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Archived Annuities News / Income Drawdown News

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Pensions Regulator redefines no Sipps stance for auto-enrolment

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has argued that group self invested pension plans (Sipps) can be suitable for automatic enrolment, under certain conditions.

This comes after chairman Michael O’Higgins sparked outraged by suggesting that Sipps or small self administered schemes (SSASs) weren’t suitable for automatic enrolment.

Shedding further light on the regulator’s stance, TPR head of DC regulation Darran Burton confirmed that the organisation feels that group Sipps may be suitable for auto-enrolment where they are compliant with Department for Work and Pension’s  guidance and do not require active engagement and decision-making.

But having said that, TPR remains of the view that “group Sipps are not suitable for automatic enrolment where members need to make active investment choices and must have a high level of financial literacy in order to obtain good outcomes.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research, Tom McPhail, said: “This is an important clarification from TPR which confirms that well-managed low-cost group Sipps can be perfectly suitable for auto-enrolment.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has recently outlined new rules demanding that Sipps offer policy holders greater clarity on charging structures and how they will impact their investment.

The new rules, which come into force on 6 April 2013, will require Sipp providers to make changes in a number of areas.

This will require Sipp providers to issue an ‘effect of charges’ document, detailing how charges will affect the return the Sipp investor gets on their pension, as well as requiring them to disclose any interest or commissions they receive from banks.

This is in addition to requiring Sipp providers to issue Key Features Illustrations, providing product information with a simpler language and clearer layout.

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