Jurisdictional Comparisons

We regard Malta and Gibraltar to be the key players in the QROPS market, between them offering pension solutions that complement each other for the majority of clients circumstances.

Discover more

Malta

Malta has over 70 DTAs and also has a sound financial services framework, good corporate governance, and solid regulation.

VAT is not applicable to Trustee services in Malta. Withholding tax of up to 35% on pension income is levied where the individual is resident in countries that either have no DTA or a limited/remittance based agreement which may allocate or share taxing rights with Malta.

Up to 30% pension commencement lump sum can be taken from age 55.

QROPS Key Differences

Swipe right for more

Gibraltar

Malta

Retirement Age
55-75
55-75
Tax on Pension Income
2.5% flat-rate. Consider tax in country of Residence
DTA between Malta and Country of Residence, so no Tax in Malta, but relevant DTA should be considered.  If no DTA, or DTA gives Malta taxing rights, Maltese Tax rates up to 35%
Pension Income
Up to 150% GAD
Flexi-Access
Lump Sum (PCLS)
Up to 30%
Up to 30%
Tax Return for Pension Income
Required
Required
Borrowing on Property (commercial only)
Allowed
Allowed
Connected Party Investments
50%
Not Allowed
Connected Party Loans
Not Allowed
Not Allowed

A QROPS & the USA

Due to the additional complexities involved with dealing with the USA from a pension, investment, and taxation perspective, many advisers and providers shy away from dealing with any clients resident in, or connected to, the USA. However, thanks to the DTA between the USA and Malta, there is a solution available to clients with UK pensions who have emigrated to the USA, or US nationals resident outside the UK.

A US QROPS must meet certain conditions and the client may have no involvement in the selection, management, or ownership of the pensions underlying investments. However most features are similar to a regular QROPS and the funds can be invested in a similar way. Thanks to the multi-currency options available from a QROPS, clients can have some or all of their pension payments in retirement paid in US Dollars, if they wish, to mitigate currency exchange rate risk.

Frequently asked questions

Anyone that holds a UK pension scheme who intends to live outside of the UK for more than 5 years, or who has been living overseas for 5 years, is eligible.

There is no minimum level. However, it may not be efficient to transfer a single smaller pension into a QROPS. IFAI can recommend the most efficient vehicle based on the size of your pension fund and the length of time you have until you retire.

A transfer of a registered pension scheme to a QROPS is a benefit crystallisation event (BCE). This means it will give rise to an additional income tax charge where the transfer exceeds the individual's lifetime allowance. Currently, this allowance is set at £1,000,000. Below this amount there is no taxation at transfer. Anyone with a pension fund larger than £1,000,000 who is contemplating such a transfer should obtain specialist advice from IFAI before proceeding.   https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/pensions-tax-manual/ptm081000

Yes, you can return without prejudice. However, to ensure there is no taxable event, we would recommend seeking our advice before returning to the UK.

As your life changes, so should your financial recommendations, this ensures relevance of position in a changing financial world.

Andrew Caddick – Managing Director
Secure your future, today

Clear, transparent financial services with 25 years of expertise

Let's talk