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Pensions set for property freedom

Pension schemes could invest directly in residential property under plans in the Inland Revenue&#39s second round of pension simplification consultation.

The Revenue is proposing to include residential property in the range of permitted pension investments although a pension benefit in kind would be levied where property is used by a related party.

Most experts see the proposal as positive for property prices and pension take-up but industry opinion is divided over whether there will be a knockon effect for first-time buyers.

The new investment freedom could result in new collective property investment funds springing up and experts say the Government could offer specific tax breaks for investments in social housing.

Savills Private Finance director Mike Boles says: “This would boost the housing market and buy to let and give more options to pension funds. New funds are likely to be created so individuals would not have to invest directly.”

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