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Sovereign acquires Azure Retirement Benefit Scheme in Malta.

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Malta-based Sovereign Pension Services Limited has acquired ‘Azure Retirement Benefit Scheme’, which is licensed and registered with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) as a defined contribution personal retirement scheme. It remains open to new members.

The Azure Retirement Benefit Scheme was established by Integrated-Capabilities (Malta) Ltd (ICML) in June 2018 as a trust in Malta to provide a tax-efficient, low-cost pension solution to members. It can accept monetary contributions and transfers from any eligible pension arrangement, even those that are already in drawdown.

It is also permissible to transfer from the vast majority of UK-registered personal or occupational pension schemes because the Scheme is registered with the UK revenue authority (HMRC) as a Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (ROPS). The Scheme is publicly listed on HMRC’s ROPS Notification List.

The Scheme is recognised exclusively as a member-directed Scheme, which means that its members are required to direct any investments within their pension fund, either by applying for ‘Professional Member’ status or by appointing a suitably licensed investment adviser or investment manager.

The robust regulatory framework provided by the MFSA, coupled with Malta’s full EU member status and established financial services industry, makes Malta an extremely attractive jurisdiction for international pensions.

Sovereign Pension Services Limited is licensed by the MFSA as a Retirement Scheme Administrator and is a member of the Malta Association of Retirement Scheme Practitioners (MARSP), which is primarily concerned with regulation, taxation and industry best practice. Sovereign Trust (Malta) Limited is further authorised to act as a trustee or co-trustee to provide fiduciary services.

The Azure Retirement Benefit Scheme, which remains open to new members, will complement Sovereign’s existing range of Malta-based pension schemes, which offer a variety of pricing models and diverse structures:

  • The Centaurus Retirement Benefit Scheme, a trust-based scheme that qualifies as a QROPS
  • The Centaurus Lite Retirement Benefit Scheme, a trust-based scheme that qualifies as a QROPS
  • The Kemmuna Retirement Benefit Scheme, a contract-based defined contribution personal pension scheme that qualifies as a QROPS
  • The Rinella Retirement Benefit Scheme, a trust-based scheme that qualifies as a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) Sovereign is an award-winning international pensions provider that offers retirement solutions from a number of different locations, including Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Malta and the UK. It is a market leading in the provision of QROPS schemes, offering a variety of pricing models and diverse structures (including both trust and contract-based schemes), as well as both international and UK domestic products.

These schemes have a transparent charging structure and the option to switch seamlessly within our range without charge. This allows us to take a ‘best fit’ approach to reflect your personal circumstances and the size of your pension fund. It also enables us to respond easily to any changes.

Sovereign will review the Azure Retirement Benefit Scheme to ensure that members are being advised on their investment by appropriately licensed investment advisers and that all our due diligence documents are up to date. The scheme’s constitutional document, particulars and investment restrictions have been changed in line with Sovereign standards. There will be no change to the pension administration fees.


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