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Standard returns to personal pensions

Standard Life is relaunching a personal pension alongside its active money Sipp and plans to take significant market share from main players Aviva, Aegon and Scottish Widows.

Standard pulled out of the PP market five years ago when it launched its Sipp but now believes there are lucrative opportunities. The active money personal pension will launch in February with a major consumer marketing campaign. It is aimed at clients aged between 25-40 earning over £40,000 who might be successful singles or young homeowning families.

The firm says clients will be able to move easily from the personal pension, which costs 0.5 per cent, into the Sipp. It is also keen to develop a specialist Sipp with a wider range of investments that would compete with niche providers.

Head of communications Mark Polson says: “Speaking to advisers and customers, we have concluded it is the right time to stretch our proposition both up and down the market.”

Pharon IFA Nick O’Shea says: “I am not sure how well the IFA community will receive the relaunch. Standard Life did say that the Sipp was its only pension offering and was very certain in its decision to pull the personal pension.

“I think the firm has realised, with the FSA’s pension switching review, that a lot of people do not need Sipps and they are more expensive in a lot of cases.”

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