Optimus was incorporated in October 2002, and registered in the Isle of Man. The company has over £1.5 billion assets under management in a range of different products. One of the pension scheme products Optimus offered is a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS).
What is a QROPS?
A QROPS can be a good investment for UK citizens who have decided to retire abroad but want to enjoy the benefits of their UK pension fund. It is also an option for non-UK citizens who have lived in and worked in the UK long enough to build up a UK-registered pension. They are able to move their UK pension scheme offshore if they want to retire outside the UK.
Optimus has offered two QROPS since 2006, one in Malta and the other in the Isle of Man. These QROPS allow UK pension holders to transfer their private pensions overseas. Investors have a range of investment options available.
What is a QNUPS?
Qualifying Non-UK Pension Scheme (QNUPS) are exempt from UK Inheritance Tax, and any non-UK based investments pay gross into the scheme. In addition, there is no upper limit on contributions an investor can make. QNUPS also offer flexible investment opportunities which could include cash, stock portfolios, real estate or private company shares.
Problems with Optimus
In 2011 it was revealed that Optimus and several hundred other companies which advised investors to invest in SLS-backed Keydata Policies were being pursued by the FSCS to try and recoup the money the FSCS paid out to investors following the dissolution of investment firm Keydata.
In late 2018 the former boss of Keydata, Stewart Ford, lost a battle against the FSCS over a record £76 million fine. Thousands of people had invested their pension funds into Keydata with total investments of over £450 million.
Does Optimus act as administrator for your SIPP? If so, get in touch. Our team of financial mis-selling experts may be able to recover compensation for any loss suffered.