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AJ Bell shakes up pension and investment charges

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AJ Bell has confirmed it will make sweeping changes to its fees and charges for pension and investment customers next year. Here’s what you need to know.

From 1 January 2021, investment platform AJ Bell will make a number of changes to its fees and charges – some of which will benefit customers, while others will add costs to users.

Here’s a round-up of what will change in the New Year:

Pension drawdown charges removed

  • Currently there is a charge of £25 + VAT for one off tax-free lump sum or income drawdown payments
  • Currently there is a charge of £100 + VAT for regular drawdown payments or lump sums.

SIPP exit fees removed

  • Currently there is a charge of £75 + VAT to transfer a SIPP to another provider, either as cash or in-specie.

In-specie transfer fee reduced 

  • Currently there is a charge of £25 to transfer each holding in-specie (without it being sold) to another platform. This is being reduced to £9.95 in line with its charge for buying and selling shares online.

Custody charges taken monthly, not quarterly

AJ Bell will increase the cap on the custody charge for shares, though the custody charge for shares remains at 0.25% of the amount invested. There’s no change to custody charges for funds:

  • SIPP and Junior SIPP – £10 per month (currently £25 per quarter) so the cap will rise from £100 a year to £120 a year
  • Stocks and shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, dealing account – £3.50 per month (currently £7.50 per quarter) so the cap will rise from £30 a year to £42 a year
  • Junior ISA – £2.50 per month (currently £5 per quarter) so the cap will rise from £20 a year to £30 a year.

An AJ Bell spokesperson, said: “Pension drawdown is becoming increasingly popular following pension freedoms and removal of those charges will ensure customers only pay our low platform charge of up to 0.25% a year whether they are growing their pension or making withdrawals.

“The cap on our shares custody charge has remained the same since October 2016 and a modest increase has been applied as part of these wider changes which also include the removal of our SIPP exit fee.”

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