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REVIEW SUMMARY

Concept Group

Concept Group is a regulated and licensed fiduciary company based in Guernsey, with links to a number of other jurisdictions, specialising in tailored financial solutions for its clients.

Concept Group (“Concept”) was established in June 2004. It is now an independent provider of offshore financial solutions.

The Group Head Office is in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands. 

With its roots in the provision and administration of traditional Fiduciary structures (such as Discretionary Trusts), Concept Group is also known for the design and provision of international retirement solutions for both corporate and individual clients, in established and emerging markets.

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

Concept pioneered multi-member personal pension QROPS, which has since become the industry norm, having launched the very first of its kind anywhere in the world.

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

These can be categorised in two:

  1. Individual and
  2. Group pension schemes

The individual pension schemes offered by Concept Group include:

1. Aurora Libertaï QNUPS:

  • The schemes are Guernsey Revenue Service (“GRS”) approved retirement annuity schemes, open to Guernsey resident and non-resident individuals, and designed to provide a personal pension which is competitively priced from a fully regulated and licensed provider.
  • The schemes provide significant planning opportunities, with the added benefit of being designed to meet the UK prescribed criteria to be a Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS). This means 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 but with a UK Domicile.
  • Concept has developed the Aurora Libertaï Retirement Benefits Schemes, available to individuals under trust or contract, subject to their specific personal circumstances. 

2. Aurora QROPS (delisted) Guernsey:

  • Concept Group is currently unable to provide a listed Aurora QROPS solution based in Guernsey to allow individuals to transfer UK registered pension schemes, although transfers may be received from other pensions (to benefit from their flexible access schemes) including QROPS depending on the status of the scheme and member.
  • As a result of further legislative requirements introduced by HMRC to the Pension Schemes, (Categories of Country and Requirements for Overseas Pension Schemes and Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes) Regulations 2006, Concept took the measure of formally “delisting” its range of former Aurora QROPS.
  • This action has been undertaken by Concept in order to ensure and safeguard the interests of the existing membership of the Aurora QROPS.

3. Aurora Islander RATS (Retirement Annuity Trust Scheme):

  • Aurora Islander is a market leading, whole of market, multi-member personal pension scheme that is secure, flexible and competitively priced.
  • It offers a low cost, tax efficient, open architecture solution for Guernsey and Jersey residents.
  • In order to encourage saving from a younger age, Concept does not charge any set up or annual fees for certain entrants under the age of 25, until they reach their 25th birthday.
  • Different charging structures exist within Aurora Islander that ensures the scheme is both affordable from a young age and appealing to the more sophisticated investor wishing to have more input on the management of their pension assets.
  • In addition to its Aurora Islander scheme, Concept offers a number of other Retirement Annuity Trust Schemes, either under Trust (RATS) or Contract (RACS) arrangements, from cost effective, multi-member schemes to more bespoke individual arrangements.

Group pension schemes:

  • Concept is able to provide retirement benefits solutions to meet group or company objectives.
  • Concept has accrued experience in providing both pensions’ administration, and trustee services to large corporate clients, for multi-member occupational pension arrangements. These have been both for Guernsey based businesses and international companies.
  • So whether providing solely the trustee services in a hands off capacity, to support an existing international pension plan administrator, or providing the complete package of services including trustee and pension scheme administration, Concept Group are well experienced in this area.

The provision of group retirement benefits schemes is a more bespoke offering by Concept and can be arranged to meet the specific requirements of a group or company. This is scoped out at the point of introduction by them.

You can learn more about Concept Group's terms of business in the documents section of this review.

Additionally, we would recommend reading the expert verdict section so you can make an informed decision.

 

 

The Pros

> Packaged pension products
> Can accept transfers from UK registered pension schemes
> IHT exemption for UK domiciled non-residents

The Cons

> Loss of QROPS status: Aurora QROPS has now been delisted and existing members of the Aurora QROPS are not disadvantaged but they are unable to provide a listed Aurora QROPS solution based in Guernsey to new clients
> Limited product choice
What is the pension finder Concept Group talks about?

The Concept Group has created a tool called the 'pension finder' to help you find the most suitable Aurora pension for yourself or your clients.

You simply need to select the most suitable response for a range of questions they have listed, and the tool will identify a suitable Aurora pension for you.

What are the general benefits of Aurora pensions?

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

Their general benefits, as stated by Concept Group, include:

  • Experienced support and administration teams
  • Market leading service and technical excellence
  • Simple take on processes and ongoing administration
  • Cost efficient solutions for retirement savings
  • Solutions available from multiple jurisdictions to meet various client requirements
  • No reliance on Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs)
  • Income paid gross to Guernsey non-resident individuals from Guernsey schemes
What are the features of the Aurora Libertaï Retirement Benefits Trust/Contract?

The features of the Aurora Libertaï QNUPS include:

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Highly portable
  • Designed for IHT exemption if you are UK domiciled
  • Gross income for non-resident Guernsey individuals
  • Alternative pension for UK residents that depleted their UK LTA
  • Open architecture – wide investment choices or your choice
  • 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%
What other services does Concept Group provide?

Other than the pension solutions listed in this review, Concept Group provides other fiduciary services such as:

1. Trust solutions:

  • Fiduciary solutions
  • Discretionary trusts
  • Purpose trusts
  • Reserved powers

2. Company solutions:

  • Private trust companies
  • Managed trust companies
  • Family office

Happy with their service

I transferred my pension when I moved abroad - with some advice.

Broadly happy with everything.

Customer service is solid.

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 has never really recovered from past changes, offers a limited solution, and is 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.

If you already hold a pension plan with Concept Group, our advice would be to seek professional, fee-based and independent advice. For pensions worth £250,000 or more, we recommend contacting us for a Second Opinion.

Concept Group - General Terms of Business

Concept Group - Form Request to Transfer to Another Scheme

Concept Group - Change of Adviser Form

Concept Group - Nominated Beneficiary Personal Details Form

Concept Group - Change of Personal Details Form

Concept Group - Bank Account Details Form

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