Isle of Man Budget 2018 – Technical Summary

Isle of Man Budget 2018 – Technical Summary

Today (20th February 2018) at Tynwald, Treasury Minister, Alf Cannan MHK, announced his Manx Budget for the tax year 2018/19.

It contained some significant changes to existing private pension legislation on the island, including the introduction of a new form of Isle of Man pensions legislation, both to take effect 6th April 2018.

Outlined below is a summary of the key points made in today's budget.

Changes to Existing Legislation

  • Triviality/Fund Remnant Threshold Limit to be increased from £50,000 to £100,000 (this effectively means that it will be possible to cash-in a pension pot of circa £142,800 by first taking maximum TFC followed by a withdrawal of the remaining fund in full; or an even greater amount if maximum first year pension income is also deducted).
  • Annual Allowance for contributions to approved pension schemes reducing from £300,000 to £50,000 (tax relief available on any amount contributed up to 100% of IOM Relevant Earnings, subject to new annual cap of £50,000).
  • Isle of Man Financial Services Authority to issue guidance to local pension scheme providers/members in order to assist when considering the new pension options available.


New Legislation

The new legislation gives local pension scheme providers the ability to offer a new type of pension product, referred to as “Pension Freedom Scheme” (or PFS, for short) which will permit full access to the scheme funds once a member reaches a certain age and can accept transfers from existing approved pension schemes, subject to a tax charge.


The specific features of the new PFS are as follows: 

  • Minimum Retirement Age of 55 (except in special circumstances/incapacity grounds where an earlier retirement age may apply)
  • No Maximum Retirement Age
  • Tax-Free Investment Roll-Up
  • Maximum Tax-Free Pension Commencement Lump Sum (PCLS) of 40% of the value of the fund at time of payment
  • Maximum PCLS is a one-off payment opportunity i.e. it is not possible to take partial tax-free lump sum payments by creating tranches (or “arrangements”) within the scheme
  • Remaining 60% balance of fund can be accessed flexibly, either as a further lump sum or series of benefit payment withdrawals, all of which will be treated as taxable income at the individual’s marginal rate of IOM tax
  • No tax due on death (subject to residual fund being paid out within 2 years since death of member)
  • Annual Allowance for contributions set at £50,000 (tax relief available on any amount contributed at the individual’s highest marginal rate up to 100% of IOM Relevant Earnings, subject to annual cap of £50,000)
  • Transfer fee of 10% of transferred fund imposed for transfers into new PFS from existing IOM approved pension schemes
  • Transfers of defined benefit pension schemes or statutory schemes approved by Tynwald into new PFS will not be permitted
  • Transfers from UK (or other non-IOM pension schemes) into new PFS will also not be allowable
  • An individual is only able to be a member of one PFS at any one time


Provisions are also being made in order to address recycling of pension funds in the following form: 

  • Funds withdrawn from a PFS cannot be paid into another PFS
  • Tax relief will not be granted on the re-contribution of funds previously withdrawn from an approved pension scheme
  • Tax relief will also not apply to a contribution made to a scheme approved under the 1970 or 1989 Income Tax Act if such contributon consists of funds withdrawn from another approved pension scheme.


Cialis 01/04/2019 2:06pm (21 days ago)
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John Cowley
John Cowley 26/03/2018 8:49am (13 months ago)
Is there likely to be any movement on the 10% transfer fee. 10% charge to then be taxed at 20% if you draws down whilst working will surely put anybody off accessing their pension fund whilst working or even after.
Boal & Co
Boal & Co 27/02/2018 6:28pm (14 months ago)
Hi Simon. Thanks for your query.

After the 40% tax-free lump sum, the remaining 60% balance of the fund will be taxed at your marginal rate (not necessarily a flat rate of 10%). However, yes, if over age 55, it would be possible to cash in the entire consolidated fund within the new PFS. There would though be a 10% transfer fee applicable to each of your respective IOM pension plans upon transfer into the new PFS to obtain the ability to cash in the plan in full.

In addition, a transfer to a SIPP under the existing legislation or the new PFS on or after 6th April 2018 will negate the requirement to purchase an annuity. Benefits in retirement will instead be taken via drawdown.

Hope this is helpful for you.
Simon 26/02/2018 9:43pm (14 months ago)
I have three IOM pension plans and am about to draw them down. Am I correct in taking it that under the new PFS I can cash all funds in (being over 55) with 40% tax free and the remaining 60% taxed at 10%, and this can all be done by intructing the pension plan trustees directly? also that this also negates the previous necessity on some plans to purchase an annuity?
Boal & Co
Boal & Co 26/02/2018 5:37pm (14 months ago)
Thanks for your query Jaks.

The new Pension Freedom Scheme (PFS) is not replacing the existing legislation, but rather providing an alternative option to the existing legislation.

As such, there will be no requirement for you to incur the 10% transfer fee unless you wish to transfer your existing personal pension plan into the new PFS to gain access to the higher tax-free lump sum and additional flexibility on the balance of the fund.

Hope this helps.
Jaks 26/02/2018 2:51pm (14 months ago)
Will the PFS replace SIPPS? I have built up a significant personal pension through my employment and I'm loath to just hand over 10% to the Assessor

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