Guernsey gets green light to reopen resident-only QROPS

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The Guernsey government has won approval from the UK tax man to reopen some QROPS schemes on the island – but only for residents.

After a flurry of behind-the-scenes negotiations, HM Revenue & Customs has agreed to reinstate pension schemes on the island to the QROPS list if a banned Section 150 pension is a workplace scheme for employees only living in Guernsey.

HMRC has also given the nod to Guernsey States to relist public sector schemes as QROPS.

For UK expats and international workers with UK pension rights, the ruling means they can switch their funds to a Guernsey QROPS providing they are resident on the Channel Island.

Guernsey’s Director of Income Tax, Rob Gray said: “We have been working hard over the last few weeks to protect the QROPS status of purely domestic Guernsey schemes which have been caught up in the action taken by HMRC. I am delighted that HMRC has recognised and accepted the arguments that we have made. These clarifications, which widen the approach originally taken by HMRC, should enable Guernsey schemes that were only ever set up for Guernsey based employees to continue to be QROPS.

“We understand that HMRC has written to all Guernsey pension schemes asking them to advise HMRC if they feel the pension scheme still meets the conditions to be a QROPS. Whilst when this issue first arose, and in view of the short notice given by HMRC, I agreed to act as a conduit for sending correspondence on QROPS to HMRC, as the time pressure has now passed, I would ask pension schemes to correspond directly with HMRC on QROPS matters.”

Gray also revealed talks are still underway with HMRC about relisting Guernsey QROPS for non-residents and for retirement savers living in the Isle of Man and Jersey.

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