Cains is one of the Isle of Man’s leading pension and employee benefits firms.
The Isle of Man is one of the few offshore jurisdictions with a dedicated and comprehensive regulatory regime for both domestic and international pension arrangements. The domestic regime combines elements of applied (but often modified) UK legislation (overseen by the Department of Health and Social Care) and separate Isle of Man specific legislation established under the Retirement Benefits Schemes Act 2000 (the ‘2000 Act’) regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Regulations under the 2000 Act also set out the regulatory regime for the international schemes. In terms of the accompanying tax approvals; the Island has four separate approval regimes that can apply to both personal and occupational schemes depending on a scheme’s arrangement. Where required, the domestic arrangements can be QROPS and/or QNUPS compliant. Additionally, domestic and international schemes can be drafted to achieve FATCA and CRS exempt status. Together, the tax and regulatory regimes have established a jurisdiction that adheres to international reporting requirements and combines flexibility of benefit provision with a system of effective but cost efficient regulation.
With regard to domestic pension schemes, Cains’ pensions group advises government, corporate and trustee clients and has advised on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious pension issues including: scheme design, establishment and amendment (statutory, personal and occupational), tax approval, regulatory authorisations and contracting-out; pension product development; scheme mergers and winding up (solvent and insolvent); scheme deficit and surplus; corporate sale, acquisition and restructuring (including employer debt issues); PPF liabilities and exemptions; executive severance and advice relating to professional advisers and investment management.
With regard to international pension schemes, the pensions group has extensive experience in respect of establishing international schemes and has also advised on the complex restructuring, redomiciling and winding up of various international schemes.
Cains has extensive experience in providing legal advice in respect of employee benefit arrangements in the Isle of Man including: restricted stock plans, restricted stock unit plans, option plans, term incentive plans, stock purchase plans and cash plans. When advising multinational employers, we work closely with our clients to ensure, where possible, that the Isle of Man plan fits within their wider benefit arrangements.
Cains contributes to a global online database that covers share plans in over 150 countries. Our lawyers are always happy to take time to discuss any issues clients may have before proceeding with formal instructions.
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