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Winterthur Sipp gets a nip and tuck

Winterthur Life

Self-Invested Personal Pension

Type: Full self-invested personal pension

Minimum investment: No minimum

Investment choice: Winterthur Life tailored selection funds, Winterthur Life elite fund of funds range, Cofunds fund supermarket and all other Inland Revenue permitted investments including commercial property

Charges: Annual 545, transfer in charge 15, transaction charge 15, drawdown charge 85, additional charges for commercial property investments

Options: Discretionary panel of six portfolio managers, income drawdown, phased drawdown, phased retirement

Commission: Subject to negotiation with client

Tel: 0845 129 9993

Winterthur Life has revamped its self-invested personal pension, allowing it to adapt with the pension rule changes in April 2006, which will permit Sipp investment into residential property.

Origen Financial Services technical manager Bob Perkins says: “This product is the latest in the range of re-launches that aim to update the providers Sipp offering and position it to take advantage of the potential post “A-Day” market. It is an offering that is exactly what you would expect from a leading distributor in the Sipp market.”

The element that most caught Perkins’ eye is the remote control feature which puts important information at the advisers fingertips via the telephone and internet. Perkins explains: “This saves significant amounts of time by providing online access to consolidated valuations and client transaction histories.”

Perkins regards the overall structure of the plan as extremely flexible and states that Winterthur has seemingly included the proverbial kitchen sink. “It is well suited to the current and potential market offering a transparent structure, the wide range of investment options that you would expect under a Sipp. This includes a choice from a range of six well respected portfolio managers and full flexibility when it comes to crystalising benefits,” he says.

According to Perkins, the literature is clear and concise. He says: “Admittedly, it is spread across a number of guides, although that does not detract from the presentation.”

From an advisers point of view, Perkins feels this Sipp is offering a very modern and flexible package that will enable the client to benefit from the full range of Sipp options, yet provides scope to add value. He points out that there is no shortage of options to support the IFA, with technical and administration helplines and online assistance.

The charges are competitive in Perkins view, very well set out and explained in the terms and conditions document. He adds: “The charging structure works well in the IFA environment using Winterthurs flexible adviser remuneration. This enables advisers to agree the basis of their remuneration with their clients and the payment is then deducted directly from the fund. Charges can be based upon cash sums or can be fund based. They can also include a recurring payment that can be paid annually or six monthly, as agreed with the client.”

Considering the drawbacks of the Sipp, Perkins says: “My initial reservation was that the administration to be operated by Capita PPML. Readers will have their own varied experiences of the service offered in the past by PPML. But I am assured by Winterthur that it is more than satisfied with the service standards it has agreed with Capita PPM and it is very positive about the ongoing support.”

Looking at possible competitors, Perkins says: “I envisage that the market will continue to hot up as the year goes by and the competition will intensify as provider and distributors hone their plans in the lead up to A-Day.” In conclusion, he expects the main competition to come from the likes of James Hay, Skandia, Axa, Clerical Medical, GE Life and Standard Life, to mention but a few.

BROKER RATINGS

Suitability to market: Good
Flexibility: Good
Charges: Average
Adviser remuneration: Good

Overall 8/10

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