Qualifying Non-UK Pension Schemes

A QNUPS (Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme) is a non-UK pension scheme open to UK residents or expatriates that are looking for a supplementary or standalone pension that is not subject to UK annual or lifetime allowance restrictions but can still offer a streamlined provision of retirement benefits. As a non-UK pension scheme, contributions do not obtain any UK tax relief however QNUPS can be highly beneficial for individuals who have retained, or will obtain, UK domicile for UK inheritance tax purposes.

Trireme offer QNUPS from our offices in Guernsey and Malta. The choice of jurisdiction is an important consideration as both offer different features under their individual pensions regulations and members are recommended to seek independent advice.

In Malta, Trireme's QNUPS can be written under trust or contract. Contract based pensions may offer members residing in non common law jurisdictions that may adversely tax or treat foreign trusts an alternative pension framework that is internationally respected. For further information on this, please see our Contract Vs Trust pensions note.

Malta QNUPS can benefit from Malta's numerous double taxation agreements with more than 70 countries and members can commence taking retirement benefits from age 50 with a lump sum of up to 30% of the total value of the plan. The tax treatment of pension benefits are subject to Malta's domestic tax laws unless there is a double taxation agreement in place between the jurisdiction where the member is deemed tax resident and Malta that overrides the local rules.

In Guernsey, Trireme offers trust based QNUPS. Retirement benefits can be taken from age 55 and members can draw the same 30% initial lump sum as seen in Malta. It is also possible to take a loan against the QNUPS at an earlier age, providing a form of access if needed.

All retirement benefits are paid under Guernsey's domestic tax laws and are therefore not subject to any withholding tax in Guernsey.

Across both jurisdictions, a QNUPS can be used to invest in a wide variety of investment classes, including property, as long as they are not connected to the Member and a general level of investment diversification is applied.

There are no maximum or minimum funding limitations imposed on QNUPS, however any contribution should be commensurate with the Member's pension requirements. Contributions are removed from the Member's estate for UK inheritance tax purposes and left to beneficiaries nominated by the member upon application.

For further information, please contact our support team or speak with your financial advisor.