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ScotEq and Winterthur revamp for Sipp boom

Competition in the Sipp market is intensifying with Scottish Equitable and Winterthur revamping their products ahead of the anticipated sales surge.

The moves are largely to compete with Standard Life which took 21m in its Sipp in the first quarter of this year.

Scottish Equitable will levy a 250 flat annual charge for investors using its underlying fund supermarket and there will be no fee for pension pots of more than 250,000.

Winterthur’s relaunched Sipp has an annual charge of 545 but no initial or set-up cost. The main feature of its revamped offering is increa- sed online and phone dealing facilities.

The Sipp is linked to Cofunds for fund transactions, so switching and policy valuations can be done online. Fund transactions will cost 15, undercutting the 50 Standard Life levies for transactions outside its Sigma platform. Swit- ches within its tailored selection range are free. Equity trading will be introduced in the third-quarter, with Win- terthur negotiating deals with several online brokers.

The firm has also linked up with discretionary managers UBS, Cazenove, Newton, Morgan Stanley Quilter, Brewin Dolphin and Tilney.

Winterthur head of product marketing Angela Baskey-field says the product is also well suited for transfers which make up 92 per cent of the company’s new Sipp business.

She says: “Higher charges meant that Sipps were only of interest to wealthier investors in the past but the huge interest together with lower fees and changes to the rules, will make Sipps more popular with a wide number of investors.”

ScotEq managing director of individual pensions and investments Andy Marchant says: “There is a lot of hype surrounding Sipps. Our extensive in-house and external investment range coupled with the new charging structure make our Sipp one of the most comprehensive.”

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