The number of Guernsey-based Qrops providers on HM Revenue & Custom’s approved list has fallen from around 300 in March to just three in April.
The fall follows a clamp down by the Revenue on overseas pension schemes which treat residents differently from non-residents for tax purposes.
HMRC’s final Qrops rules, published last month, require providers to treat non-residents and residents of a jurisdiction in the same way for tax purposes from April 6.
Guernsey had hoped it could continue to offer pensions to non-residents after it introduced new 157E legislation designed to meet the new requirements.
However, earlier this week Guernsey’s income tax office warned HMRC planned to exclude Qrops which provide pensions to residents outside the country from its list of approved providers.
A note issued by the income tax office said: “HMRC’s list of approved Qrops, to be published next on April 12, 2012, will only include a Guernsey scheme if HMRC is satisfied that the scheme is ‘residents-only’.
“HMRC indicates that it will seek to revise its regulations further in order to disqualify 157E schemes from Qrops listings.”
Guernsey Association of Pension Providers president Stephen Ainsworth says: “It is frustrating that HMRC, having set out its detailed rules, then seeks to set them aside without notice in order to meet an unpublished policy objective.
“This change, if confirmed, will leave many UK expatriates without the opportunity to move their pension savings to a secure jurisdiction of their choice.
“Indeed, even Guernsey residents are adversely affected by the current HMRC stance since most pension schemes, whether in Guernsey or the UK, do not include the territoriality restriction that HMRC now demands for Guernsey Qrops. We hope that there will be an opportunity to return to a less restrictive regime as the Qrops list continues to be reviewed over the coming weeks.”