Guide to Sipps

  • To understand the FCA's changes to Sipp capital adequacy.
  • To ascertain the effect of consolidation.
  • To understand how Sipp rules affect choice and cost.
Guide to Sipps


Pensions advice has become more convoluted since the introduction of the pension freedoms and choice regime, and the self-invested personal pension (Sipp) market is no exception.

While advisers grapple with the new pensions regime, regulation such as the capital adequacy requirements and more focus on what is a standard asset (and what is not), has put greater pressure on Sipp providers.

Moreover, some Sipp providers have changed their propositions and raised costs in order to comply with the new capital adequacy requirements. 

Experts believe there is going to be more consolidation among Sipp providers, especially as providers and advisers have to tackle certain potential problems, such as the need for more due diligence on non-standard assets. 

This guide aims to show the effects the government’s pensions freedom and choice regime and the regulator's capital adequacy changes have had on the Sipp market, and how advisers may need to tread carefully in future.

Contributors to this guide: Elaine Turtle, director for DB Pensions; Martin Tilley, director of technical services for Dentons Pension Management; Greg Kingston, head of communications, product and insight for Suffolk Life; Chris Jones, founder of Rock Consultancy; Neil MacGillivray, head of technical support for James Hay; Stewart Davies, chief executive of Momentum Pensions; Rachael Healy, senior associate at law firm RPC; George Houston, senior technical and development manager at Mattioli Woods; and Mike Morrison, head of platform technical at AJ Bell. 

In this guide


Please answer the six multiple choice questions below in order to bank your CPD. Multiple attempts are available until all questions are correctly answered.

  1. How many Sipp plans were sold in the quarter before pension freedoms?

  2. What, according to Mr Houston, has been attracting clients to Sipps?

  3. What is a definition of non-standard assets?

  4. What has caused Sipp proposition changes and cost increases, according to Mr Tilley?

  5. What have some providers introduced that makes it difficult for clients to leave, according to Mr Kingston?

  6. How many Sipp providers are there now, according to the latest FCA data?

Nearly There…

You have successfully answered all the questions correctly, well done!

You should now know…

  • To understand the FCA's changes to Sipp capital adequacy.
  • To ascertain the effect of consolidation.
  • To understand how Sipp rules affect choice and cost.

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