Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS)
Everything you need to know

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If you're a UK resident or expatriate looking to increase your retirement income or simply looking for more information on a QNUPS, then this is the guide for you. We will answer many questions that you may have regarding a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme. In this QNUPS pension guide we will take a look at the following topics:

What is a QNUPS?

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A Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is a flexible and tax efficient pension scheme that should be of great interest to High Net Worth Individuals.

Click here for the HMRC QNUPS Definition

As per Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is defined as a pension scheme that is not a HMRC registered pension scheme but is established in a country or territory outside the UK and meets the requirements of Regulations made by the Commissioners for HMRC.

The regulations specify that a QNUPS must, in the country in which it is established, satisfy certain regulatory requirements and be tax-recognised. If the country of establishment has no system of regulation or tax recognition, or the scheme is established by an international organisation, the scheme must provide for 70% of the member’s funds to be paid out as a pension income for life.

QNUPS regulations were introduced by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs in 2010.

Who should consider a QNUPS?

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A Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme is available to UK citizens who don’t necessarily make their income in the UK, but plan on retiring there at some point in the future. It is also a valuable planning tool if you are domiciled or deemed to be domiciled in the UK or have UK situs assets.

People often turn to a QNUPS when they:

  • Feel restricted by the annual or lifetime allowances for registered UK pensions.
  • Have an existing pension scheme or benefit tryst that no longer meets their needs.
  • Are looking to structure assets to maximise growth for the future.

What are the benefits of a QNUPS?

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  1. Additional tax efficient retirement planning

    The maximum amount payable into a UK personal pension scheme on which tax relief is available is £50,000 annually with a lifetime allowance of £1.5m. UK pension contributions above these allowances are unlimited but are subject to a tax charge making these contributions unattractive.

    High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) that are UK domicile who have already used their annual and lifetime allowances and wish to save more for their retirement could invest into a QNUPS.

  2. Contributions do not need to come from employment's

    Contributions to a QNUPS do not need to come from employment income. They do however need to be in proportion to the individuals overall net worth. No more than 50% of the individuals net worth.

  3. A wide class of assets can be placed in a QNUPS

    A QNUPS can hold many types of assets including: cash, securities, private wealth, commercial properties, residential properties (excluding the individuals main residence). *Transfer of a UK property into a QNUPS may be deemed a disposal for capital gains tax purposes which may trigger tax liabilities.

  4. Inheritance Tax Advantage. How does a QNUPS affect inheritance tax?

    In addition to a UK pension, any assets held in a personal capacity will be subject to 40% inheritance tax on death. However, assets in a QNUPS are outside of the estate and are thus not subject to UK inheritance tax. This allows the QNUPS to provide for the individuals lifetime whilst protecting the assets for their beneficiaries.

    Click here to visit our inheritance tax calculator.

  5. No reporting requirements

    There are no reporting requirements to the HMRC when the QNUPS is administered in a recognised jurisdiction, such as Isle of Man, Guernsey & Malta, and because the transfer in is out of post-tax earnings, or from personal capital.

  6. Growth is free of capital gains tax

    Any growth within a QNUPS is free of capital gains tax and there will be no UK income tax on non-UK source income.

  7. Early withdrawal and initial lump sum

    Individuals can start receiving an income from their QNUPS at any time between the ages of 55 and 75.

    What withdrawal percentages come into play with a QNUPS?

    Up to 30% of the fund value of the QNUPS can be taken as a tax free lump sum when initiating your retirement and there is no requirement to purchase an annuity.

    For most, at least 70% of the pension must remain to provide a retirement income for life. Under certain circumstances a QNUPS can allow flexi access. Make sure you confirm your options when you speak to your financial adviser.

  8. Income is paid gross

    A QNUPS income is paid out gross. The accounting tax treatment will depend on where the member is resident, so if they are non-UK resident then UK income tax will not be payable, unless already deducted on UK sourced income.

What jurisdiction does Carrick recommend for a QNUPS?

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For maximum protection, Carrick recommends that a QNUPS be held in one of the highly regulated financial centres in the world. At present Carrick finds Guernsey, Isle of Man and Malta very attractive.

Some reasons include:

  • A Malta QNUPS enjoy EU Treaty benefits.
  • Minimum retirement ages are in line with the UK.
  • Pension income, annuity or flexible income drawdown, must commence by the age of 75 in all jurisdictions.
  • Contributions to QNUPS are not tested against the UK annual allowance and benefits are not linked to the lifetime allowance.
  • A QNUPS is established as a trust but is not subject to the 10-yearly Inheritance Tax (IHT) anniversary charges.
  • A QNUPS should not be exposed to Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) charge on UK real estate.
  • QNUPS are not reportable under either the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTOS) or the General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) regimes.

How to get started with a QNUPS?

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  • Click the 'CONTACT ME' button below to submit a contact request. One of our qualified wealth specialists will contact you to arrange a telephonic or more preferably a personal meeting with you.
  • This free and confidential discussion is to assess your current situation and future needs. Please ask as many questions as you need to ensure you are fully aware of your pension options.
  • Should there be a need and a mutual agreement to continue the business relationship, your wealth specialist will then use the information you have provided to source the most suitable product to achieve your financial goals.
  • Your wealth specialist will also present all your available options, allowing you to make a very informed decision about your pension.

We'll call you.

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Let us call you for a free consultation.

One of our wealth specialists can discuss your pension options with you. Your qualified financial advisor will give you sound advice and will explain the suite of pension products that could be best suited to you and your needs.

QNUPS calculator / Inheritance Tax Calculator

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It is often vague as to how much inheritance tax one will be subject to when you pass away. For high net worth individuals the inheritance tax on death can be substantial, almost frightning. A QNUPS provides inheritance tax relief that will preserve your wealth for your beneficiaries. This calculator will only provide an estimation based on the values entered.*

Complete these questions.

Are you UK domicile?
Estimated value of your estate
UK Only (GBP)
Estimated value of your estate
Non-UK (GBP)


Estimated value of taxable estate:
Estimated inheritance tax due:

* Disclaimer:

Please note that this calculator merely provides an estimated figure based on the limited information provided and we cannot guarantee the reliability of same when dealing with any tax authorities. No spousal exemptions nor exemptions for gifts or passing on a home and no dual tax agreements have been taken into consideration in reaching the final amount.
In order to obtain a more detailed, personal and accurate assessment we suggest arranging a consultation with one of our experienced Wealth Specialists.

Contact Carrick Wealth

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Contact one of our wealth specialists today for more information.

Get in touch and one of our qualified wealth specialists to discuss your pension options with you. Your financial advisor will give you sound advice and will explain the suite of pension products that could be best suited to you and your needs.


Contact Carrick Wealth

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