Hartley-sas, which specialises in self-administered pensions, has brought out a self-invested personal pension (Sipp) that will draw on the trustee banking experience of Cater Allen Bank.
The Sipp allows investment in any asset permitted under the Inland Revenue rules. This includes individual stocks, unit trusts, Oeics and investment trusts. A loan facility is available for clients who want to include commercial property in their Sipp. There is a charge of £390 for property purchse.
For online applications, there is no initial charge but other applications incur an initial charge of £250. An annual management charge of £750 will apply in all cases.
Winterthur Life has recently unveiled its universal Sipp, which has no initial charges and a lower annual management charge compared to Hartley-sas at between £375 and £475. It allows investment in any assets permitted by Inland Revenue rules, but also specifies a range of 41 funds from 17 fund managers. However, it does not offer a loan facility to help with this, unlike Hartley-sas, but Hartley-sas is consequently more expensive.
Investment in commercial property can be an important factor for Sipp investors because it allows clients to use their Sipp money to use their pension fund for a business purpose. For example, a group of dentists with Sipps could pool their Sipp money to buy their practice building and a loan could be useful if their pooled resources were not enough.
The Hartley-sas Sipp is targeted at the higher end of the Sipp market, for people with larger amounts to invest who want to retain control of their pension. The annual management charges are fairly steep, which makes the product unlikely to attract those with smaller sums.