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10m losing out on consolidation benefit of SIPPs

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03/12/2012
Over 10m Brits risk paying higher charges and getting poorer returns by failing to bring all their pensions under one umbrella, warns Investec Wealth & Management.

The research showed that only one in five people holding more than one pension plans to bring their assets into one plan over the next 12 months. 

The vast majority admit to having a limited grasp of how their pensions are managed: four in five of respondents said they knew either a little or very little about how their pension money had been invested across different asset classes and the level of risk taken.

Chris Aitken, head of financial planning at IW&I, said: “By the time most professional people have reached middle age they are likely to have built up a number of different pension plans collectively containing an array of individual funds with various risk/return objectives and asset allocation models.

“By transferring their pension plans into a single SIPP, they can simplify a costly and inefficient retirement planning process and the administration required to manage it.”

More than one in five UK consumers (22%) holds more than one personal pension (i.e. excluding state pension), according to the study.

A third of those over 55 have more have between two and five personal pensions, compared to 8% of people aged 18-34. Men tend to own more multiple pensions than their female counterparts.

IW&I says that one of the main benefits of a Self-Invested Pension (SIPP) is the ability to better manage pension assets under one roof, however a vast number of people are failing to realise this key benefit.

Aitken added: “SIPPs offer numerous advantages to many people planning for their retirement. These include tax benefits, easy switching of funds, flexible investment options, and the ability to self-manage as much (or as little) of their pension as they like.

“It’s worrying that over two thirds of respondents said it was unlikely they would attempt to consolidate their numerous pensions, with the remaining 13% saying they were unsure.

“While SIPPs are not suitable for everyone, it’s clear that millions could be missing out on the huge advantages SIPPs can provide.”

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