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Big firms maintain Sipp stranglehold

Specialist Sipp administrators and insurance companies will continue to battle it out for the majority of self-invested personal pension business, according to research from Defaqto.

It shows that specialist Sipp administrators and trustee companies hold 47 per cent of the market while insurance companies hold 24 per cent.

IFAs, investment managers and stockbrokers trail behind with 8, 7 and 10 per cent respectively.

Over three-quarters of Sipp propositions have in-house administration, with third-party administration spread between a select few providers.

The research shows that Sipps are the sixth most popular pension product sold by advisers. Over 72 per cent of advisers had sold Sipps in a 12-month period. The top two recommendations were personal pensions (97.4 per cent) and individual stakeholder (85 per cent).

Sipp providers have been under enormous pressure to cut charges and the research shows significant falls in set-up fees.

For Sipp funds of 50,000, the average set-up fee fell from 306.23 in March 2006 to 266.57 in March 2007.

But Defaqto says set-up fees could increase as Sipp regulation imposes rigorous new demands on businesses.

It also echoes concerns expressed recently by the FSA that advisers are under pressure from providers to sell Sipps, .

Defaqto says: “Advisers are under pressure to prove that Sipps are suitable for their clients, especially where the business placement decision can be clouded by incentives.”

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