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A smart move from Pointon York

Pointon York – e-Sipp

Type: Online Sipp

Minimum investment: Lump sum £5,000

Minimum – maximum age: From birth to 74

Investment choice: One of five risk-graded SmartFunds portfolios – defensive, cautious, balanced, aggressive or aggressive Growth

Options: Unsecured pension/income drawdown, alternatively secured pension

Charges:  Annual £150, single contributions £45, transfers out £100, establishment of income drawdown £225, additional charges for income payment, annuity purchase and distribution of death benefits. All fees subject to VAT

Commission: Agreed between adviser and client

Contact: www.sippsolutions.com

The e-Sipp is one of two lower-cost Sipps recently introduced by specialist self-invested personal pension provider Pointon York. Investment choice is limited relative to Pointon York’s other Sipp products to reduce costs. Investors can choose one of five risk-graded managed portfolios on the Praemium platform, known as SmartFunds. These are tailored towards defensive, cautious, balanced, aggressive and aggressive growth risk profiles.

Informed Choice managing director Martin Bamford describes this as a simple online Sipp offering access to a limited range of funds.  “It will appeal to IFAs for investors who want a very simple approach to investing their pension assets and want to delegate these investments to a competent third-party. The five funds available are the SmartFunds from Praemium, offering different risk rated investment options with automatic rebalancing.”

Bamford regards the Sipp charges as very competitive at £150 a year.  “There is an additional charge of 0.75 per cent a year for the funds and other charges for different activities within the Sipp, such as making single contributions or establishing an unsecured pension,” he says.

Turning to the potential drawbacks of the product, Bamford says: “The website does not provide any information about the cost of investing in the five available funds.  It is also unclear from the website how to apply for the Sipp online, although I understand that Pointon York are working to make this clearer.  

Discussing possible competitors, Bamford says: “The online Sipp market is already quite well established, with the main competition coming from the likes of Hargreaves Lansdown and Sippdeal.  IFAs might feel more comfortable using this online Sipp from Pointon York, which is known as an IFA provider, unlike the other online SIPP providers that mainly operate a direct to customer model.”

Summing up, Bamford says: “The concept behind the Pointon York e-Sipp is fundamentally sound, but more emphasis needs to be placed on the available investment options, as information on the five funds is very hard to find at present.  The core Sipp and fund charges look keen, but the additional Sipp charges could quickly turn this into a very expensive Sipp.”

BROKER RATINGS

Suitability to market: Good

Flexibility: Good

Charges: Average

Adviser remuneration: Good

Overall 7/10

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