Why Guernsey?

Guernsey is an established centre of excellence for the establishment, administration and management of international retirement benefit plans. It has a modern and principles-based regulatory regime, underpinned by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC), which conforms fully to international standards.

Guernsey offers specialist pensions services and a full range of retirement benefit solutions. Some plans are designed for globally mobile employees who may build up pension rights while working in several countries. Other types of plans provide individuals and companies with a retirement benefits solution in countries where little or no pension legislation exists or where pension providers are limited.

Guernsey offers a tax neutral environment in which the assets of a scheme can grow free of taxation and, on drawdown, are paid to scheme members gross. It became one of the first jurisdictions in the world to regulate the providers of pension schemes in 2001 and introduced pension scheme rules to further enhance member protection in 2017.

Individuals who are looking to enhance their personal pensions outside the UK annual allowance and lifetime allowance limits can establish a Guernsey-registered personal pension as a Qualified Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS). Sovereign has developed the Brock Personal Pension Plan, a multi-member QNUPS that is approved by the States of Guernsey Income Tax Office and satisfies the necessary conditions to be regarded as a QNUPS for UK purposes.

Guernsey also offers Retirement Annuity Trust Schemes (RATS) and Retirement Annuity Contract Schemes (RACs), which are personal international retirement plans that serve as a flexible and tax efficient savings vehicle for internationally mobile individuals wishing to optimise planning possibilities while living or working overseas.

The primary benefit of contributions made into a RATS, whether they originate from an existing pension or from new contributions, is that benefits are paid to non-resident members gross and are not liable to Guernsey Income Tax. Sovereign has developed the Conservo International Retirement Plan, a Guernsey-based multi-member RATS that is open only to non-Guernsey resident members and is designed with three entry levels tiered to suit a variety of retirement planning budgets.

Guernsey’s ‘Secondary Pensions’ regime mandates that private sector workers in Guernsey should have the option to contribute to a pension plan. Like the ‘auto enrolment’ pensions regime in the UK, the Act makes it compulsory for all employers in Gibraltar to provide access for all eligible employees to a pension scheme in addition to the existing State Pension. If they choose to do so, the law also requires the employer to contribute to the employee’s pension plan.

This applies to every private company in Guernsey, that employ an eligible worker. Sovereign provides Occupational (also known as ‘workplace’) Pension Schemes that will enable Guernsey employers to meet these requirements and serve as a powerful employee retention tool.

For Guernsey resident employers, Sovereign offers a multi-employer occupational pension scheme that employers can elect to join, which is approved by the States of Guernsey Income Tax Office. Alternatively, Sovereign can establish bespoke occupational pension schemes that will apply for approval by the States of Guernsey Income Tax Office.

For non-Guernsey resident employers, Sovereign has developed a multi-employer occupational pension scheme that qualifies for an exemption from Guernsey income tax, which employers can elect to join. Alternatively, Sovereign can establish bespoke occupational pension schemes that will also qualify for an exemption from Guernsey income tax, should this be preferred.

Sovereign Trust (Guernsey) Limited holds a fiduciary licence applicable to Pension Scheme Business and Gratuity Scheme Business and is authorised to provide formation, management and administration services for various types of Guernsey pension and savings arrangements, including both individual and corporate and both resident and non-resident clients.

Sovereign Trust (Channel Islands) Limited also holds a full fiduciary licence.

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