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12/03

Skandia International and Concept Group agree exclusive QROPS tie up

Skandia International has today confirmed an exclusive tie up with ‘Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme’ (QROPS) company Concept.

12 March 2010

Skandia International has today confirmed an exclusive tie up with ‘Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme’ (QROPS) company Concept.

Skandia International and Concept, a Guernsey fiduciary synonymous with QROPS, have agreed an exclusive charging structure which will put Royal Skandia’s offshore investment products at the heart of a portable pension product for UK expats.

Both companies have worked together to create a bespoke version of Concept’s Aurora product and the new ‘Aurora Quantum’ will be one of the most competitively priced QROPS options in the market. The launch charging structure carries an attractively priced £995 set up cost with equally competitive annual costs.

QROPS have been growing in popularity since the major change to pension legislation in the UK in April 2006 (A-Day) but many schemes don’t allow the flexibility required by internationally mobile investors. Utilising Royal Skandia’s investment flexibility and currency options within a QROPS will give people who live abroad (or are planning to relocate prior to retirement) a clear and easy way to consolidate their UK pension assets gathered throughout their working lives in the UK.

QROPS are potentially suitable for people who have UK accrued pension benefits and are permanently leaving or have left the UK. The Guernsey-based Aurora Quantum benefits from having no obligation to purchase an annuity and allows flexibility on benefit payments..

Rachael GriffinRachael Griffin, head of product law at Skandia International, said:

“We’ve been looking at the QROPS market for some time as we have benefited from healthy inflows of business from a wide range of QROPS providers in recent years. Offshore bonds continue to be one of the most popular assets for QROPS and we continue to support this market. By teaming up with Concept to offer Aurora Quantum, a packaged solution with an exclusive charging structure, we have made this valuable option an easier choice for many expats.

“QROPS should play a major part in the financial planning considerations of UK expats who have already, or are moving overseas to retire. They provide flexibility to allow retirement planning to accommodate the client’s new lifestyle choice.”

Roger Berry, managing director at Concept Group said:

“Our Aurora product is already one of the market’s most popular QROPS, run on a cautious and prudent basis. Given the synergies that exist with Royal Skandia, I am in no doubt that this jointly offered exclusive solution, with its streamlined application process and economies of scale, will help us build on our already strong base.”

What are the main benefits of a Guernsey-based QROPS?

  • No obligation to buy an annuity
  • Flexible when taking benefit 
  • Ability to leave residue of fund to loved ones on death
  • No limits on fund size
  • Free of Guernsey tax
    Gross roll up
    On pension commencement lump sum
    On benefit payments
    On death
  • Choice of retirement age 
  • Protection from currency fluctuations - not restricted to sterling
  • Allows pension consolidation 
  • Designed and built for a more transient population 
  • Extremely wide choice of investments
  • Removes pension from UK system

This press release is for journalists only and should not be relied upon by financial advisers or customers.