If you’re looking into investing in a QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) container for your pension, then you should be considering Malta as one of your top choices.
Malta is very attractive as a tax jurisdiction and it’s a very good option for those looking to establish themselves residentially overseas. By taking advantage of the residency schemes available you could enjoy a very appealing 15% flat rate tax. It’s an island that is just 3 hours from London and the climate if fabulous.
Let’s explore what Malta has got to offer you as a QROPS investor.
What’s it like to live in Malta?
If you’re a fan of great Mediterranean food, a very low level of crime and friendly people as neighbours then you can’t go wrong. Out of 192 countries, Malta was named as the top residential country by International Living Magazine in 2011. It’s also well known for its excellent health care and a balmy climate – 15 degrees Celsius in January is very comfortable.
The population of the island (400,000) is made up of Maltese and a variety of other nationalities; mostly Europeans, with a high percentage of Brits and Scandinavians. English is spoken widely on the 121 square mile land mass and you’ll find plenty of activities and culture to keep you entertained. The alleys of the city of Valetta meander and wind past an eclectic mix of interesting architecture, and the history of the island goes back 7,000 years.
Situated right next to Malta are the sister islands of Gozo and Comino. These islands make up what has been described as a bridge between North Africa and Europe. They are surrounded by deep blue seas that attract holidaymakers and divers alike.
How about Maltese property?
Property in Malta is varied in style and size just like in any other country. You can find quaint converted farmhouses with countryside views, apartments overlooking the deep azure blues of the Mediterranean and large villas with pools and tennis courts. It’s really down to your preferred lifestyle and your available finance.
Malta is not a country that has witnessed the same large downturns in property prices like most other European countries. It has remained relatively stable and experts say that this is tied to the Maltese preference of living in privately owned property as opposed to rentals.
The Maltese government have created a set of schemes that welcome new residents to the island. For example, as long as you can support yourself and your income meets the minimum criteria that the government has set, you are welcome to settle if you have a European Union passport. You are most likely to be charged an income tax rate of 35% for income that you bring in from overseas.
Those who have can qualify under the High Networth Scheme will enjoy a preferred income tax rate of 15% for all income acquired. This scheme will demand that you purchase a property of higher value than €400,000 or that the one that you rent will take more than €20,000 from you per annum in fees. You will also be expected to take out a health insurance policy from a reputable company and will be the subject of a standard police check. Due to the preferential tax rate that this scheme provides, you will be expected to reside in Malta for a set number of days per year.
If you eventually decide to move from Malta, you won’t be expected to pay any capital gains tax on the sale of your property just as long as you have owned the home and had it as your primary residence for 3 years or more.
Why would I move my pension to Malta?
If you have decided that it suits you to move away from Britain to live in later life or you are a foreign national who wants to live elsewhere than Britain but who has rights to a British private pension then Malta could be for you.
QROPS schemes are well regulated and required to meet the criteria that are set by the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) in order to operate.
One of the attractions of establishing a Maltese QROPS is that everybody speaks English. It also offers a preferred tax rate, in particular if you live on the island under the High Networth Residential Scheme. You’ll be expected to pay only 15% income tax. You could also be able to take out 25% of the fund as a lump sum to use on your home, to pay for school fees or to deal with any other of the challenges and pleasures that life offers.
Malta has several international banks established on the island and is known for being efficient in delivering a high quality customer service to its international level banking customers.
If you would like to know if there are any other requirements when it comes to establishing a QROPS scheme, you need to be aware that it’s only available to people who are either currently non-resident in the UK or plan to become non-resident in the next 12 months. If you transfer your pension to a QROPS scheme then you will not be taxed when you do so unless your fund is in excess of £1.8 million in lifetime allowances.
To find out more about QROPS in Malta, contact the experts at www.qrops-malta.com by visiting the website and completing the form