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Friends progresses with single Sipp plans

Friends Provident is developing a new individual Sipp to tie in with its corporate platform plans.

Pensions product manager Daniel Hawkins says an announcement will be made about the new product in the coming months.

He says: “We are looking at individual Sipp, bizarrely as part of the corporate platform piece of work we are doing. The two projects intermingle quite nicely.

“The individual Sipp market is growing and we believe it will continue to do so and for that reason Friends Provident is very interested in moving into that market.

“That investigation is ongoing with a view to making an announcement in the coming months.”

Friends currently has an individual Sipp, administered by James Hay, but it is closed to new business. The new product will be administered in-house using third party systems, Hawkins says.

He says: “It would differ substantially to the existing product. It would be a true electronic individual Sipp and would sit on a platform.

“Essentially, it would be using the same technology as the corporate platform. It makes sense for us, if we are going to pay to deliver that project, then to deliver individual at the same time.

“We are at an early stage of the investigation.The picture will evolve.”

Money Marketing revealed that Friends was looking at launching an employee benefits wrap proposition and had its eye on individual Sipps in May.

The firm, which pulled the plug on development of its retail wrap, has been conducting detailed research with employers, trustees and potential scheme members on developments in the corporate platform space.

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