Recent rulings have now given people who have Irish Pension benefits the ability to transfer these pensions to a Maltese Retirement Scheme similar to British expats who transfer their pensions to (Q)ROPS in Malta.

The ruling of the landmark case of Michael O’Sullivan V Canada Life Assurance (Ireland) Limited now essentially means that any personal Irish pension scheme can be transferred overseas irrespective of whether you have employment overseas or not, although it will be on a case by case basis.


How does it work?

Irish pensions can also be transferred to other European Jurisdictions, such as Malta, under IORPS legislation.

Any member of an occupational pension scheme or Personal Pension wishing to make an overseas transfer must sign a declaration to the effect that the transfer is for “bona fide reasons and is not primarily for the purpose of circumventing pension tax legislation and Revenue rules”.

This type of transfer may suit those who do not intend to retire in Ireland.


What are the benefits of transferring an Irish pension to Malta?

Malta is a respected, English-speaking financial center with a robust overseas pension scheme legislation. It also brings the security of being a full member of the European Union.

  1. Access your pension at 50 if you have lived overseas for 5 years already.
  2. Access to a wide range of investment opportunities.
  3. Tax Efficient – Malta has around 70 Double Tax Treaties (DTA’s), for residents of countries that have a DTA with Malta.
  4. 30% tax-free lump sum available; This is higher than the current Irish and UK tax-free lump sum of 25% (Irish pensions capped at a tax-free lump sum of €200K and UK pensions capped at £250K tax-free lump sum).
  5. No Tax to pay on assets within the scheme (with exception of immovable property in Malta).
  6. Can nominate beneficiaries on your pension.
  7. No Lifetime Allowance Charge.
  8. Inheritance benefits - you can pass on your pension pot to your beneficiary upon death without any Capital Acquisition Tax / Inheritance. However, the beneficiary may be subject to tax depending on the rules of the country of which they are tax resident.
  9. You can combine various smaller pensions into one large pot resulting in only one annual management fee as well as the opportunity to benefit from the economies of scale by combining investment.
  10. Avoid ongoing currency exchange fees in investing in the same currency as the country you reside in or in any currency of your choice.

Transferring an Irish pension to Malta may not suit every circumstance and not every pension scheme will permit it, so it is important to take advice. OpesFidelio Financial Planning Ltd is ideally placed to provide you with the advice you need. Laws and Tax rules may change in the future.


Want to find out more?

It is important to seek professional financial advice to explore the options available to you. Contact us if you would like to find out more about the Maltese option.


OpesFidelio Ireland Ltd
12, Parklands Office Park
Southern Cross Road
Bray, County Wicklow

Tel: +353 (0)1 272 4130

We are conveniently located on the Southern Cross Road between Bray and Greystones which can be accessed via junction 7 of the N11.

This is ideal for servicing clients from the surrounding South Dublin, Wicklow and greater Leinster areas.



Our office is situated 20kms south of Dublin, just beyond Bray in Co. Wicklow. Take the M50 southbound onto the N11 then take Exit 7, the Bray/Greystones exit and follow signs to Greystones. We are on the right near the end of the Southern Cross road leading from the N11 to the Greystones Rd.

OpesFidelio (Ireland) Ltd. - Company Number 158916 - VAT Number 6556916J

OpesFidelio Ireland Ltd. is an Appointed Representative of Aisa Financial Planning Ltd., which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and registered as a branch with the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).
The guidance and/or advice contained in this website is subject to UK & Irish regulatory regime.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an agency for arbitrating on unresolved complaints between regulated firms and their clients.
Full details of the FOS can be found on its website at (UK) / (Ireland).