5th November 2010, London: Research from JLT Benefit Solutions (JLT), one of the four largest employee benefits consultancies in the UK, indicates that many UK companies have not reviewed their pension arrangements for internationally mobile employees (IMEs) since before 6 April 2006 notwithstanding the fact that the single tax regime introduced significant changes to UK rules for ex-pat pension arrangements as well as domestic plans.
Following the introduction of the single pensions tax regime on 6 April 2006 (‘A-Day'), HMRC has placed no restrictions on membership of a registered pension scheme. This means that it is possible for anyone to join such a scheme regardless of their residency or domicile.
Importantly, however, it does not necessarily follow that a UK registered scheme is the most practical and tax efficient option. It is imperative, therefore, that employers, particularly those with employees on global assignments, are made aware of alternative retirement solutions that are available.
These include 'section 615 schemes' for employees who perform duties outside of the UK, employer financed retirement benefit schemes (EFRBS) established in tax advantaged offshore centres and international pension plans (IPPs) specifically designed for IMEs by a growing number of new providers.
Section 615 schemes, for example, allow employees performing duties outside the UK to benefit from similar concessions available to UK based colleagues and provide employers with the opportunity to achieve a nil tax environment for non-UK residents whilst simultaneously achieving an immediate corporate tax deduction on pension contributions.
For multinational groups of employers, looking for a single solution for all their IMEs regardless of jurisdictions involved or contractual relationships, an IPP may be the optimum solution. This is also likely to be considered as an EFRBS from the perspective of the UK tax authorities.
John Wilson, Head of Technical Services at JLT Benefit Solutions, commented:
"JLT's research concludes that many companies have not reconsidered pension options for IMEs in years. However following A-Day changes, combined with changes in the pensions market for IMEs and the continued globalisation of business, now is the time for a review.
"Our research indicates there is much work still to be done to ensure UK corporates have the leading structures in place to attract, retain and maximise international talent."
Group Corporate Communications JLT Benefit Solutions
Isabella Young Simon Hazeldine
+44 (0)20 7558 3387 +44 (0)1727 775 102
About JLT Benefit Solutions Limited
JLT Benefit Solutions Limited (JLT) is one of the UK's leading employee benefit providers offering a wide range of benefit and pension services, including administration, actuarial and pension consultancy, investment, wealth management, Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs), Small Self Administered Schemes (SSASs) flexible benefits, healthcare, benefit communication and financial education.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, JLT employs over 1,200 professionals in the UK with revenues of some £90.5m in 2009. The recent acquisitions of HSBC Actuarial and Consultants Limited and iimia Wealth Management have supported JLT's continued expansion to become one of the four largest employee benefits consultancies in the UK. This year JLT was awarded Pension Scheme Administrator of the Year at the 2010 European Pensions Awards.
Other pensions and employee benefits companies within the JLT group of companies include: Profund Solutions Limited, Independent Trustee Services Limited and Pension Capital Strategies Limited.
JLT Benefit Solutions Ltd is part of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc (JLT) is an international group of risk specialists and employee benefits consultants and one of the largest companies of its type in the world. JLT offers a distinctive choice to clients and partners through our combination of independence, scale and specialism.
The Jardine Lloyd Thompson group is quoted on the London Stock Exchange and employs over 6200 people worldwide and through the JLT International Network provides services in more than 130 countries.