The statement, released by the Isle of Man’s Association of Pension Scheme Providers (APSP) this morning, responds to the publication last December of draft legislation by the UK government which makes significant changes to the QROPS legislation. It is only the second announcement from the island since the APSP welcomed the proposals last year.
In order to comply with the draft legislation, the Isle of Man, as with Guernsey, will have to make some significant amendments to its pension legislation. At this stage, the APSP said it did not wish to reveal exactly what changes it plans to make in order to comply with the legislation post “Q-Day”, as it wants to wait until HM Revenue & Customs publishes its final draft on 21 March – UK Budget Day.
APSP chairman Stuart Clifford said: “We have maintained a dignified silence so far and deliberately so. The overriding reason is that nothing has yet been finalised and we feel we cannot progress legislative or procedural changes until such time as we have the final HMRC framework in which to do so. Anything else, we believe, runs the risk of leaving us too exposed.”
Clifford added however, that along with the Isle of Man government, the APSP has “lined up a number of options” to deal with the legislation, depending on what emerges on UK Budget Day.
According to the APSP, as well as independent QROPS specialist Rex Cowley, principal of New Dawn Consultancy & Research, the legislation published by HMRC only impacts the island’s 50c pension legislation. As the rules stand, the new “Condition 4” clause will exclude schemes registered under the 50c legislation from being eligible to remain as a QROPS.