Concept Group

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Review summary

Concept Group

The Concept Group is an owner-managed regulated and licensed fiduciary company based in Guernsey with a regulated and licensed office in Gibraltar but with links to a number of other jurisdictions, specialising in tailored financial solutions for its clients. Concept was established in June 2004 and currently employs around 50 people.

Concept has developed a suite of pension products under the brand name of Aurora.

These products offer a variety of solutions, internationally and locally, to cater to both individual and group pension requirements.

Overview

The Euoropa schemes have been approved by the Gibraltar Commissioner of Income Tax and are listed by HMRC as Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (“QROPS”), meaning that they can accept recognised transfers from UK registered pension schemes.

The Aurora Europa QROPS is available to Gibraltar resident and non-resident individuals, to provide a personal pension which is secure, flexible and competitively priced.

The schemes are marketed to individuals with UK accrued pension benefits who wish to transfer these to an overseas arrangement, with Gibraltar benefitting from a simple and transparent framework in respect of taxation of pension benefits, with just 2.5% Gibraltar tax deducted at source prior to payment of regular income.

Aurora Europa Lite Pensions Trust accepts pension transfers from just £25,000 with no maximum value and can hold a single custodian, such as a bond or investment platform (subject to any investment product minimum). The schemes allow additional contributions to be made, allowing a low level of entry.

The schemes are managed by Concept Trustees (Gibraltar) Limited, a Gibraltar licensed subsidiary of Concept Group Limited (“Concept”).

Concept Group is currently promoting seemingly “free” transfers into the two Gibraltar Europa QROPS.  The Europa Lite has a set up cost of £295 and on-going annual fees are £450.

The Aurora Libertai Retirement Benefits Scheme is available to individuals under trust or contract, subject to their specific personal circumstances. 

The schemes are Guernsey Income Tax Office (“GITO”) approved retirement annuity schemes, open to Guernsey resident and non-resident individuals, and designed to provide a personal pension which is secure, flexible, portable and competitively priced. 

As a Guernsey approved personal pension, the schemes enjoy favourable tax treatment for non-residents, with income paid gross and without the deduction of any Guernsey tax. 

The schemes provide planning opportunities, with the added benefit of meeting the UK prescribed criteria to be a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (“QNUPS”), meaning that the schemes should be exempted from UK Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) as they are considered to be “broadly similar to a UK registered pension scheme.”

The schemes have specific application for individuals resident in various jurisdictions and are also an attractive retirement solution for mobile individuals and/or transient employees.

As a result of legislative requirements introduced by HMRC to the Pension Schemes Regulations 2006, Concept took the measure of formally “delisting” its range of former Aurora QROPS.

Aurora Islander is a market leading, whole of market, multi-member personal pension scheme.

It offers a low cost, tax efficient, open architecture solution for Guernsey and Jersey residents.

To encourage saving from a young age, Concept will not charge any set up or annual fees for all entrants under the age of 25, until they reach their 25th birthday.  Concept Group have recently extended this to include all applicants under the age of 30 for a limited time only. 

Different charging structures exist within Aurora Islander in an effort to make the scheme both affordable to its younger members, and appealing to the more sophisticated investor wishing to have more input on the management of their pension assets. 

Concept offer bespoke group retirement schemes that meet the requirements of the organisation engaging them.

The pros

  • Cost effective packaged pension products

The cons

  • Small brand
  • Previous pension delisted
  • Limited choice
FAQs
What are the features and benefits of the Aurora Europa pension products?

Aurora Europa Pensions Trust and Aurora Europa Lite Pensions Trust make up the Aurora Europa suite:

The schemes have been approved by the Gibraltar Commissioner of Income Tax and are listed by HMRC as Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (“QROPS”), meaning that they can accept recognised transfers from UK registered pension schemes.

Concept has developed the Aurora Europa QROPS, available to Gibraltar resident and non-resident individuals, to provide a personal pension which is secure, flexible and competitively priced.

The schemes may be attractive to individuals with UK accrued pension benefits who wish to transfer these to an overseas arrangement, with Gibraltar benefitting from a simple and transparent framework in respect of taxation of pension benefits, with just 2.5% Gibraltar tax deducted at source prior to payment of regular income.

Aurora Europa Lite Pensions Trust accepts pension transfers from just £25,000 with no maximum value and can hold a single custodian, such as a Bond or Investment Platform (subject to any investment product minimum).

The schemes allow additional contributions to be made, allowing a low level of entry. The fees are market leading.

The schemes are managed by Concept Trustees (Gibraltar) Limited, a Gibraltar licensed subsidiary of Concept Group Limited (“Concept”).

Concept was the very first provider, anywhere in the world, to develop and launch multi-member personal pension QROPS, and as such, are vastly experienced in the provision of QROPS and of managing pension transfers.

General Benefits:

  • Concept has significant experience in international pensions provision and expertise in handling pension transfers;
  • The Scheme provides efficient take-on and ongoing administration;
  • Simple, pre-populated account opening documentation exists with numerous major life companies;
  • The Scheme is competitively priced, with transparent costs;
  • The Scheme is open to both residents and non-residents of Gibraltar;
  • No maximum value.
What is the Aurora Libertaï Retirement Benefits Scheme?

Concept has developed the Aurora Libertaï Retirement Benefits Schemes, available to individuals under trust or contract, subject to their specific personal circumstances.

The schemes are Guernsey Income Tax Office (“GITO”) approved retirement annuity schemes, open to Guernsey resident and non-resident individuals, and designed to provide a personal pension which is secure, flexible, portable and competitively priced.

As a Guernsey approved personal pension, the schemes enjoy favourable tax treatment for non-residents, with income paid gross and without the deduction of any Guernsey tax.

The schemes provide significant planning opportunities, with the added benefit of meeting the UK prescribed criteria to be a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (“QNUPS”), meaning that the schemes should be exempted from UK Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) as they are considered to be “broadly similar to a UK registered pension scheme.”

The schemes have specific application for individuals resident in various jurisdictions and are also an attractive retirement solution for mobile individuals and/or transient employees.

General Benefits:

Cost effective

Highly portable

Gross income for non-resident individuals

Open architecture

No formal minimum value imposed

Regular and ad hoc contributions accepted

Employer and employee contributions accepted

Benefits available from age 55 Pension Commencement Lump Sum (“PCLS”) of up to 30%

Customer reviews
I've been with Concept 7 years

I transferred my pension when I moved abroad - and with advice, as someone who's remained non-UK tax resident for all that time, I transferred my QROPS to the Aurora Libertaï scheme.

Broadly happy with everything.

Customer service is solid.

Expert verdict
Expert Assessment of Concept Group

Following the Aurora QROPS delisting back in 2012, Concept Group has struggled to find its place in the changing marketplace with a limited offering. Gibraltar does not allow the flexibility of other jurisdictions such as Malta and the UK offer although apparently this is in the pipeline for product launches in the near future.

Our verdict is that the Concept Group have never really recovered from past changes, offer a limited solution, and are no match for other larger organisations.

Read the UK regulator’s advice on pension transfers here.  NEVER deal with a firm that isn’t authorised as a UK pension transfer specialist.

Our advice would be to seek professional fee-based independent financial advice if you have an existing QROP with Concept Group Pension Trustees.  We also recommend you have a free, no obligation X-Ray Review™ conducted to give you the information you need to make a decision on the best way forward.

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