibility to allow retirement planning to accommodate their new lifestyle overseas.

According to a recent poll by Skandia International, advisers cite the most common reason to recommend a QROPS as being that income drawn from the scheme is not subject to UK tax. The wider investment choice allowed within a QROPS is the second most common reason that advisers recommend a QROPS while the lack of compulsion to purchase an annuity if the client holds their pension monies in a QROPS falls third on the list. Advisers also recommend a QROPS due to the fund not being subject to UK inheritance tax on death, although this ranks as only the fourth reason to recommend the product to qualifying clients.

“Our two seminars in London were extremely well attended and I am delighted to say that we also had an impressive turnout in Manchester as well,” said Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance. “This is recognition of the fact that QROPS remains a particularly hot topic. There is a significant mass of expats already and many more people are considering leaving the UK given the current economic climate so financial advisers are cognizant that they need to stay on top of developments to be able to provide clients with the very latest pensions information.” Niven added:

“I think the impressive number of delegates also reflects Guernsey’s standing as the jurisdiction of choice for QROPS. As such, not only do advisers need to keep on top of what is happening in the island, but also to gain cutting edge perspectives on new products such as QNUPS (Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes).”

“At each event we have a panel of experts on hand to take the audience right through from the foundation stages to the very latest thinking on QROPS and recent developments like the introduction of QNUPS. They are tackling a wide range of issues, including some of the common myths associated with these pension schemes and of course there is a chance for the audience to have their questions answered by Guernsey and UK practitioners.”

“We were very pleased to attract such a strong turnout in Manchester. It shows that there is a thirst for knowledge on the subject and I am hopeful that we will see similarly strong attendances when we visit Birmingham and Bristol later this autumn.”