Guernsey has become a preferred jurisdiction for the provision of international retirement and savings plans, for both individual and corporate clients, as it has an extremely flexible, yet robust, framework and an attractive tax regime, particularly for non-Guernsey tax residents. The island has become a centre of excellence for pension administration.
The provision of retirement plans is a regulated activity, overseen by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. For non-Guernsey tax resident individuals and companies, there are a number of options available to suit a variety of needs and circumstances. There are fully approved retirement savings plans. There are also non-approved, but tax-recognised, retirement savings plans and there are non-approved and non-recognised savings and gratuity plans (generally for certain specific employer sponsored arrangements, where flexibility is paramount).
Choosing an international pension product provider that has a proven track record in pension administration, and has invested in technically-able staff and systems, becomes an ever more important factor when considering which product to buy.
Retirement planning is a very specialist area, and any provider should be able to field a team that includes tax, legal, trust, actuarial, investment and pension technical specialists to ensure the pension is correctly administered throughout its lifecycle. Staying abreast of legislative developments that affect the treatment and administration of an international pension requires an investment by a provider in suitably qualified staff.
Here’s a quick checklist of points to consider when choosing a pension provider:
- Is the provider subject to proper regulation and supervision?
- How long has the provider been involved in international pension administration?
- How many dedicated pension staff does the provider have?
- What technical training is given to staff?
- What pension qualifications do the staff have?
- What are the levels of staff turnover?
- Does the provider outsource any part of the pension administration process?
- Which pension administration system does the provider use?
- How many pensions does the provider have under administration?
- Is the provider represented on local pensions’ industry bodies?
- What level of Professional Indemnity insurance cover does the provider hold?
Sovereign Trust (Guernsey) is a regulated pension licensee in Guernsey, offering both approved multi-member retirement savings plans (The Brock Personal Pension Plan) and tax-recognised multi-member retirement savings plans (The Conservo International Retirement Plan), to provide cost effective solutions to both local and international individual clients wishing to make additional savings for their retirement.
There are also approved and tax-recognised retirement and savings plans for local and international corporate clients.