Almost 50 representatives took part in the survey at Fund Links, an event designed to help fund managers and international life offices forge closer ties. The delegates were all senior employees of cross-border life companies.
The majority of representatives either said that the QROPS regime is “under threat” (43%) or were unsure (36%). Only 20% of respondents said they did not believe the industry is under threat.
The delegates were also asked if they thought that QROPS was an opportunity for everyone or would remain niche – two thirds thought it was niche, one third thought everyone could profit from the growth in the industry.
The findings are perhaps surprising, considering that the international life industry and the QROPS industry have, more recently, begun working more closely together.
For example, Skandia International and Guernsey-based QROPS provider Concept Group now offer an international pension plan, with Concept providing the trustee service and Skandia International providing the investment platform.
Gerry Brown, technical manager at Prudential, said he was surprised by the result of the poll.
“There were some cases in the past which highlighted the dubious practice of a few providers in the QROPS space, and no doubt there are still some slightly dubious practices now, but this is no reason for HM Revenue & Customs or the Treasury to want to ban them,” said Brown.
“We may see increased oversight of the industry but I very much doubt QROPS are under threat. Life companies should also not be threatened by the industry, in fact there are opportunities here for life companies to sell products which suit QROPS.”