Insurance & Pensions
Particularly since Malta joined the EU, and taking into account the sound regulatory and legal system that is in place and a beneficial tax system, Malta has become one of Europe’s foremost captive domiciles.
The insurance sector is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority and the domestic regulatory framework is, of course, fully EU compliant. Malta has been proactive to the needs of this industry and introduced various innovative structures, such as the concept of the Protected Cell Company and the Incorporated Cell Company.
Regulations with respect to capital requirements are in place necessitating that captive insurance companies possess own funds amounting to not less than the applicable minimum guarantee fund, which varies depending on the business of the captive.
Furthermore, regulations also require that captive insurance companies maintain at all times a margin of solvency and adequate technical provisions. Captive insurance companies engaged in direct writing of general or life business are required to cover the technical provisions by admissible assets, which assets must be diverse and spread.
A very important benefit for a Maltese operator is the fact that, being within the EU, an operator has the right of making use of passporting rights to write business in any other EU member state. This may be done either through the setting up of a branch or through the provision cross-border services. Insurance companies availing themselves of these rights have to adhere to the notification requirements in force.
Finally, it is to be noted that insurance contracts relating to risks situated outside Malta are exempt from the payment of Malta stamp duty.
Pensions and retirement schemes represent another sector where Malta has established itself as a centre of repute for the management and administration of cross-border pension vehicles. This has been able to be achieved thanks to a sound regulatory framework and legal system that in place, coupled with a beneficial tax system.
The Malta Financial Services Authority regulates this sector governing international retirement schemes and pension funds through EU compliant legislation.
The benefits to Maltese registered operators include:
- exemption from income tax and capital gains tax for retirement schemes and retirement funds;
- reasonable scheme administration and management fees
- pension plan integrity is ensured through a strong regulatory framework
- other EU member states companies can sponsor occupational schemes established in Malta
- legislation allows for customized structures in line with business requirements
- QROPS (Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme) jurisdiction