New Zealand developing Qrops code of practice

Qrops providers in New Zealand are developing a code of practice to improve the country’s reputation on the overseas pension schemes.

The move is being driven by a compliance advisory firm called Strategi and a posting on the firm’s website about why the code is being developed admits many NZ Qrops providers have become too flexible, are not undertaking sufficient checks and increasing the chances of falling foul of HMRC rules for the schemes.

Strategi best practice compliance officer Mark Hattersley says the jurisdiction wants to be seen as respectable.

He says: “We believe through producing a voluntary code, we can ensure providers understand and are correctly adhering to HMRC’s rules on Qrops.”

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

Strategi is working with a number of local providers on the code and it is expected to be made available within the next couple of months for consultation.

It comes weeks after Guernsey released its own voluntary Qrops code.

It called for those transferring into Guernsey based Qrops to take advice from a suitably qualified pension adviser and for trustees to take professional investment advice unless they have the “necessary investment skills and experience”.

Monfort International managing director Geraint Davies says: “They think the negative rumours and stories about New Zealand are not doing its aim to become a financial services centre any good and this code is intended to show it as a centre of quality.”