Suffolk Life will no longer accept self-invested personal pension business which comes direct from the public.
The company says it has made the decision so it can concentrate its efforts on the development of its adviser sipp business, adding it believes post A-Day the adviser market will become even more important.
Suffolk Life says the need for advice will increase despite the new “simplified” regime, adding it will be particularly true of the SIPP market, where the tax implications related to options on investments and on taking income are so complicated, that for the vast majority of people advice will be essential.
It adds the decision to no longer accept direct business is also clear evidence of its commitment to the adviser market, although it points out this will not affect existing direct clients.
Henry Catchpole, managing director of Suffolk Life, says for a company of its size the risks and regulatory overhead of accepting direct business now far outweigh any business advantage, particularly as the proportion of direct business has fallen significantly in recent years with the expansion of its adviser and joint venture initiatives.
He adds: “With the Treasury and Financial Services Authority (FSA) having clearly signalled their intentions to regulate all SIPPs from April 2007 the decision was relatively straightforward.”
Catchpole points out Suffolk Life will continue to serve its existing direct clients with the same level of service, suggesting as many of these clients took out their SIPPs several years ago when the pensions landscape was very different, they may find it beneficial to seek advice before making any major changes to their investment strategy or starting to draw their benefits.
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