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Guernsey unveils completed QROPS code of practice

The Guernsey Association of Pension Providers has published its finalised QROPS code of practice.

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The code, adherence to which is voluntary, was published in draft format in February for a period of industry-wide consultation and has now been formally adopted by the pension association.

Roger Berry, chairman of the QROPS sub-committee in GAPP, said the creation of the code cemented Guernsey’s position as the leading QROPS jurisdiction. He highlighted that no other QROPS domicile, such as the Isle of Man or New Zealand, had established similar QROPS rulebooks, though believed others may follow suit.

“The publication of the code shows there is a great deal of harmony between local providers as to how the sector should operate.”

He said there had been no material changes to the code during the consultation phase and explained that, if anything, some providers believed it could be “more strenuous” in places. Berry noted, though, that code would evolve over time and could be strengthened in some places.

In terms of areas covered by the code, Berry said it strongly recommended scheme members obtain professional transfer and tax advice before making a QROPS transfer. He said this was particularly important in relation to final salary and defined benefits schemes, which Berry described as currently being “one of the most critical areas in the market at the moment.”

He added that people should: “Make a decision with all the pluses and minuses set out before them.”

Berry said he would be surprised if any local QROPS providers did not sign up to the code, noting there had been agreement among GAAP members over its drafting.

He added: “We will find out who signs up, but there has been virtually no dissenting comment around it from members in the draft stage.”
 

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