International Retirement Benefits Schemes Framework

The Retirement Benefits Schemes (International Schemes) Regulations 2001, which took effect from January 2002, established an infrastructure concerned with the management and administration of international retirement benefits schemes authorised under the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000.

A guidance flowchart is provided on the Legislation page. This flowchart was created by the Authority to assist prospective applicants and persons regulated under the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000. However, it does not constitute binding guidance; original legislation should always be consulted for legal purposes.

Copies of the necessary application forms relating to the registration of international schemes may be found on the Pension Registration Forms page.

Registration with the Authority, and compliance with the necessary registration requirements, does not confer tax approved status upon a scheme. Information concerning tax approval and its associated conditions may be obtained from the Income Tax Division of Treasury. An application for the grant of tax approved status, if required, may however be made on the appropriate registration application form.

The key objectives and benefits of the international framework

The Isle of Man's international retirement benefits schemes legislation establishes a sound governance framework for international retirement benefits schemes, with the objective of encouraging international businesses with globally mobile employees to base their schemes in the Isle of Man.

The legislation provides a solid foundation for international retirement planning by ensuring that schemes are operated by fit and proper persons who are appropriately regulated, that they adopt strong internal governance, and that certain members’ rights are enshrined in law. However, the legislation also includes flexibility regarding specific benefit design, leaving scheme designers free to develop a bespoke benefit structure that can be adapted to suit an international business's specific objectives, or to incorporate multi-jurisdictional requirements.