A Maltese QROPS is by far the most popular option for British retirees, allowing UK pensions to be transferred offshore to reduce tax burden. Malta secured their position at the top of the heap by specifically tailoring their economy and foreign relation policy to accommodate foreign investment, QROPS and QNUPS (Qualified Non-UK Pension Schemes) in particular. They did so by meticulously adhering to HM Revenue and Customs new regulation and seeking out double taxation agreements with (at the time of this writing) 67 other nations, including those most popular with British retirees.
Double Taxation Agreements
DTA's are designed to relieve taxpayers from double taxation in the jurisdiction where the income was generated and their current residence. British pensioners can retire in the United States (or in one of a number of other countries) and, because of the Malta/US DTA they draw can from their Maltese QROPS at the low Maltese rate and avoid Britain's 55% estate tax (Malta's estate tax? 0%.) And the same generally applies for any of the other dozens of nations with established Malta DTA's - Australia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and Morocco are just a few.
Adherence to the HMRC's Regulations
Malta QROPS have become quite popular and well-liked by HMRC. The Maltese Financial Services Authority (MFSA) undertook extensive consultations with HMRC to ensure that the domestic pension rules are compatible with HMRC requirements. The MFSA also approves each QROP individually and ensures continued compliance through strict audit requirements, annual reporting, and publication of financial statements. This helps ensure that Malta won't go the way of Guernsey, which was wiped out overnight when HMRC passed Statutory Instrument 1221, ruling that preferential tax rates to non-residents could not be offered and any QROPS in violation were to be disavowed (they were left with 3 of their 313 QROPS providers)
Retirement Bliss in Malta
And finally, more and more retirees are choosing to move to more exotic locales with pristine quiet beaches. If retirees choose to live in Malta they will enjoy this, plus a great tax rate, EU government stability, a lower cost of living than much of mainland Europe and a less crowded vibe than so many other vacation hotspots in the area. For British expats who retire in Malta, their income tax will be between 5% and 35% depending on their annual income and will avoid all UK taxes. Plus it offers a great central location with a close proximity to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. And lastly, the Mediterranean Sea. Considering all of this, one has to wondering why anyone would want to retire elsewhere.