Rex Cowley, head of marketing at the International division of Close, comments on the UK’s Revenue & Customs finally approving the first Maltese Qualifying Recognised Pension Scheme (QROPS).
The ability to register QROPS in Malta is fundamentally a good thing, as it provides an additional jurisdiction for product providers and hence more choice for clients.
In addition, Malta has been a member of the EU since 2004, and part of the Eurozone since 2008, opening further potential for wider European cross boarder pension transfer too.
However, pension administration and management is a complex and specialised area and very different to fund administration. Hence, Malta will require the island to build its pool of expertise and encourage administrators to invest in technology if schemes are to be efficiently managed.
So, whilst having another jurisdiction that offers QROPS is a positive, product providers and administrators in Malta are untested in the QROPS arena and the complexities are many.
There is something to be said for using well-established schemes from other jurisdictions, until Maltese providers have proven their worth – and this could be some time given the full lifecycle of a pension.