A SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) is a personal pension which allows the member of the SIPP a much broader range of investments, compared to a traditional Personal Pension. Some of the examples of the broader range of investment opportunities include commercial property, land, overseas property funds, residential property funds, quoted and unquoted shares, trusts, unit trusts and OEICs.
As well as having excellent investment freedom a SIPP still maintains the significant tax advantages of a pension. A SIPP also offers much greater flexibility in the way benefits may be taken in retirement. You may retire at any age between 50 (age 55 from April 2010) and 75 with no penalties. Up to 25% of the value of your SIPP investments can be taken as a tax free cash sum whilst the remainder remains invested.
At retirement, you have a number of choices. You can draw income from your investment assets, known as income drawdown, purchase an annuity, or have a combination of phased retirement and income drawdown. At age 75 you must either buy an annuity, or continue drawing from your invested fund using ASP (Alternatively Secured Pension).
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A SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension) is designed to provide you with:
- A means to save for your retirement in a tax-privileged manner
- The opportunity to invest your funds (including protected rights) in any HMRC permitted investment which does not attract a tax charge.
- The option of using your funds (including protected rights) for borrowing calculations
- The ability to make your own investment decisions, in conjunction with your Investment Manager or Financial Adviser, even when you are drawing an income
- A lump sum and flexible income in retirement
- A lump sum, a pension, or both for your spouse or civil partner and or dependants should you die before taking the benefits.
- The option to take income from your pension without buying an annuity. Income taken before age 75 is known as unsecured pension and income taken from age 75 is known as alternatively secured pension
- To give you flexibility over the provisions for your spouse, civil partner and/or dependants upon your death including the availability of a lump sum (taxed if you are drawing an unsecured pension) or to draw taxable income in the event of your death
- The option of transferring other registered pension schemes into your Private Pension