What makes Malta QROPS special?

Malta QROPS are still accepting pension transfers after the shutters have gone up on hundreds of other schemes in what were considered safe havens.

QROPS or qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes – were big business in Guernsey when the lights went out in more than 300 financial firms as HM Revenue & Customs tightened up the rules on tax abuse, but the 10 Malta QROPS hardly noticed the difference.

The difference between Guernsey and Malta is political rather than financial.

Guernsey is a British crown dependency while Malta is a sovereign state. This political status allows Malta to join the European Union as a full member, while Guernsey cannot.

As a full member state of the EU, Malta must abide by European laws, treaties and regulations in the same way as all other members, like the UK, France and Germany.

Part of these interstate obligations includes financial regulation by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) following the lines of financial regulation in the UK.

Over recent years, Malta has established a reputation for robust financial management, while even Guernsey’s own outgoing treasury minister Charles Parkinson warns the government must alter the way the rest of the world sees Guernsey as a tax haven exploiting legal loopholes to make profits.

Closing Malta QROPS would seem unthinkable for the UK – taking unilateral action against a fellow EU state is unheard of, just as much as another EU state knowingly breaching financial regulations to the detriment of another.

One of the advantages of a Guernsey QROPS was basing the retirement plan in a British environment – and the same benefits that apply to Guernsey apply to Malta, and more so.

Malta speaks English and has a history closely connected to Britain. Read more about Malta QROPS in a previous article.

Lastly, during the last rounds of tax changes that led to so many QROPS schemes closing, Malta came through unscathed – and with several provides announcing they intended to move to the island.

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