Why Malta?

The robust regulatory framework provided by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), together with Malta’s full EU Member status and established financial services industry, make Malta a compelling jurisdiction for international pensions. Malta’s legislation allows for a number of customised structures that suit the requirements of individuals or international businesses.

Malta is one of the jurisdictions that meet the requirements set out by the UK tax authority (HMRC) for Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS). A retirement scheme licensed in Malta is also eligible as a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS), providing it satisfies the UK Inheritance Tax (IHT) requirements.

Malta’s full EU Member status means that companies established in other EU member states can sponsor occupational schemes established in Malta. English is an official language and with over 70 double taxation pension agreements in place, Malta makes an ideal place for UK expatriates to base their pension provision.

Retirement schemes and their administrators are licensed and fully regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). A strong regulatory framework ensures the integrity of the plan and provides peace of mind to a scheme’s members.

Sovereign Pension Services Limited is licensed by the MFSA as a Retirement Scheme Administrator and is a member of the Malta Association of Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP), which is primarily concerned with regulation, taxation and industry best practice. Sovereign Trust (Malta) Limited is also authorised to act as a trustee or co-trustee to provide Fiduciary Services.

Malta QNUPS – Key Information

Malta QNUPS – Key Information

Investment Options Open architecture
Benefit commencement 50 years of age
Maximum Lump Sum 30%
Malta tax rate applicable to pension* Up to 35%
Death Benefits100% lump sum or survivor’s pension

*Maltese tax will not apply where the pension taxing rights are granted to the member’s country of residence under the terms of a double taxation agreement.

Sustainable Finance

On March 10, 2021 the Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 of November 27, 2019 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial sector (the “Regulation”) entered into force. This regulation aims to support sustainable investments by requiring Financial Market Participants and Financial Advisers, both as defined in the Regulation, to disclose information regarding sustainability risks to investors and clients.

What are sustainable investments? The Regulation defines this as:

An investment in an economic activity that contributes to an environmental objective, as measured, for example, by key resource efficiency indicators on the use of energy, renewable energy, raw materials, water and land, on the production of waste, and greenhouse gas emissions, or on its impact on biodiversity and the circular economy, or an investment in an economic activity that contributes to a social objective, in particular an investment that contributes to tackling inequality or that fosters social cohesion, social integration and labour relations, or an investment in human capital or economically or socially disadvantaged communities, provided that such investments do not significantly harm any of those objectives and that the investee companies follow good governance practices, in particular with respect to sound management structures, employee relations, remuneration of staff and tax compliance.

What is a sustainable risk? The Regulation defines this as:

An environmental, social or governance event or condition that, if it occurs, could cause an actual or a potential material negative impact on the value of the investment.

Article 3 of the Regulation requires information to be shared with regards to the integration of sustainability risks and consideration to be given to any principal adverse effects within the investment decision-making and advice-giving processes. Sovereign Pension Services Limited (“Sovereign”), as a retirement scheme administrator, does not make any considerations regarding any principal adverse impacts of investment decisions due to the following reasons:

  • Sovereign’s personal pension schemes are member-directed, meaning that the retirement scheme administrator does not make investment decisions on behalf of its members. Members appoint an investment adviser and/or investment manager to advise and/or manage their investments. Alternatively, the member is eligible to be appointed as a professional member and is hence considered to be a professional investor and can therefore make individual investment decisions for his portfolio. Nonetheless, the schemes’ investment guidelines require our members’ overall portfolio to be adequately diversified, and this reduces the effects of the occurrence of sustainability risks. We also require all new client investment advice mandates to consider sustainability risks.
  • The Sovereign Malta Occupational scheme, which is not member directed, has not yet reached a size for which it would be appropriate to integrate environmental, social and governmental risk factors in its investment decisions or processes. We therefore do not consider the size of the portfolio to be such that it would have any principal adverse impacts on sustainability factors. We will keep conducting sustainability risk assessments on a regular basis in line with our corporate governance practices and monitor whether the size of the scheme is still such that it is not conducive to sustainability considerations.

In the meantime, we encourage our clients who form part of our member-directed schemes to familiarise themselves with their investment products and consider any sustainability risks integrated in these products together with their chosen investment adviser or manager.

Our remuneration policies are independent of variable factors, and since sustainability risk is not considered in investment decisions, there has been no change to Sovereign’s remuneration policy.

Get in Touch

Please contact us if you have any questions or queries and your local representative will be in touch with you as soon as possible.