Live in Malta and Enjoy a Better Pension

Located just 3 hours from London, Malta is experiencing renewed interest from Brits and other Europeans looking for a better lifestyle. Malta QROPS is identified as one of the top QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) tax jurisdictions, Malta also has a lot to offer when it comes to climate, healthy living, safety and property.

What makes Malta attractive for residency?

In 2011, International Living Magazine recommended that Malta was the best country on the planet to live in. The Quality of Life Index showed Malta as the winner based on its flat 15% tax rate, safety, excellent health care and the ocean views. Out of 192 countries surveyed, that’s quite an impressive feat.

With just 121 square miles of land and a population of 400,000, Malta has expats from many different countries but the highest percentage hail from the UK and Scandinavia. It’s not so difficult to meet expats due to the size of the islands, so you’ll always find new friends.

Crime is not a big feature on the island, local people are friendly and the health care is first class. The expats who benefit the most are the ones that can bring their income in from elsewhere and get it taxed at the flat rate of 15%.

90% of the population speaks English and it’s easy to move in and out of Malta. You won’t find complications with requiring visas if you possess a European Union passport.

The climate is of particular interest to people who want to escape the long and dreary British winters. You can expect an average of 15 degrees Celsius in January.

There are plenty of cultural events to enjoy each year and with over 7000 years of history, it’s not a new country. You’ll find plenty of interesting architecture to explore in the capital city of Valletta.

How does QROPS work in Malta?

As one of the newest jurisdictions that meet the HMRC for a QROPS, Malta offers great benefits. For a start, everybody speaks English. Next on the list is that fact that Malta is globally known for the efficiency and high quality service when it comes to international banking.

If you take out a QROPS pension scheme in Malta then feel confident that it is governed by strict regulation but it also offers a lot of flexibility. For example, it’s possible to take 30% of the fund in a lump sum.

If you are unfamiliar with QROPS it’s an HMRC regulated scheme that UK private pension rights can be transferred into. However, it’s only available to UK non-residents or those who plan to become non-resident.

Each scheme has to follow certain criteria that are set by the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that are in parallel to UK based schemes in some ways. A transfer to a QROPS scheme is not taxable unless it exceeds £1.8 million in lifetime allowances.

Can I buy a property in Malta?

The Maltese government are happy to welcome new residents to the island under a scheme titled the High Networth Individual Tax Residence Scheme or under the category of what is known as Ordinary Residency.  One of the benefits of residing in the islands is that applicants may be granted a special tax status to a person who meets a number of criteria such as their industry profile, qualifications and financial topology.

Under the Ordinary Residency scheme tax is set at 35% for income brought in from outside of Malta. There are also no rules when it comes to the value of your property. If you’re not planning on working then you could enter the country under the category of ‘economic self-sufficiency’ which means that you are financially stable and you won’t need any support from the Maltese government. In order to qualify for this, you will need to be receiving a weekly income of at least € 84.95 for single persons with a capital of € 14,000 or be in receipt of a possession of a weekly income of € 93.10 and have capital of at least € 23,300 if you are a married couple.

Meet the criteria for the High Networth Individual Tax Residence Scheme and you could enjoy a tax rate of 15% for income brought into Malta. Applicants need to own a property that is of higher value than €400,000 or rent one that exceeds €20,000 per year in rental fees. The property must be the primary place of residency for the applicant and their dependents.  A current health and sickness insurance policy must be sourced from a reputable international health insurance provider or a Maltese company and be submitted to the applicable health insurance agency. A police check will be undertaken in the previous country/countries of residency to ascertain your tendency towards crime or other potential security risks.

Keep in mind that with the High Networth Individual Tax Residence Scheme that there is also a rule that means residents must be in Malta for at least 90 days each year with presence in other tax jurisdictions limited to less than 183 days.

When it comes to property, Malta has not been experiencing a large downturn in prices like the rest of the western world. Value is retained, most likely related to the Maltese preference to buying their own piece of property rather than to rent it. You’ll find townhouses ranging from €400,000 to €1,000,000 on the island.

There is no capital gains tax on properties sold after 3 years of residency and if you reside for more than 3 years on the island you can buy as many properties as you wish.

Overall Malta offers a lot to the expat. If you want to find out more about how to establish your QROPS in Malta, then contact us