Qrops centralised info found wanting
IFAs starting to advise on qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes need better information on products, pricing, tax law and strategy, according to Rex Cowley.
Mr Cowley, principal and founder of recently-launched Jersey-based Newdawn Consultancy and Research, has said his firm is to publish a document that will map out the international IFA market that is actively writing Qrops business, showing the density, location and key services across all major economic blocks.
It will also provide detailed forecasting in terms of market growth, industry revenue projections for life, pension and investment sectors and full analysis of the expatriate communities, including wealth, demographics, lifestyle and purchasing characteristics by client segment.
Mr Cowley said: “This report is a vital tool for all existing or would-be participants in the Qrops market, from providers to life companies, investment houses, banks and IFAs. It will assist with strategic decisions that need to be made regarding product, pricing, distribution, positioning and all importantly business strategy.”
The report will also provide insight into the implications, strategic considerations and opportunities for Qrops providers from a range of experts, together with analysis on various business models.
The study followed news that HM Revenue & Customs is to close more than 300 Qrops schemes in Guernsey, leaving just three, in what has been dubbed a “death blow” to the island’s offshore pensions market.
HMRC ruled that Guernsey had not adhered to new regulation, which stated that for a pension scheme to meet the conditions of Qrops, it must treat residents and non-residents alike in respect of tax on pension schemes. However, while many Guernsey-based Qrops fell foul of HMRC rules, jurisdictions such as Malta and New Zealand came out well and remain a valid option for expats.
Nigel Greene, chief executive of global IFA DeVere Group, has bought a 24 per cent stake in STM, a provider of Qrops in Malta, which he says will be a leading hub for the pensions transfer industry.
He said: “STM is perfectly-placed to meet our clients’ needs in this jurisdiction and, therefore, we sought to strengthen our relationship with this company.”
Asked whether deVere will apply whole of market principles to its advice process and not just recommend the Qrops provider it now owns a stake in to clients, Mr Green said: “The deVere Group is committed to total transparency with its clients.”
However, Keith Boniface, marketing director for London -based Brooklands Pensions, said: “The job of advisers has now become much more complicated. There is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution. Advisers must consider all jurisdictions for their clients and one of the problems with this is that the client will need to know where they intend to retire to, in order to choose a suitable Qrops.”
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