Guernsey launches Qrops code of practice

The Guernsey Association of Pension Providers has published its finalised Qrops code of practice.

The code calls for those transferring to Guernsey based QROPS from defined benefit and defined contribution schemes in the UK to take advice from a suitably qualified pensions adviser and for trustees to take professional investment advice unless they have “the necessary investment skills and experience”.

GAPP QROPS sub-committee chairman Roger Berry says: “The code will hopefully provide some harmony for users of Guernsey QROPS.”

It says providers signed up to the code should abide by the island’s Income Tax Office requirement that no more than 25 per cent of the member’s fund can be paid as a lump sum at retirement.

It adds: “However, it should be noted that, subject to the necessary legislation being passed in April 2011, the Income Tax Office restriction to 25 per cent will be increased to 30 per cent.”

HMRC regulations require that 70 per cent of the member’s UK tax relieved funds to be used provide an income for life.

GAPP published a draft of the code in February for consultation and it has now been formally adopted by the association.

Berry says: “The committee has faced some criticism for the time we have taken to release the code. The irony is that most jurisdictions do not even have a QROPS industry body, let alone codes of practice.”

Though the code is voluntary, GAPP QROPS sub-committee chairman Roger Berry told Money Marketing when the draft was launched he expects most Guernsey providers to sign up.