Standard Life effectively pulled out of the personal pension market five years ago when it launched its Sipp amid heavy marketing.
Many Standard Life personal pension clients were switched into the firm’s Sipp. But Standard Life feels the time is ripe to re-enter the market and is keen to steal market share from major players Aviva, Aegon and Scottish Widows.
The move has prompted questions from advisers as well as other providers.
Aviva head of pensions Paul Goodwin (pictured) says: “When Standard Life launched their Sipp they did a big migration of their existing personal pension book into the new proposition and if I were an adviser I would just want to be clear that the correct customers are in the right proposition.
“I would want to make sure I am not playing hokey cokey with my customers, left foot in, left foot out, shake it all about, which route are we taking today?”
Goodwin adds: “Will a customer who invests £50,000 in insured funds in the new personal pension be paying exactly the same charge as a customer they moved across to the Sipp who also has £50,000 in those insured funds? If the answer is no, I would want to know what Standard Life is going to do about it.
“It is interesting the firm has gone the same route as Aviva has been advocating for a long time, which is that personal pension customers should be in a personal pension and a Sipp customer should be in a Sipp.
“Is it a sensible thing? Probably, but I think their messaging has been a little unfortunate over the years. Ultimately advisers are in a difficult place and need to know what is the best thing for their clients.”
Goodwin says he welcomes extra competition in the market. He says: “Game on. At the end of the day they are a good company we are a good company and we all act in a very competitive market place. Let’s see which way advisers decide to go because ultimately they are the ones who make the decision.”
Standard Life head of customer management Mark Polson says: “The whole ethos of the active money lifeplan is to focus on customer needs and to help advisers meet those needs not just at a point in time but for the long term.
“We are very clear who our respective target markets are for the various elements of the lifeplan and I am looking forward to working with advisers over the coming months to share our insight.”
For more see this week’s issue of Money Marketing.