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Alliance Trust Sipp closure highlights wider problems, says pension specialist

Dentons Pension Management has warned that many Sipp providers have failed to invest in quality administration systems and back office funtions.

Money Marketing revealed yesterday that Alliance Trust was closing for new full Sipp business from Friday in a bid to improve the service it provides its 7,000 existing Sipp clients.

But senior manager Martin Tilley says this is a wider problem plaguing the Sipp industry.

He says: “There has been a definite concern in the Sipp industry recently that many providers have failed to invest in the necessary systems, administration and back office functions to provide a rigorous and timely service for clients, from first introduction to benefit payment.”

Alliance Trust’s move emphasises the need for advisers to “dig significantly deeper” when selecting a Sipp for their clients, according to Tilley.

He says: “The perceived importance of headline initial and ongoing annual cost is irrelevant if the Sipp simply does not work. Sipps are not packaged products, but a bespoke service, there to facilitate what the client wants to do. Whilst technological advancements might assist at the lower platform end of the market, at the top end there can be no substitute for properly resourced teams of people to service a client book efficiently and accurately.”

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