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Sipp commercial property clients face conditional deals

Many Sipp investors are being forced to use specific solicitors, property managers and insurance companies to invest in commercial property.

Standard Life and Capita insist that customers use an affiliated solicitor. James Hay encourages customers to pick from four affiliated solicitors or pay a £450 fee. Standard also forces investors to use its property management partner.

James Hay, Suffolk Life, Standard and Capita all insist that customers use their block insurance policies. The providers argue that these arrangements help them to keep prices down.

But IPS Partnership business development director Richard Mattison says: “They prevent investors from shopping around for the best rates or managing their property themselves.”

Standard senior pensions policy manager Andy Tully says: “Because of the bulk business, we can negotiate special rates for customers.”

A James Hay spokesman says: “We have efficient links and processes with the panel solicitors and therefore our costs are lower and our fees reflect this.”

Suffolk Life sales and marketing director John Moret says: “The terms we have with the insurer, because of the size of the portfolio, are significantly better than individuals would be able to secure.”


Tef treatment

Last week, I started to look at investments that may represent valid alternatives to investing through pensions for those disenchanted and affected by the removal of higher-rate tax relief on pension contributions.

Osborne and Turner lead list at ABI conference

Conservative Shadow Chancellor George Osborne and FSA chairman Adair Turner are just two of the high-profile names speaking at the Association of British Insurers’ biennial conference, in partnership with Money Marketing and KPMG.

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(Another) downhill stroll — retirement planning

A report published this morning by the CIPD (CIPD Employee Outlook March 2015) provides yet more interesting data to the changing landscape of retirement planning. It should be remembered that we are in a period of genuine flux here given that the default retirement age was scrapped three years ago, and new pension freedoms come online in April. Both of these alterations will have a huge impact on how employees plan for their retirement.


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