The announcement follows confirmation from the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) that Sovereign’s retirement benefit schemes have been transitioned to regulation and licensing under the Retirement Pensions Act (RPA).
The flexibilities were introduced as part of the RPA with an effective date of 1 January 2015. However, the MFSA was given until 31 December 2015 to transition providers onto the new Act from the previous Special Funds Regulations Act, according to Matt Tailford, pensions technical manager at Sovereign.
“Although the MFSA afforded providers an element of discretion prior to this, most decided to wait until the process was complete at the end of 2015 before offering flexible benefits,” he said.
Available on any UK transfers
Flexi-access drawdown will be available on any transfers of UK relevant funds meaning 100% of such funds may be available from age 55.
“Although the MFSA afforded providers an element of discretion prior to this, most decided to wait until the process was complete at the end of 2015 before offering flexible benefits.”
Tailford expects most Qrops providers in Malta will offer the new flexibilities but cautioned that full encashment would not be recommended for most “as keeping the monies within the pension fund and drawing periodically will often prove more tax efficient”.
“Sovereign is pleased to be able to respond to our clients requests for flexi-access now that it is available in law in Malta. Offering a full suite of international pension solutions including options in Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Guernsey, as well as Malta… Sovereign remains focused on the provision of relevant retirement planning solutions to its global client base.”