Exclusive – Axa Winterthur launches family group Sipp offering scheme pension

Axa Winterthur Wealth Management is launching a group Sipp to allow family members and others access to scheme pension, efficient pooled investment options and enhanced income withdrawals and allowing inheritance tax to be minimised.

Called the Family Suntrust, the product is a group Sipp written under its own trust to allow efficient management of pooled assets, including commercial property, by families, business partners and groups of individuals wanting to invest together. The name reflects Axa’s Sun Life brand.

The Family Suntrust allows members to benefit from ASP and UP at retirement, as well as scheme pension that will allow a 10 fixed term pension to be paid at 75 that is greater than that which will be possible through ASP.

Axa Winterthur says this is likely to make the product more attractive to those looking to reduce their inheritance tax liability by drawing as much as possible out of their fund.

All members’ assets are held in the fund together and the proportion of their entitlement is calculated on the basis of their contribution. After the Family Suntrust has been set up for a certain period it may be possible to allocate investment growth on a disproportionate basis to other scheme members.

Investors can invest in stocks, shares and collective investments managed by a discretionary fund manager, or through the Premier Invest offshore bond which includes a range of over 3,500 funds.

UK commercial property, other offshore and onshore bonds, stocks and shares and trustee investment plans are also permitted.

Mike Morrison, head of pension development at Axa Winterthur Wealth Management says: “We think this will be attractive to family businesses and other small groups wanting to manage property ownership and access discretionary management on a scheme basis. The Family Suntrust takes the best elements of Sipps and small self-administered schemes and puts them together.
“Being a Sipp you can still do UP and ASP, but you can also do scheme pension. GAD rates are down, which is making scheme pension at 75 more attractive, and you also get the possibility of the actuary factoring in short life expectancy. This is likely to require a lot of input from advisers, which I think will make it appeal to the intermediary community.”