ISLE OF MAN – More than 30 schemes have applied for authorisation under the Isle of Man’s new international retirement benefits schemes legislation, says the Insurance and Pensions Authority (IPA).

The new legislation governing international retirement benefits schemes was established at the beginning of 2002, and 35 schemes have since applied for authorisation.

These have been personal schemes for internationally mobile company executives, and big international companies with global employees. One of the latest schemes to be authorised is a provident fund structure established for Dubai-based Emirates group, including Emirates Airline.

Anglo Irish Trust Company Ltd. has been appointed to provide Island-based trusteeship and management services to the scheme.

IPA pensions project executive Mike Lightfoot commented: “Naturally we are delighted that major international schemes are establishing on the Island. The Isle of Man is committed to being a long-term partner of international businesses, and to developing an environment that enables them to manage their complex global operations as effectively as possible."

The Isle of Man’s legislation focuses on offering flexibility, while offering a governance template. Says Lightfoot: “There is a fixed template of what schemes must do in terms of governance which members find reassuring.” At the same time however, scheme design in not inhibited. “We’re not hung up on terms and conditions,’ says Lightfoot.

Over the next six months, the IPA expects to be in a position to authorise further large international schemes.