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Product matters

The Sun has hardly shone so far this year.

With the backdrop of a fall in its relative market position, the same could be said of Sun Life. But, with forecas-ters predicting a glor-ious summer and with a new Sipp prop-osition that appears to offer everything, the future could be brighter for both.

Sun Life&#39s Sipp, launched in March, provides for full and hybrid investment and can be used for phased retirement and draw-down. The charges are reasonably competitive and a discount is in place where trustee investments of £30,000 are made into Sun Life funds. The discount is fixed until investment in its funds hits £200,000, at which point the normal establishment and annual fees are waived. Note that these thresholds must be maintained to maintain the Sipp fee discounts.

Of course, price is not everything. Indeed, particularly for those clients who are active investors and/or inv-esting in property, admin efficiency could be more important. Here, though, we are not assessing Sun Life (or indeed Axa, the global giant behind Sun Life) but instead PPML, the third party being used to administer the Sipp.

Sun Life&#39s comm-endations aside, and with no disrespect to PPML, I am not conv-inced this alliance is strategically right. Sun Life has a proud history in the provision of self-investment and I would have preferred to see it launch its own admin to support its drive for increasing Sipp sales.

I have perhaps been spoiled with innovative new annuity products, so I am a little disapp-ointed on reviewing the new Sun Life Sipp prop-osition to find it sound but uninspiring. The jury&#39s out on a long, hot summer.

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