Launch Pad: International open pension

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ByKevin White

Adam Wrench, head of product and business development for L&C said: “The current value of all Qrops is estimated at £5bn to £6bn but estimates have shown it could grow to £100bn.

“We are aware that, post-RDR, many advisers are looking for ways to add considerable value to their clients’ retirement planning and therefore advisers may turn to Qrops and to qualifying non-UK pension schemes.”

L&C’s Open Pension:

Domicile: Gibraltar

Investment range:

Full version: full suite of potential investments both conventional and esoteric.

Lite version: The Multi-Platform International Open Pension will provide a range of investments and funds offered in partnership with platform providers.

Full version: set-up charge and AMC: £1000

Lite version: set-up charge and AMC: £475

Adviser view

Geraint Davies, managing director of Surrey-based Montfort International, said:

“We have done some due diligence on L&C but I would be cautious over its comments that this is a volume market. It is a great concept and may be suitable for some clients, but it will not be perfect in all situations and for all clients, and advisers should not be tempted to chase volumes.

“In the 1990s, we worked with the then Inland Revenue to help get Qrops embedded into the regulation.

“What has happened since then is that a lot of untrained or unskilled advisers have been jumping onto the Qrops bandwagon. For the Qrops business to grow to £100bn you would need serious, serious expertise but that sort of expertise is just not there.

“People may be buying these Qrops through untrained advisers and the ramifications of this for someone living in Thailand. The FCA can’t regulate it as the adviser could be based overseas, with clients based overseas and the product providers may not even have an office in the UK.”