Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) have gained an increasing amount of interest in real estate investments from pension holders over recent years. The concept of SIPP plans was originally introduced in 1989, creating a ‘hands-on’ approach for pension holders to make full decisions of how and where their pension is invested. For real estate to be eligible for SIPP approval, the properties are required to undergo strict criteria approval, ensuring greater security as an investment option.
The development of SIPP plans have enabled integration and flexibility for pension holders to determine how their funds are invested, enabling control over the resulting returns. Traditional pension plans have often been limited in diversification, where investment options were entirely controlled by the fund managers.
The introduction of SIPP plans has created the opportunity for under-performing investments to be changed at the request of the pension holder, maximising the return potential. The flexibility of a SIPP offers many distinctive investment advantages, avoiding the problems associated with traditional plans that may be trapped into financial losses during periods of economic downturn.
Property Management Benefits
Investments into a wide range of properties can be obtained through property based investment funds. Real estate investments through SIPPs can also be purchased through property funds, where a diverse selection of property investments are selected and managed through field experts. This option allows for expansive return potential and lowers the risk factors involved.
Acting as an individual investor will enable the SIPP holder to benefit from personal control over the pension fund. Owning investment properties through a SIPP fund avoids the inconveniences of mortgages, complicated legal issues, high capital outlay and overall property management issues.
Tax benefits for property investments through a SIPP offer excellent opportunities for real estate with an absence of capital gains and inheritance taxes. Rental income from SIPP property investments is also devoid of taxes, while the rental income is paid back into the SIPP plan enabling the pension to further increase.
Contributions towards tax relief for SIPPs often follow the same regulations as traditional personal pensions, yet variations may occur in different countries. The full details, restrictions and requirements can be obtained from a tax advisor or financial advisor.
Personal control over the investment direction of the pension plan is one of the main benefits that differentiate a SIPP from a traditional pension. The flexibility of SIPPs has assisted in the growth of interest for the new options in pension management. The freedom to select assets either personally or with the advice and assistance of a financial advisor ensures that all pension holders, whether experienced in investments or not, are able to benefit from the advantages of SIPPs.
Although there is a restriction of up to 50% of the fund value to be used for investments, business colleagues, partners and other SIPP members can make joint investments allowing for a sizeable pooling of funds.
Investing in real estate through a SIPP offers excellent advantages for flexibility and control over personal pension plans. Although there are many tax and personal advantages, management fees are likely to be charged.
The property purchased through the investment fund may not be available for personal use, as the property will effectively be an asset of the pension fund. Both pension funds and the property to be purchased will be required to have authorisation from the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Full details and advice should be obtained from a pension advisor or a tax specialist to receive advice tailored to individual requirements.