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Guernsey Consults Industry On Legislative Changes

by Jason Gorringe, Lowtax.net, London
20 February, 2015

Guernsey has invited feedback on proposed amendments to simplify and update the territory's supervisory and regulatory laws and to increase flexibility for pension schemes.

The Director General of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, William Mason, said: "In November last year the Commission issued a discussion paper on proposals for updating and improving the territory's existing regulatory laws for the financial services sector. Various formal and informal meetings were then held in order to garner views and suggestions for change from industry representatives and practitioners. The Commission is now issuing a formal consultation paper setting out proposals in more detail and seeking further comments and feedback from all interested parties."

Through this consultation, Guernsey intends to: ensure that its framework continues to comply with international standards; make its regulations easier to understand and remove inconsistencies; and consider changes that may be necessary to comply with the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) and the Markets in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR).

Guernsey's Treasury and Resources Department also recently announced proposed changes to make its Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) regime more flexible.

Jan Kuttelwascher, Guernsey's Deputy Treasury and Resources Minister, said: "In light of recent reforms announced by the UK Government with regard to introducing 'pension flexibility', Guernsey's Treasury and Resources Department intends to propose an amendment to Guernsey's income tax law that would allow inward transfers to a Guernsey personal pension scheme the same flexibility of benefits as allowed by legislation of the jurisdiction from where the funds or benefits entitlement originate."

"Such a change would enable members in a Guernsey pension scheme that has QROPS status access to the same pensions flexibility offered by the UK and would extend both to transfers already made and to future transfers into a Guernsey personal pension scheme. The Department is also consulting with interested parties on how greater flexibility in retirement could be introduced, to ensure Guernsey's pensions industry can offer flexible and competitive pension products to encourage private pension provision."

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