STM Group, the Gibraltar-based, London Stock Exchange-listed company that built its name by providing QROPS to people wishing to transfer their UK pensions abroad, today unveiled an STM-branded superannuation scheme in Australia, to accommodate those seeking to transfer pensions there.
Named to oversee the new STM Gibraltar (AUS) Superannuation Scheme, as it’s called, is Stuart Denness, managing director of STM Australia Pty Ltd.
STM’s introduction of the new super comes around 18 months after HM Revenue & Customs removed all but one Australian qualifying recognised pension scheme (QROPS) from its list of schemes, and less than two months after STM revealed plans to acquire UK SIPP provider London & Colonial.
In its statement announcing the launch of the new Australian scheme, STM said its product development team had “worked closely with Australian legal and tax specialists to develop a robust yet flexible” superannuation scheme, during the months that have elapsed since the HMRC crackdown.
The HMRC action – which saw some 1,653 Australian QROP schemes disappear overnight from the HMRC list – came after the tax authority moved to implement a new “Pension Age Test”, which took effect on 6 April, 2015, after the legislation which set it up was passed the previous month. The age test was meant to prevent people keen to gain access to their savings before they reached their 55th birthday.
According to STM, its new superannuation scheme now appears on the HMRC ROPS list, (under Gibraltar schemes rather than Australian ones) and has also been officially recognised by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) as a foreign superannuation scheme (“Foreign Super”).
‘Need for tax-efficient pension transfer’
STM’s Denness says that since he moved to Australia, he has been “overwhelmed by the demand from financial services professionals for a tax efficient pension transfer solution”.
“With the ATO ruling [that the STM scheme is a Foreign Super], the new scheme provides clarity and certainty for the individual member.
“With 1.3 million British expats already in Australia, we expect demand from Australian resident expats to be high.”