By Ilonka Oudenampsen

The Isle of Man Association of Pension Scheme Providers was officially brought in to being at a meeting last month, when the constitution was agreed and a committee appointed.

The Association aims to work with the Government and fellow professionals to create a better understanding of pensions on the Island and to compete with other jurisdictions in the international pensions marketplace.

At the moment, every pension provider that is active has joined the Association, bringing the total number to 17 but more are likely to join.

Stuart Clifford, chairman of the Association, said: “Recent changes to pensions legislation in the Isle of Man have removed some barriers and possibly even given the jurisdiction a competitive edge over others in the provision of non-resident pension schemes. The Isle of Man has a dedicated pensions Regulator, the Insurance and Pensions Authority, and therefore have always been able to demonstrate the Island's commitment to protecting the end service user and, with the elimination of these impediments, the Island has the opportunity to be a world leader in the pensions industry.”

The IoM Government has welcomed the creation of the Association. John Batty, business development manager at IoM Finance, said that there was a need for an association, as pension business in the IoM has grown a lot in the last few years and with the changed legislation announced in October, it is convenient that the pension industry is now represented by one organisation.

"I have to say that the opportunities for this sector, particularly in the areas of International Pensions and the provision of Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) are tremendous. We have an excellent skill base spread across a number of quality firms; it is pleasing that we now also have the right tools to enable this sector to flourish further."

Apart from Clifford, the committee of the Association consists of deputy chairman Mark Kiernan, honouree secretary Tim Boles, Nigel Callin, Mike Batey and Dougie Elliot.

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