Introduction to SIPPs - What is a SIPP?

In retirement planning, understanding the various pension options can be a daunting task. This article / page is about Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) which are regarded as a flexible and powerful tool for retirement savings, a SIPP empowers you to take charge of your pension investments with favourable tax benefits. Combining investment freedom and tax relief, SIPPs have become a cornerstone in building a substantial retirement pot.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding what a SIPP is
  • Exploring SIPPs structure and benefits
  • Learning about eligibility, contributions, and investments

This page will unfold the intricacies of SIPPs, their structure, and the various benefits that they can unlock for your future. To delve into the essentials of SIPPs, contributing not just to your knowledge but also to your long-term financial security, continue with this article: 


The Structure of SIPPs

Central to comprehending the nature of a SIPP is its basic structure: a personal pension that offers wider investment options than standard pension plans. Unlike a conventional workplace pension, a SIPP permits you to invest in a myriad of assets, including stocksfunds, and even commercial property. Such diverse offerings allow for a tailored approach to achieving your retirement goals.

The SIPP presents an appealing choice for taxpayers and investors alike, granting them control over their retirement savings. Tax relief enhances contributions, while the potential for tax efficiency serves as an additional enticement for savvy investors.



The Evolution of SIPPs

SIPPs have undergone significant developments since their inception SIPPs have adapted to meet the evolving needs of pension savers. Their flexibility and the increased focus on self-investment options continue to set SIPPs apart from other pensions.


“The SIPP has come a long way, adapting and evolving to suit the changing landscape of pension savings. They offer an unprecedented level of control to savers.”

Learn more with our History of SIPPs article.

Types of SIPPs Available

SIPPS offer a wide choice of places to invest. Whether you’re tempted by the straightforward nature of a low-cost SIPP ie OASIS / Platform or the comprehensive features of a full SIPP, there’s something for everyone. Each type of SIPP caters to different levels of investment experience and commitment, ensuring that your pension can be as hands-on or hands-off as you desire.

Along with your Financial Adviser we would suggest that you consider what time you have to manage the pension, your knowledge of investments and your comfort level with risk before deciding which SIPP best suits your purposes.


. For more on the types of SIPPs available, visit our page on Types of SIPPs.

Who is Eligible for a SIPP?

Before setting up a SIPP you need to check whether you are eligible. Generally, if you are 18 years or older and a resident in the UK, you can open a SIPP. Self-employed individuals, in particular, may find SIPPs a valuable option, as they often lack access to a workplace pension scheme.

Alltrusts SIPPS are for those with over £100,000 to invest (£50,000 for OASIS / Platform), who are advised by a FCA regulated adviser unless they are Knowledgeable Investors and looking for medium to long term investment that they or their advisers will direct.


You can run a SIPP besides your workplace pension provided you do not exceed the annual allowance. To fully grasp the eligibility criteria for a SIPP, refer to SIPP Eligibility on our website.

How to Open a SIPP

Opening a SIPP may seem complex but is a fairly simple process once your adviser has recommended a SIPP Provider for your circumstances.


. For a comprehensive guide for opening a SIPP with Alltrust, please consult our step-by-step guide on How to Open a SIPP

Contribution Limits and Rules

Knowing the contribution limits and rules is important to ensure you do not incur a tax liability. The annual allowance limits how much money you can contribute to your pensions each year with tax relief. The government sets the limit, which affects how much you can grow your pension pot tax-efficiently.


Remember, contributions to your SIPP can receive tax relief at your highest tax rate, but you may need to know how to claim this. Dive deeper into this topic on the SIPP Contribution Limits page.

Understanding SIPP Fees

From administrative fees to charges for specific transactions, understanding all potential costs associated with your SIPP will ensure that you make informed decisions about your retirement strategy.


Compared to traditional pensions, SIPPs may have higher fees due to their flexible investment options. However, we can help you navigate and understand these fees. Discover more by visiting Understanding SIPP Fees. All of Alltrust’s SIPP Fees are clear and transparent and are outlined in our Fee Cards.

Investment Choices within SIPPs

SIPPs offer an array of investment choices that you or your adviser can select from, including shares and bonds to direct investments in commercial property. This gives you the ability to personalise where your pension invests.


Your adviser will be able to guide you through the options and confirm what is suitable for you considering your risk tolerance and financial goals. A deeper look into your investment options is available at SIPP Investment Choices.

The Associated Risks of SIPPs

Alongside the benefits, there are inherent risks associated with SIPPs. From market volatility to the complexity of certain investments, to the pitfalls of certain types of investments. Understanding these risks enables you to make better investment decisions and mitigate possible downturns.


You should thoroughly evaluate your investment choices and assess your comfort level with the associated risks. Before making any decisions we strongly believe that you should seek financial advice from a suitably qualified individual. To learn about reducing risks and strategic investment, visit Risks of SIPPs, and furthermore, use our risk profiling tool, to understand your risk appetite.

The Benefits of Having a SIPP

There are many benefits to having a SIPP. From the tax relief on contributions to the freedom to choose where to invest your funds, to the flexible benefits available in retirement a SIPP can be a useful addition to your retirement planning arsenal. You can consolidate all your pensions into one pot but before doing this you should seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser.

“Choosing a SIPP can transform your retirement savings, offering control, flexibility, and potentially significant tax advantages.” For a detailed breakdown of the advantages a SIPP can offer, have a look at Benefits of SIPPs

Tax Benefits and Tax Relief with SIPPs

Investing through a SIPP wrapper there are not only investment opportunities but also significant tax benefits. Contributions up to £40,000—or 100% of your earnings, whichever is lower—can receive tax relief at your highest tax rate each year.


There is 25% tax free cash upon taking benefits, most investments grow tax free and it is a useful part of inheritance tax planning.

How SIPPs Compare to WorkPlace Pensions

Workplace pensions are the pension your employer offers, for example, occupational schemes.  SIPPs are offered to individuals although employer contributions can be paid into them.

The key differences are:

  • Control: SIPPs offer a broader range of investment choices.
  • Flexibility: SIPPs allow for more personalised retirement planning.
  • Taking benefits:  SIPPs have a flexible retirement age unlike workplaces pensions which have a set one.

Understanding the nuances between these options enables you to navigate the path that best suits your retirement needs and goals.

Transferring Funds into a SIPP

You can transfer any UK registered pension into your SIPP but if you are transferring a Defined Benefit Pension or one with a guarantee etc you must first obtain regulated financial advice. Such a consolidation can simplify your retirement planning and potentially broaden your investment horizon. Consider these points:

  • Assessment: Evaluate your existing pensions for transfer suitability.
  • Process:  The process is simple for cash only transfer and will take longer for In Specie transfers.
  • Benefits: There are advantages to having all your pensions in one place eg only pay one annual fee.
  • However please note that it is always a good idea to seek regulated financial advice before transferring pensions.

SIPP is a wrapper for your retirement savings, offering a streamlined approach.

SIPP and Inheritance: What You Need to Know

Your SIPP can be a useful tool in inheritance planning. SIPPs offer inheritance tax advantages, allowing the transfer of your pension wealth to your beneficiaries, often outside of your estate for inheritance tax purposes.

  • Mitigation: SIPPs can be structured to reduce inheritance tax liabilities.
  • Flexibility: Pass on your SIPP to beneficiaries in a tax-efficient manner.
  • Continuity: Preserve your investment’s value for future generations.

Alltrust look to offer a SIPP that aids in your retirement goals and can be used to look after your family after you pass away.

SIPP Withdrawal Rules and Regulations

From age 55, you can typically start withdrawing from your SIPP.  There are a number of options available, including lump sums, income, ad hoc payments, and not taking anything until later in life.

  • Timing: Select the most advantageous moments for withdrawal.
  • Amount: Determine withdrawal sums that align with your needs.
  • Strategy: Develop a tax-efficient decumulation strategy.

Your SIPP can be adapted to your changing life circumstances, ensuring versatility on when you take your SIPP monies.

Managing Your SIPP in Times of Market Volatility

Markets can fluctuate which makes  managing your SIPP  challenging. With your adviser you need to ensure that what you instruct us to invest in covers the fluctuations and provides for your financial needs.

  • Strategy: Adjust your investment approach based on the market climate.
  • Diversification: Spread your investments to manage risk.
  • Inflation:  Attempt to beat inflation so your pension fund at least keeps up with price increases.

Unless you are a Knowledgeable Investor we would strongly suggest that you seek regulated financial advice to make sure your pension is on track to meet your requirements.

Retirement Planning with a SIPP

Taking a SIPP means embracing flexibility and taking control of your financial future..  Your adviser and you need to work together to meet your financial needs.

  • Goals: Define your retirement vision and align your SIPP.
  • Control: Exercise increased control over your investments.
  •  Financial Needs:  Confirm what is needed and adjust during lifetime to meet those required at retirement.

  The SIPPs we offer aid you in realising your financial needs at retirement.

Frequently Asked Questions About SIPPs

What should I look for when considering a SIPP?

To start a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), you must understand the basics surrounding pensions and the tax implications, including contributions, allowances, and taking benefits. We strongly suggest that before you set up a SIPP you obtain regulated financial advice including where the pension monies should be invested, your capacity for risk and your financial needs.

The key steps to consider when starting a SIPP include:

  1. Assess Your Financial Situation: Before opening a SIPP, review your current financial status, pension savings, and investment goals.
  2. Choose a SIPP Provider: You must select a SIPP provider that suits your investment needs and offers the flexibility you require.
  3. Set Up Your SIPP: After choosing a provider, you’ll need to complete their application process, which typically involves providing personal information and will require setting up a bank account to handle transactions.
  4. Transfer Existing Pensions (If Applicable): You can consolidate existing pension funds into your SIPP, subject to the rules of your current pensions and the acceptance policies of your chosen SIPP provider.
  5. Understand Contribution Limits: Be aware of annual allowance limits to avoid tax charges.
  6. Understand lump sum allowances: Be aware that if you have used your lump sum or lump sum death benefit allowances any lump sums from your pension will be 100% taxed.
  7. Choose Investments: Decide on the investments that will be held within your SIPP, which can include stocks, bonds, funds, and commercial property.
  8. Stay Informed and Compliant: Keep up to date with rules and regulations to ensure that your pension remains tax-efficient and aligns with your retirement plans.

It’s advisable to seek professional financial advice for personalised guidance tailored to your circumstances, to ensure compliance with regulations and to optimise tax advantages. You can find more information on our SIPPs on the Alltrust website

What can I invest in through a SIPP?

Please see our Permitted Investment List which is available on our website list also includes those investments which are not acceptable to be held within a SIPP.

At what age can I withdraw from my SIPP?

Generally, pension benefits can be taken from age 55 onwards. 


Pension benefits can be taken as a tax free lump sum (usually 25% of the pension fund), income or both.  It can be paid monthly, annually or on an ad hoc basis.


There is also the option to take part of the fund or the whole of the fund as a lump sum where 25% will be tax free and the rest paid at your tax band at the time of payment.

Browse our FAQs on the for further details on these and other pressing questions.

What type of SIPPs do Alltrust offer?

Alltrust offer the following SIPPs:

OASIS / Platform SIPP                 a basic SIPP that allows one Designated Fund Manager (DFM) or Platform One + cash.

Full SIPP                                      allows all investments on the Permitted Investment List including Commercial Property.

Syndicate SIPP                             a group of individuals wish to purchase a commercial property and some or all want to use their pensions to purchase the property.

SIPPs Our Conclusion

SIPPs offer you a chance to control your retirement journey, tax efficiency, and investment variety Alltrust, are committed to helping your adviser and you with each step of your retirement journey.

Ready to explore how a SIPP can fit into your retirement plans? Please Contact us and let’s start your journey towards your retirement needs.

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