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26 Sep 2012

UK SIPP Market Edges Up

The UK market for self-invested personal pensions (SIPP) grew slightly between March and September, with assets under administration inching 0.08% higher to £88.6bn in the period, according to the latest survey by Financial Times magazine Money Management, released on Tuesday.

In spite of the small increase in total assets, the number of SIPP schemes declined by 9%, from 484,560 in the March survey to 439,866 in September.

There were 90,000 schemes written in the past year from the 58 providers that responded to the survey, but the market also saw the loss of 6,000 schemes in the same period. In addition, many of the schemes are double counted as providers shift business between each other, with 81% of the newcomers on average emerging from transfers of business and not being "true" new schemes.

As the SIPP market has seen subdued growth over the past six months, a number of providers have been writing minimal new business, with some adding schemes that represent less than 5% of their book of business over the past year, the survey showed.

However, there were also firms that saw continued healthy expansion, with one newly launched SIPP getting new schemes equal to 90% of its total business, according to the figures.

SIPPs offer an extensive list of investments, flexibility and control. They have the same tax advantages as other personal pension plans, but unlike other personal pension schemes, with SIPPs investments are not limited to funds, but also include shares, bonds, gilts, investment trusts, cash and commercial property.

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