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Freedom Sipp could take a year to be wound up

It could take a year or more to fully wind up Freedom Sipp.

Pension consultancy Mattiolio Woods was appointed this week by Freedom’s liquidators PricewaterhouseCoopers to offer ongoing admin and consultancy services to clients as the scheme is wound up.

Clients can choose to continue to have their Sipp administered by Mattioli Woods or move to another Sipp provider.

Freedom closed to new business in September 2008 and in October 2009 the High Court ordered the winding up of the Sipp. Mattioli Woods says it is not yet possible to give a figure for the number of assets held in the Sipp, which has around 180 clients invested, but in February last year, Freedom Sipp held assets worth £165m for around 350 members.

‘The clients that may be more difficult to transfer are those with French apartment hotel properties’

Mattioli Woods operations director Mark Smith says: “It could take another 12 months to wind up or maybe even longer. Where clients have commercial property in their Sipps, it can be more complex.”

AJ Bell marketing director Billy Mackay says: “The clients that may be more difficult to transfer are those with French apartment hotel properties, as not many Sipp providers would be willing to take them on due to differing legal opinion as to whether or not they are taxable assets.”

But Smith says there are some Sipp providers that will accept these assets, although Mattioli Woods itself has never done so in the past.

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