Changes in UK legislation affecting QROPS, former QROPS, and delisted QROPS

By April 7, 2015News

UK pension reforms became law on 6 April 2015.

There are still a number of unanswered questions regarding the impact of the UK changes on overseas pension schemes.  Not least of these are tax implications and expected changes following the temporary reversal of UK policy in respect of the extension of flexible benefits to overseas schemes.

We post updates on the above on a regular basis on our website –

We outline below the current position for our Guernsey and Gibraltar products.

Whilst we do not offer Maltese products, our understanding of their position also follows.

Aurora International Pension Plan/Aurora Libertaï/Aurora Quantum/Aurora Quantum Lite – former QROPS (Guernsey)

  • Guernsey’s local tax legislation is being amended to offer flexibility;
  • Flexibility is expected to be available in the early summer;
  • Flexibility is expected to relate to the original source of funds;
  • Thus, UK source pension funds will receive UK pensions’ flexibilities;
  • Tax on flexible payments may fall due in the UK and/or a Member’s country of residence; specific tax advice is strongly recommended prior to any flexi access;
  • We await the outcome of HMRC’s decision on whether they will remove the temporary suspension for non-European Economic Area QROPS and delisted QROPS;
  • If you are interested in flexible access, it is likely that Guernsey will be the first jurisdiction to be able to offer such access. Whilst this is expected in the early summer 2015, Guernsey already has certain long standing pension flexibilities.
  • It may be necessary to consider each case on its own merits, but Guernsey can already offer flexibilities such as temporary annuities and loans.

Aurora Europa – QROPS (Gibraltar

  • There will be no changes to our Gibraltar Schemes at the current time or until such time as the  temporary reversal of policy in respect of the extension of flexible benefits to overseas schemes is lifted;
  • PCLS is still available up to 30%;
  • No Death Taxes continue to apply;
  • Withholding tax of 2.5% on income withdrawals;
  • Withdrawals continue to be available for Members over 55 years of age, at up to 150% of the prevailing GAD rate.


Whilst new changes to Maltese legislation have been enacted ,and such legislation will allow similar flexibility as most UK Defined Contribution Schemes and SIPPs, this will only take effect after existing Maltese Schemes are licensed and regulated under this new legislation. This will not be until late 2015.  The minimum age for access to pension income has been increased to age 55, as with all other QROPS jurisdictions, and Malta is also considering reducing the PCLS payments from their current level of 30% to 25%. Withholding tax on pension income payments is payable at 35% unless an effective DTA exists.

This information is provided for general information only.  Concept does not provide financial, legal nor tax advice, and nothing in this document should be construed as such. Concept  shall not be held responsible for any liability or loss arising directly or indirectly from any reliance placed upon the content of this document. Concept recommends that all individuals should seek their own appropriate advice.


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