Jardine Lloyd Thompson has introduced a group self-invested personal pension and predicts that other major pension providers will follow suit.
The Sipp will be positioned alongside JLT’s occupational pension scheme and provide access to 1,500 funds through Fundsdirect. Employees will be able to invest in property and unlisted shares by activating the “true Sipp” option.
The scheme will be administered by Premier Pension Services, part of JLT Benefit Solutions, which says it now intends to focus on the group Sipp market.
Premier Pension Services says the scheme will not be priced until there is a clearer indication of take-up levels – a move which has been questioned by competing providers.
PPS head of Sipps Nigel Manley says the group Sipp will mainly be used by executives and high-earners wanting to invest non-pensionable assets such as bonus sacrifice while the occupational scheme will be used for the majority of staff for regular contributions.
The personal Sipp market has boomed since A-Day but commentators say group Sipps have failed to take off.
JLT Benefit Solutions managing director Duncan Howarth predicts this could be about to change. He says: “Group Sipps have been talked about for a long time but we are seeing little evidence that this attractive option is being used. As the shift to defined-contribution corporate arrangements continues, we expect to see more interest in and take-up of group Sipps.”
Scottish Life head of corporate business Mark Polson says: “This sounds like a proper group Sipp rather than a group personal pension with a Sipp bolted on, which more and more providers are launching. With many of these propositions, people who do not want the extra flexibility of the Sipp can end up paying more. But marketing something before pricing it is highly problematic.”