Introduction

Prior to the formation of the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority ("the Authority"), the supervision of retirement benefits schemes was undertaken by the Insurance and Pensions Authority (“the IPA”).

The IPA was originally established as the Insurance Authority in 1986 before becoming the IPA in January 1997 following the widening of its remit to include the development and implementation of a supervisory framework for retirement benefits schemes.

Upon taking responsibility for the supervision of retirement benefits schemes the IPA set about conducting an extensive review of the Isle of Man's existing pensions legislation. Throughout this review the IPA's objective was to provide a regulatory framework that not only encompassed domestic schemes available to Isle of Man residents, but also provided a broader framework enabling multi-national or global businesses to use the Isle of Man as a centre from which to manage retirement benefits schemes for employees who may reside anywhere in the world.

In order to address the needs of these two diverse markets the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000 was enacted. This Act established a broad framework catering for all schemes operated in or from the Isle of Man. Separate sets of regulations have been introduced under the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000 which make provision for international schemes (those being schemes that are managed from the Isle of Man yet which do not have any Isle of Man resident members), and domestic schemes which provide benefits for Isle of Man residents (albeit they may also provide benefits for non-Isle of Man residents for the purposes of registration under the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000.

Navigating the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000 and subordinate legislation

Before accessing any further information regarding the Isle of Man's retirement benefits infrastructure, for ease of reading it is important to note that secondary legislation made under the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000 falls into three categories:

  • That which deals solely with international schemes;
  • That which deals solely with domestic schemes; and
  • That which is general in nature.

Furthermore, within each category the legislation is sub-categorised and makes provision for matters such as general administration, independent trustees, miscellaneous provisions or fees, etc.

Other legislation

Treasury

In addition to legislation made under the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000, certain retirement benefits schemes are also subject to Treasury legislation governing specific aspects of management and administration. Further information regarding Treasury pensions legislation is available on the Pensions News page of the Isle of Man Government’s website, and electronic versions of UK primary and secondary legislation applied to the Island by the Social Security Division of the Treasury in relation to pensions may be accessed from the Social Security Legislation Volumes page of the Treasury’s website.

Tax

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.

State Retirement Pension

For information regarding state retirement pensions you should visit the Isle of Man Government's Benefits and Financial Support page where full details of the current state retirement pension provisions are available.