Our experienced and highly knowledgeable Isle of Man team provide tailored, market-leading advice for clients wishing to form companies or expand operations, and those seeking advice on how to efficiently structure their assets.
International employee benefit schemes are a key consideration for employers who wish to retain and attract the best talent, ensuring a loyal and dedicated workforce.
Most employees now expect global pension plans and end of service benefits as a vital part of their overall compensation package.
Equiom has considerable experience in this area and offers a number of options when it comes to trustee services for pension arrangements, from employee benefits schemes and pensions to savings and share plans for expatriates and employers.
Our range of services are offered in a number of jurisdictions around the world and include:
- End of Service Benefit Plans
- International Pension Plans
- Employee Benefit Trusts
- Employee Ownership Trusts
End of Service Benefit Plans
End of service gratuity is a statutory obligation for companies across many Middle Eastern jurisdictions and is designed to help fund employees’ future retirement needs. The requirement for a company to pay End of Service Benefits (EOSB) is well known in this region and a frequently talked about subject. Equiom are the market leading trustee in the Middle East with over 20 years of experience and hold the prestigious role of Master Trustee to the DIFC Workplace Savings Plan (DEWS).
International Pension Plans
An International Pension Plan (IPP) involves a defined contribution plan that combines investment, administration and trust services which can be tailored to your company’s specific needs.
IPPs are particularly popular with companies who have employees who work abroad on international assignments or are employed on a globally mobile basis.
IPPs enable organisations to offer an advantageous pension scheme as part of an employee’s remuneration package - essential for attracting and retaining talent for multinational corporations.
Employers have been utilising IPP arrangements over the years as an ideal solution for employees that either:
- Move from their home country and are not able to remain in their home country pension scheme
- Are employed in a country that has insufficient or no pension availability
- Require a ‘top up’ to the local pension provision
IPPs provide flexibility in several areas such as:
- Contribution percentages for both employers and employees
- Currency and type of investment
- Vesting scales for employer contributions
- Number of countries and employer linked entities included in the IPP
- Benefit distribution options – lump sum, annuity, drawdown
- Portability of the members' pension pot
Employee Benefit Trusts
Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) have been established for several years to encourage employee share participation, acting as an important incentive for staff loyalty and productivity.
The term EBT is applied to a number of different types of trust. In general, an employer sets up an EBT as a vehicle to reward, motivate and incentivise employees. The benefits provided may be a share of profits, shares in the employer company, cash distributions or other employee incentives.
The features of EBTs include:
- A discretionary trust holding assets on behalf of a class of beneficiaries
- The trust is funded by the employer company
- The trustees provide employee benefits in recognition of performance and other related factors
- It is at the decision of the trustees only as to whom may benefit from the trust assets and the extent of such benefit
Benefits of EBTs:
- Share warehousing removes complex and costly UK share buyback provisions
- Private equity - allowing the company to buy back shares of a departing executive
- EBTs have been used as a market maker for the sale and purchase of shares in the employer company
- Tax considerations including capital gains tax and corporation tax
Employee Ownership Trusts
An Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) is a form of trust which holds the shares in a trading company for the benefit of employees. Unlike a conventional employee benefit trust, any benefit it confers on employees must include all of them (although a qualifying period of up to 12 months is allowed) on the same terms. EOTs allow shareholders of trading companies to sell some or all of their shares, while allowing those companies to continue under the same stewardship, creating a platform for continued growth and success.
Benefits of EOTs:
- Shareholders can sell their shares for full market value (based on an independent valuation)
- The directors and senior management can remain in place and continue to run the company
- No capital gains, income or inheritance tax liabilities should arise on the disposal of a controlling interest in a company to an EOT (or on the subsequent receipt of the purchase price by the former shareholders)
- Companies controlled by EOTs are also able to pay to employees cash bonuses of up to £3,600 each year without any income tax liability, provided that these are paid to all qualifying employees on the same terms
For more information regarding any of the above plans, please get in touch with Chris Cain, Mary Craven, Graham Marsh or Joe Cheung.
Equiom Fiduciary Services (Middle East) Limited is the Master Trustee and Operator of DEWS and is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).
This material is intended only for Professional Clients and Market Counterparties as defined by the DFSA, and no other person should act upon it. However all employers and employees participating in an Employee Money Purchase Scheme will be treated as Retail Clients under the DFSA requirements.
Any underlying investment options which may be selected in the structure can carry investment risk, whereby the value of the underlying investments can go down as well as up.
Our corporate insight gives you valuable foresight
For clients thinking of setting up a new business or re-structuring an existing company, Equiom simplifies the process by providing an appropriate solution and structure for that company.
Equiom has been providing its market-leading support services for over 40 years, helping clients to meet their personal and business needs, while protecting their ownership and controlling interests every step of the way.
Our Isle of Man team offers the following structure set up & support services:
- Company incorporation and registration
- Key personnel, including company directors, nominee shareholders and company secretarial services
- Registered office facilities
- Provision of fiduciary and legal requirements
- Registered office and agent facilities
- Corporate strategy and objectives
- Escrow services
There’s no problem too complex for our Isle of Man tax experts
Our Equiom Tax Services team in the Isle of Man brings together highly regarded specialists in the fields of tax, VAT, Customs, FATCA and CRS.
We guide, support and build effective structures that work in harmony with efficient tax strategies.
Working closely with our client relationship teams and clients’ professional advisors, we support our clients’ tax advisory requirements drawing on our substantial experience and knowledge in a variety of areas. These include investment funds, property development and investment, yachting, aviation and multi-sector corporate structuring for trading.
Our experienced teams have developed a range of tax services appropriate to our client's requirements.
Our Isle of Man tax & VAT services include:
Direct tax services
- Tax advice and ongoing support for individuals, companies and trusts - including guidance on inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax
- Onshore and offshore business structures
- Residence and domicile issues
- Assistance with disclosures and enquiries
- Specialist tax and estate planning advice
- Annual tax compliance services
- Real estate tax
- FATCA and CRS consultancy and training
- Non-UK settlements
- Task risk management including UK corporate criminal offence, UK trust register, due diligence, EU substance
Indirect tax services
- VAT and customs advisory and compliance services
- VAT, SDLT and property advisory services
- VAT and customs dispute resolution services
- The facilitation of tax authority technical rulings
- VAT and financial services advisory services
- Designing and maintaining partial exemption special methods to optimise VAT recovery and reduce costs
- VAT and customs governance, risk and assurance reviews
- Special customs procedures for storage, use, processing and transit of goods in the EU
- VAT refund applications across the EU
- VAT training for in-house finance and tax teams
Trust is something that is earned
We are proud to have an enviable reputation as leading professional trustees in the Isle of Man formed from years of experience in the industry. We are dedicated to maintaining the prosperity of the families and businesses that make up our client base. We understand the needs and objectives of our clients while also understanding the nuances and complexities surrounding generational wealth preservation, building relationships based on transparency.
Operating throughout the world’s most stable and reputable jurisdictions, our international fiduciary specialists work closely with a range of private client advisors to execute the most appropriate structures to protect and enhance your private wealth or corporate assets.
We are your asset guardians helping ensure that your family, employees, or favoured charities are well looked after for years to come and that where appropriate, you can continue to enjoy use of the assets within the structure, allowing us to ensure the appropriate governance and reporting is undertaken.
Our experienced teams operate in both common law and civil law jurisdictions. We guide you through the complexities of local laws and regulations to find the right solution for you, arranging the initial establishment of a trust or foundation and administering it carefully to maximise the benefits. We ensure its legal and tax status is maintained and provide regular accounting and financial reporting.
Our Isle of Man fiduciary services include:
- Establishment and administration of trusts and foundations, which can hold a variety of financial and non-financial assets
- Provision of Trustees and/or Protector
- Dedicated accounting and financial reporting
- Estate planning
- The establishment and maintenance of banking relationships
We can assist with the creation and operation of the following:
- Private trust companies
- Managed trust companies
- Employee benefit trusts
- Employee ownership trusts
- Charitable trusts
- Property unit trusts
- Purpose trusts
- Will trusts / pilot trusts
- Executor services
- Pre-IPO trusts
In addition to services to trusts, we have extensive corporate management capabilities and provide professional directors to company boards on either a fully managed basis, or in certain circumstances, a mixed board scenario.
We pride ourselves on our corporate governance standards which have been described by leading professional advisors as amongst the best they have seen and ensure that robust records are maintained, any relevant substance requirements are met and that mind, management and control can be clearly demonstrated.
We take our board positions seriously, matching the appropriate experience to the boards we represent. We can provide both personal and corporate directors but, in each case, we carry out our duties in line with the personal responsibility which is attached to such fiduciary positions and are regularly involved in strategy discussions, commercial decision making with in relation to the operations of the assets within the company and of course managing any creditors.
Our experience in managing corporate structures ranges from simple investment holding companies to the ownership and operation of multi million pounds shopping centres, business parks, and offices where we are involved in the daily decision making for entry into and delivery of contractual obligations relating to matters such as (but not limited to) tenancies, financing, insurance and dispute resolution.
Nina Johnston TEP
Managing Director, Equiom Isle of Man
Fiona Noon TEP
Head of Fiduciary Services, Equiom Isle of Man
Charles Crossley BA (Hons), FCA, TEP
Director - Private Client Services, Equiom Isle of Man
Director - Client Services, Equiom Isle of Man
Client Services Director
Jenny Akrigg BSc (Hons), ACA, CTA
Director, Equiom Tax Services
Andrew Cardwell BA (Hons), ACA
Director, Equiom Tax Services
Director, Equiom Tax Services
Mark A Hagan
Director - VAT, Equiom Tax Services
Director - Client Services, Equiom Isle of Man
Senior Manager - Client Services, Equiom Isle of Man
Senior Manager – Yachting and Aviation
Senior Manager – Client Services, Equiom Isle of Man
Senior Manager – Employee Benefits