International Retirement Plan QNUPS

QNUPS International Retirement Plan

QNUPS (Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme)
What is a QNUPS?

A Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) is an offshore pension scheme used for retirement planning. It is used by high-net-worth individuals who have already used their UK pension lifetime allowance and want to make further provisions for retirement. A QNUPS is a non-UK scheme offshore pension scheme that was introduced by HMRC legislation in 2010.

Who can benefit from a QNUPS?

QNUPS legislation is designed to allow UK domiciled individuals to make retirement provisions. There are several examples of how UK-domiciled individuals can benefit from the QNUPS legislation.

Expat Pension

  • A high net worth expatriate (HNW expat) living overseas who wants to make retirement provision can use a QNUPS. This could be because they have little or no pension benefits for retirement. They may not have access to an international pension plan. e.g. no company pension or no personal pension like a Self-Invested Personal Pension Plan (SIPP) or a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).

Employer Pension Contributions

  • An employer wishing to contribute to a pension on behalf of an employee as a form of offshore pension plan.
QNUPS tax advantages

There are several QNUPS tax advantages as part of retirement and estate planning:

  • Unlimited pension contributions
  • No 20% chargeable lifetime transfer tax (CLT) on contributions
  • No 10 yearly tax charge up to 6%.
  • No lifetime allowance limit
  • Tax-free investment growth on the fund
  • Up to 25% tax-free pension commencement lump
  • Inheritance Tax Exemption (IHT)
  • No HMRC reporting requirements
  • 100% of a QNUPS can be passed to beneficiaries IHT-free
QNUPS rules

A QNUPS should be set up to provide retirement income and not to avoid paying UK IHT. Contributions should match retirement income needs and be evidenced when setting up a QNUPS scheme.

Read more below with our QNUPS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QNUPS Frequently Asked Questions

International Retirement Plan QNUPS

Read our FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on a QNUPS offshore trust and discover the different ways you can use this type of offshore pension plan to provide for your retirement and protect your family from UK inheritance tax (IHT).If you’re looking for a QNUPS provider, we work with the world's leading trust companies giving you peace of mind that your pension money is safe and secure. Capital for Life can also help you choose a policy from the world's largest life insurance companies to give you the retirement income you need and the life cover you want.Speak to an adviser at Capital for Life and get a quote now. Enjoy peace of mind that you’ll be looked after by one of the leading independent life insurance brokers and its partners.

Who is QNUPS suitable for?

A QNUPS can be used by UK residents, both UK-domiciled individuals and non-domiciled individuals. Non-UK residents like internationally mobile individuals can use QNUPS to provide retirement benefits.

What investments can I hold in a QNUPS?

A QNUPS can hold a wide variety of different underlying assets. Depending upon the risk profile of the pension member, investment options include cash, shares and bonds, funds and ETFs. QNUPS can also buy alternative investments like life insurance policies.

When can I take an income from a QNUPS?

Taking an income from a QNUPS depends upon which country your pension plan is located in.

A Guernsey QNUPS allows scheme benefits to be taken from age of 55 onwards.

A Malta QNUPS allows the commencement of pension benefits from age 50 onwards.

Where will my QNUPS pension be held?

Capital for Life's QNUPS scheme provider is based in Guernsey. The QNUPS scheme is open to Guernsey residents and overseas residents.

What are the tax advantages of a Guernsey QNUPS?

The QNUPS member should take tax advice and financial advice when drawing retirement benefits to decide if the QNUPS lump sum and income are taxable.

Guernsey is a politically safe and stable jusuridiction and benefits from several double taxation agreements which can benefit QNUPS pension members.

Guernsey satisfies the regulatory requirements for QNUPS as being a non registered pension scheme outside of the United Kingdom.

How to choose a QNUPS provider?

Clients and advisers can choose a QNUPS provider. Which trustee you use for your offshore pension plan will depend on the rules and regulations of QNUPS in the country your provider is based. Other factors to consider when choosing a QNUPS provider include:

  1. Costs and charges of a QNUPS pension provider
  2. Types of investment the QNUPS trustee can buy and hold
  3. Age that the QNUPS scheme member pension benefits be taken. Typically, offshore pension benefits can be taken at age 50 or 55 years old
  4. Experience and size of QNUPS trustee

Can I transfer a QROPS to a QNUPS?

You can transfer an existing QROPS to a QNUPS under certain circumstances and if your existing QROP pensions scheme rules allow.

Both QNUPS and QROPS are overseas pension schemes, and many QROPS also qualify as a QNUPS meaning transfers can take place.

What is the UK lifetime pension allowance?

The UK lifetime pension allowance is £1,073,100 for the 2020-2021 tax year.

The lifetime allowance will be frozen until April 2026. After this, it will increase every tax year in line with the Consumer Price Indexation (CPI).

QNUPS are not affected by the UK pension lifetime allowance limits.

Where can I find a QNUPS financial adviser?

International financial advice companies can provide QNUPS guidance.

Contact Capital for Life to speak with one of our partners who can give QNUPS financial advice.

QNUPS from Capital for Life

Leaders in QNUPS Life Insurance Solutions

The best international life insurance solutions for high net worth clients investing into a QNUPs. Working with our appointed advisers we design life policies specifically for you and your needs.

Why use Capital for Life for your QNUPs?

Your offshore pension will be one of the largest assets you own. Our QNUPS provider is a leading global trust company meaning you know your pension will be safe and secure. Our life policy solutions for QNUPS are from the world's largest insurers.

Speak to your financial adviser or directly to us about the QNUPs options you have and the benefits for you.

Email us at and we will be ready to assist you.

Can I take QNUPS advice?

Yes, we recommend individuals considering a QNUPS should take advice. Capital for Life can refer you and your adviser to offshore pension tax advice specialists.

How to contact Capital for Life for QNUPS?

Speak to a Capital for Life appointed adviser in your country or directly to us about the options you have for using a life policy in your QNUPS offshore pension. Email us at and we will be ready to assist you.

Still have questions about jumbo life insurance? We're here to help. Reach out to us at or call us on 052-772-6262 for the best jumbo insurance quote in 



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