GLOBAL - Over 30 international pension schemes have applied for authorisation under the Isle of Man's pensions legislation, a little over a year after it came into force.
Within the next couple of months the island’s Insurance and Pensions Authority expects some schemes to be approved.
Six service providers have been granted registered status under the legislation, with a further four still under consideration. The 10 include administrators, trustee companies and actuaries. The IPA does stringent checks on service providers as part of the licensing process.
Mike Lightfoot, marketing executive for pensions with the Isle of Man Insurance and Pensions Authority, said that current uncertainties in markets and pensions strengthened the Isle of Man’s position as a pensions jurisdiction because companies are more concerned to choose a base that is safe and well regulated.
The Isle of Man’s legislation sets out a framework for international pensions suitable for multinational companies with internationally mobile employees in several countries. The rules leave a lot of flexibility to meet local requirements in the countries where expatriate workers are based.
Expatriates have the means through an Isle of Man scheme to consolidate their pensions provision: “Rather than have a lot of small entitlements employees have a central way to maintain their benefits,” Lightfoot added.
Lightfoot said that currently many companies are ‘jurisdiction shopping’: they may have made an arrangement a few years ago but are now reassessing their international pensions arrangements and looking at other possible domiciles.
Lightfoot was confident that the Isle of Man’s status outside the EU would not damage its business prospects as far as international pensions were concerned: “Europe is not a major trading partner for the Isle of Man.
“We get a lot of interest from the Middle East for international schemes. There is also interest from countries across Asia.”
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