Growing demand for Sipp products to be put on platforms

Growing demand for Sipp products to be put on platforms

The demand for self-invested personal pensions on pensions platforms has risen as the demand for income drawdown and annuities has decreased, a recent report suggests.

According to CoreData’s 2018 UK investment platforms report - in which 1,000 financial advisers were surveyed, 23.6 per cent of advisers would prefer to have Sipps on their platforms.

The demand for annuity and income drawdown products went down significantly from last year when 33.7 per cent said they wanted these products on their platforms, compared to 21.5 per cent this year.

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The report also shows that platform business volumes are set to expand this year, with 38.7 per cent of advisers planning to increase business on their main platform over the next 12 months, compared to 34.3 per cent last year.

Last year 15.3 per cent of advisers said that they intended to add more platforms to their offering, this figures has increased this year to 20.5 per cent.

According to CoreData, drawdown income and annuities help the place of most desired products until 2014.

The popularity of exchange transfer funds among has also increased among advisers serving mass affluent and mass market sectors, with 11.4 per cent this year saying that they wanted to include exchange traded funds (ETFs) on their platforms.

CoreData has said it is expecting demand for ETFs to increase.

Craig Phillips, head of international at CoreData Research, said: "A key finding in this year’s study is the growing demand for full Sipps at the expense of annuities and income drawdown.

"Sipps are proving a popular option in the post-freedoms world for investors seeking greater flexibility, choice and control.

"As ETFs become more widely accessible and available in different variants and investors continue to search for cost-effective solutions, we expect demand to grow further."

Making sure that platforms are safeguarded by cyber security was cited as being important to advisers, with 69.6 per cent saying they increasingly consider whether a platform has adequate cyber security in place when choosing a provider.

While popular, Sipps have also been on the front line of complaints to the Financial Services Ombudsman (Fos). 

In its 2017 to 2018 annual review, Fos said there had been a 37 per cent increase over that year in the number of Sipp complaints. Over the year, it had received 2,051 Sipp complaints, compared with 1,493 for the reporting year 2016 to 2017.

The ombudsman's annual review said: "These are now the most complained-about pension product we see".

Last week, FTAdviser reported that one legal firm has submitted 500 cases to Fos on behalf of clients who lost money after investing with Liberty Sipp.

In July, an adjudicator at Fos upheld a complaint regarding a high-risk investment made with self-invested personal pension (Sipp) provider Guinness Mahon.

As reported by FTAdviser at the time, the complaint was made by solicitors Anthony Philip James & Co (APJ) on behalf of a client, which saw its investment in Ethical Forestry destroyed by a hurricane, and demanded a refund of his £13,000 investment.