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  1. #1

    To SIPP, or not to SIPP?

    Left my civil service job a couple of years ago and currently - at 60 years old - living comfortably enough on a defined-benefit pension plus salary from easy but v enjoyable full-time employment driving the local school bus, something I'm planning on continuing with until my state pension age of 66.

    I have an avc fund, current value about 105K, built up with Standard Life. Don't envisage needing this money in the immediate future (by that I mean probably not for at least 5-10 years) and was thinking about transferring it to a SIPP, partly because I'd prefer the freedom of investing freely myself rather than in the SL funds I am currently restricted to and partly because I have always found communicating with SL to be a very frustrating business.

    My idea is to transfer to a SIPP provider who will allow me to invest in a wide range of investment trusts - I like these, have been pleased with the long-term performance of my TD Direct self-select ISA, which includes CTY, FGT, LTI, NRI, SMT and a few others, and wonder if I could do better with a similarly-based SIPP, even allowing for the transfer etc. costs involved, rather than just leaving the funds with SL?

    After a lot of research over the last couple of months I thought I had decided (at least until their recent charge re-vamp) on AJB YouInvest as an appropriate platform, based on ease of use, wide availability of investment options and straightforward (something on which which my ISA provider TD Direct falls short) and reasonable charging structure.

    Any thoughts, anyone? Have some qualms about investing with a financial provider with a record of sudden too-bad-if-you-don't-like-it changes to their charging structure - is AJB still a viable option, or should I be rethinking? Or am I just mad even considering a move like this in the first place?

  2. #2
    Would expect every providers T&C's will have a clause that says fee structure can be changed at their discretion & give you x days notice.

    Given AJBell have just changed their fee structure they are unlikely to change it in the near term whereas there is no guarantee how other platforms might behave....(that's a pure guess - no inside knowledge)

    I've looked into transferring my company AVC into my existing SIPP (which I opened to see if I could do better than the AVC 50:50 global tracker) and a couple of things that's holding me back is whether my investment-psychology can match the tracker and by transferring to a SIPP I loose the ability to re-start a company AVC (as I'm still employed there).

    There are features in a SIPP that may not be supported in a company AVC (e.g. my company AVC wont support flexible drawdown so I'll probably move it eventually)

    Not sure what issues with TD direct you have...the only issue I have with them they wont let me start a monthly investment plan drawing down from the account cash holding - they want a direct debit. Currently AJBell don't do divi re-investment...but its supposed to be coming. All platforms are likely to have annoying characteristics...

  3. #3

    - You can transfer out

    - You are happy with any exit fees

    - You are happy to manage your own investments

    - You like IT's

    Then a SIPP with HL should be a decent home. We use them for our investments, the service is excellent and for a IT investor with a decent portfolio the charges are very competitive.

    They have a cap on IT's in a SIPP of 200pa (AFAIK), so for your sum the charges are pretty low, especially if you're after growth, as your ISA pf indicates you are.

    Other opinions are freely available.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    If you're happy, then why not. Learning how it all works, and picking the right bets are good fun and even when you make a bad choice, the learning experience is worth it.

    Have a look around on charges. HL are pricey if you have money invested in funds rather than ITs. I'm 90% in funds and use Interactive Investor - all flat fees (SIPP is 98/yr, our 2 linked ISAs 80/yr including 2 "free" traded a quarter). But they charge 10/transaction - so not for the frequent trader.

  5. #5
    They have a cap on IT's in a SIPP of 200pa (AFAIK), so for your sum the charges are pretty low, especially if you're after growth, as your ISA pf indicates you are.


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