Isle of Man QROPS Jurisdiction incl rules and tax, main picture
 
Selecting the best destination abroad to transfer any UK pensions to depends upon your specific situation. Questioning whether the location has all the requirements you desire whilst ensuring that it still adheres to QROPS legislation will quickly narrow your selection and, thereby, help you find the best QROPS provider. With this in mind, here is a detailed picture of Guernsey as a QROPS location including rules, tax treatment, a list of Guernsey QROPS schemes, and all the Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) currently in place.

Guernsey key facts


Guernsey pension rules

The following regulations set forth by the States of Guernsey all comply with the latest QROPS rules except where noted below.

  • Pensions are available both equally to residents and non-residents alike with tax due in Guernsey
  • Tax relief is available on pension contributions up the the lower of 100% of taxable income or the prevailing annual allowance which is £50,000 this tax year
  • Should a pension member have any unused annual allowance they can carry it forward for up to 6 years (starting from 2011)
  • Minimum retirement age is 50 except in cases of serious ill health. This violates current QROPS regulations and therefore any Guernsey pension wishing to qualify as a QROPS cannot offer members access to pension benefits prior the UK minimum retirement age (currently 55)
  • All pensions must either be in drawdown, where an annual income is withdrawn, or used to purchase an annuity prior to age 75
  • Pension drawdown can either be set at 100% of GAD tables or based on an actuarial calculation
  • On retirement a pension holder is entitled to a tax free lump sum of up to 30% or £184,000, whichever is lower. This can be taken at any stage and in any number of tranches. In cases where the 30% lump sum exceeds £184,000 then the difference can be withdrawn on the proviso that it is subject to Guernsey income tax
  • Any single pension of up to £15,000 can be taken as a lump sum payment or, where all pensions are under £30,000 it may be possible to withdraw all pensions as a single payment. Should this occur then the member will be taxed at 20% if they are under 50 (due to ill health) or 10% otherwise
  • Annuities can be purchased, if desired, with a maximum guaranteed period of 10 years. Any annual increases are limited to a maximum of either 5% or the rate of any UK crown dependency’s inflation rate. Furthermore, spousal payment cannot exceed that of a member’s and initial payments can be set between 100-150% of GAD tables
  • Income and capital gains tax rate is 0%
  • No death tax
  • No inheritance tax (IHT)

Where an individual has been a UK tax resident within the previous 5 full tax years then only standard UK pension rules and tax rates will apply.

HMRC list of Guernsey QROPS providers

The Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes list is updated twice monthly. Although it cannot be solely relied upon it does provide a list of current Guernsey pension schemes that have self certified that they meet QROPS legislation.

Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)

A list of all existing DTAs held by Guernsey are listed as follows;

Jurisdiction Signed DTAs
Australia Partial DTA signed on the 7th of October 2009
Cyprus Signed on 15th of July 2014 & 29th of July 2014
Denmark Partial DTA signed on the 28th of October 2008
Faroe Islands Partial DTA signed on the 28th of October 2008
Finland Partial DTA signed on the 28th of October 2008
Greenland Partial DTA signed on the 28th of October 2008
Hong Kong Signed on 28th of March 2013 & 22nd of April 2013
Iceland Partial DTA signed on the 28th of October 2008
Isle of Man Signed on 24th of January 2013
Ireland Partial DTA signed on the 26th of March 2009
Japan Partial DTA signed on the 6th of December 2011
Jersey Original in force since the 1st of January 1956
Liechtenstein Signed on 5th of June 2014 & 11th of June 2014
Luxembourg Signed on 10th of May 2013
Malta Signed on 12th of March 2012
Mauritius Signed on 17th of December 2013
Monaco Signed on 7th of April 2014
New Zealand Partial DTA signed on the 21st of July 2009
Norway Partial DTA signed on the 28th of October 2008
Poland Partial DTA signed on the 8th of October 2013
Qatar Signed on 22nd of February 2013
Seychelles Signed on 27th of January 2014
Singapore Signed on 6th of February 2013
Sweden Partial DTA signed on the 28th of October 2008
United Kingdom In force since the 1st of January 1951

Full details of these tax treaties can be found on the Guernsey Government website.
 

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Finding the best QROPS. Guernsey as a QROPS jurisdiction examined written by Liberty Wealth average rating 3.8/5 - 9 user ratings