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Clerical to drop James Hay in relaunch of Sipp

Clerical Medical is to bring Sipp admin back in-house and drop James Hay.

The move is part of a revamp of its self-invested personal pension planned for next year.

Clerical will be the second major life-office client that James Hay has lost in a year after Standard Life took a similar decision last December.

Standard took £210m into its in-house Sipp in the first quarter of 2005. Since it relaunched its Sipp, Scottish Equitable and Winterthur have cut the charges on their offerings.

Clerical spokesman Gordon McAra says moving admin in-house will reduce the cost of its product. It will introduce a more flexible pricing structure, with investors only paying for add-ons they use, such as investing in equities or external funds.

McAra is confident that Clerical will not get left behind by waiting until the new year to revamp its Sipp. With guidance expected from the Inland Revenue on allowable investments, he says Clerical will be able to relaunch its Sipp without any tweaking.

Clerical is set to allow investors to hold residential and buy-to-let property within Sipps.

McAra says: “We think the Revenue will produce a guidance note on what are sensible investments. There is a high expectation of putting property into a Sipp and we think if it is available, it should be included.”

James Hay managing director Jan Regnart says: “We are not worried. We are confident about our service and have a large distribution channel.”


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