31 October 2011
Royal Skandia, part of Skandia International, the offshore business of Old Mutual plc, today announces an exclusive new fee structure agreed with the Concept Group for the co-branded Aurora Quantum QROPS. The new fee structure is aimed at clients with transfer values of less than £75,000 at which level many current QROPS fee structures may be prohibitive.
The bespoke new fee structure, known as Aurora Quantum Lite and available where the underlying investment is a Royal Skandia product, is offered by Concept, the Guernsey fiduciary synonymous with QROPS.
Quantum Lite is designed for investors who have transferrable UK pension pots of up to £75,000. The exclusive new charging structure, makes the Quantum Lite proposition amongst the most attractive QROPS of its kind and, furthermore, for clients with longer to go until retirement, charges are further reduced.
The arrangement, which will be subject to a one-off set up fee of £295, will have an ongoing annual charge ranging from £295 for those aged 45 and under, £395 for 46 to 50 year olds and £495 for applicants over the age of 50.
An additional feature of Quantum Lite will enable investors to make lump sum top up contributions for an initial £150 fee and £150 additional annual charge.
Skandia International and Concept already offer the hugely successful Aurora Quantum QROPS arrangement, which to date remains one of the most competitively priced QROPS schemes in what is a rapidly expanding market. Aurora Quantum, which is aimed at transfers over £100,000 in value, is currently offered for a set up fee of £645 and an ongoing annual charge of £845.
The top up facility is also being extended to Aurora Quantum, bringing both offerings in line in terms of their features and design.
Rachel Griffin, head of product law and financial planning at Skandia International, comments:
"Feedback from advisers indicates that clients with smaller pension pots also want to benefit from the flexibility of QROPS but needed a more cost effective solution. Clients want to continue to contribute towards their retirement whilst consolidating their existing pension arrangements and both Aurora Quantum and Quantum Lite can now address these needs irrespective of the size of the transfer amounts."
Roger Berry, managing director for Concept Group Limited, stated:
"We have seen confidence in the QROPS market grow over the last few years and this is reflected in the increasing number of transfers to QROPS since A Day. We have seen demand build for smaller transfer values and have introduced a new lower charging structure for Aurora Quantum – Quantum Lite - where the transfer is under £75,000 and the client has longer to go until retirement.”
“For many existing Aurora Quantum customers, the natural progression is to pay in additional, non-UK tax relieved, funds, especially where the transfer fund is relatively small. We have therefore responded and extended Aurora Quantum to allow additional contributions. In doing so, we are now able to offer the market a flexible and comprehensive solution that is made much more attractive by its competitive and cost effective charging structure."
The QROPS market has grown to almost £1.5bn over the past four years, with Guernsey retaining the top spot in terms of favoured jurisdiction, claiming 32% of the market share*.
A recent survey** conducted by Skandia International has found that 50% of the surveyed advisers expect to write more QROPS business over the next 12 months than they have done so far, whilst a further 20% are expecting to write at least the same amount. 40% of respondents also conveyed their clients’ needs for a facility which would enable them to add additional funds to their QROPS.
* Source: Concept Group Ltd FOI request to HMRC 2011** The survey was conducted by Skandia International in July 2011 and attracted responses from over 300 advisers from around the world – Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, UK, Europe, Africa and Latin America. 46% of the respondents were based in Hong Kong and the Far East, 26% in the Middle East, 14% in Europe, 9% in Africa and 5% in the UK.
This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.