With Guernsey closing its doors and Malta offering a good pension tax jurisdiction, it’s all go when it comes to QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) pensions for British expats. Malta is a leading international financial centre and very attractive as a tax jurisdiction.
In this article we look at what you need to know about Malta’s attractions – both touristic and financial.
Located off the coast off the southern coast of Sicily as shown here:
Malta ticks all the boxes when it comes to visiting or residing on the island. History, culture and a great climate collide with fantastic cuisine, stunning architecture and friendly residents.
Fantastic climate and activities
As a resident of Malta you can expect to enjoy over 300 days of sunshine every year. Your vitamin D quota will be full and you’ll be regularly tempted to swim in the azure blue and very clean waters off the many beaches.
The rugged coastlines offer a plethora of sandy beaches to enjoy picnics or a spot of snorkelling. In fact the island is a very popular diving destination and is home to plenty of interesting wrecks including submerged aircraft and ships. You’ll be able to watch octopus, seahorses and stingrays move around the interesting and varied underwater environment.
The agreeable climate means that if you have an interest in it, golf is an activity that can appear as a frequent social activity on your calendar. You’ll also find a miniature golf course, tennis courts, horse riding, sailing and cricket to get involved in. But there’s plenty more than what you’ve read here – that’s just for starters!
Interesting history and architecture
The island of Malta and its sister islands of Gozo, Comino and Filfla are located between Southern Europe and Northern Africa. This has positioned them to be involved in many of the big historic events that occurred in this area such as the crusades, the rise of Islam and the war between Rome and Carthage.
The first settlers in Malta are said to have arrived in 5000 B.C. Since then the islands have been conquered by the Greeks, the Arabs, the Normans, the French and the British. Each of these nationalities and culture have left a mark on the architecture of the island.
In more recent history, Malta gained independence on 21 September 1964 and this is celebrated annually with a fiesta.
The island is predominantly Catholic and most celebrations are centred around Catholic religious calendar.
Easy to reach from most of Europe
Flights from the UK to Malta take approximately 3 hours and from Rome it takes just 1 hour. This makes it a popular tourist destination for European as a visa is not needed by them to enter. One of the more recent trends has been medical tourism as a growing industry with the island offering cosmetic surgery, dental operations, joint replacements and bone marrow transplants.
The gastronomic products of the island delight visitors and residents alike. Maltese cuisine is a blend of the people who have tried to conquer the island. It’s generally very rustic and is an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking. You can expect to find fish pie, rabbit stew, ratatouille and good use of tuna and other locally caught fish, olive oil, tomatoes and garlic.
The Marsaxlokk fish market sells bass, stone fish, grouper, white bream, red mullet, tuna and swordfish. You’ll also come across squid and octopus on rich stews and pasta sauces.
Deserts are based on ice cream, sponge, cream, almonds and ricotta. Some of the methods were brought over from Sicily years ago.
Malta might not be as well-known as some of its European neighbours when it comes to wine production but it has won several awards and you’ll be able to enjoy the products of the vineyards during your visit.
The Maltese Islands have always been used as a meetings venue. These days there are a variety of venues to choose from. 5 and 4 star hotels, converted traditional farmhouses and offices provide comfortable facilities for business conferences.
Home of creative thinking
Creative thinking guru, Edward de Bono was born on Malta in 1933 and after an early education on the island he attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. After writing 82 books, de Bono has now set up the World Center for New Thinking which he describes as a ‘kind of intellectual Red Cross’. It’s mission is to provide tools for new thinking that will result in new ideas for international politics and conflicts. The Center hosts an annual creative thinking seminar for those who want to experience new methods.
What do you need to know about a QROPS pension and Malta
Malta is known for its quality legislation, privacy and integrity and when this is mixed with QROPS pensions – it makes for a winning situation.
A QROPS which is otherwise known as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme is an overseas pension container that offers UK non-residents something that could be described as an ‘offshore pension’.
The benefits of taking out a QROPS pension is that it can deliver several financial advantages in the form of taxation and investment options. Investors are protected by those same rules that apply to UK pension schemes but can take advantage of favourable taxation and the option of taking an early lump sum.
The trustees of the QROPS must report to HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) with information about certain events such as payment of benefits and/or onward transfer of the QROPS.
To find out more about how you can enjoy the benefits of a Maltese QROPS pension visit www.qrops-malta.com