Tax-efficient SIPPs

by admin on March 8th, 2010

Greater flexibility and control over your savings

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is an investment savings vehicle aimed specifically at producing income, or a tax-free lump sum with a reduced income, in retirement.

A SIPP is a pension that gives you greater flexibility and control over your savings and where they are invested. It is your personal tax-efficient wrapper enclosing investments chosen by you to meet your own needs.

The range of permitted investment options gives you the flexibility to vary the structure, diversification and risk profile of your portfolio to suit your circumstances.
SIPPs can be held and contributed to by every UK resident under the age of 75 and are ideal if you are comfortable with making your own investment decisions and want a tax-efficient way to save for your retirement.

The range of investments you can hold in a SIPP are many and varied, ranging from stocks and shares to futures and options, and from collective investments such as unit trusts to bank deposits and commercial property.

The list of permitted investments is very wide and includes:

UK and international company shares
UK and international government and company debt (gilts and corporate bonds)
Collective investment schemes such as unit trusts, pension funds, investment trusts
Commercial property
Deposit funds and currency
Commodities
Futures and options
Warrants
Derivatives

The tax treatment of a SIPP is identical to that of a conventional personal pension. Individual contributions receive automatic tax relief at the holder’s marginal rate while any contributions by employers are allowable against corporation tax or income tax.

Income taken in retirement from either an annuity or via an unsecured pension plan (formerly income drawdown) is taxed as earned income at the member’s highest marginal rate.

Understandably for a more flexible style of contract, the structure of a SIPP is slightly more complex than a personal pension and necessitates the involvement of a scheme administrator. The administrator exercises control over what happens within the SIPP and ensures that the requirements for tax approval continue to be met.

A SIPP arrangement may well be more expensive than traditional personal pensions or stakeholder pension plans due to the greater investment opportunities that they allow and other related charges.

The value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed.

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