A SIPP and a SSAS... what the Dickens

Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) and Small Self Administered Schemes (SSAS) are rightly considered to be top of the hierarchy when it comes to pensions and rightly so. But because of this esteemed position, SIPPs and SSAS (let’s collectively call them self-invested pensions) are often held in some form of reverence because of their perceived complexities.

In literary terms pensions can be compared to some casual light reading through to your heavy duty musty hardback novels.

Let’s consider your mainstream defined contribution (or money purchase). I would say these are akin to a reliable Jeffrey Archer novel. Kain and Abel or As the Crow Flies – a solid dependable read with a reassuringly satisfying ending.

Next in the pension pecking order would be the simple SIPP. A glorified personal pension that can benefit from more flexible equity investment opportunities. A Stephen King springs to mind. The Shining or The Stand. A little bit more exciting, slightly more sinister, gripping at first with an uncertain but ultimately predictable finale.

And finally, we come to the literary giants. Dickens or Trollope (Anthony not Joanne!). Tried and tested, sometimes a challenging read where you have to invest some time to get the rewards. But the more attention you pay, the more you appreciate the twists and turns on the way, the solid underlying plot holding the story together and an inevitably thumping good ending. What better way to behold a SIPP or SSAS!

Whilst our staff at Morgan Lloyd are not all avid bibliophiles, they are avid experts in self invested pensions and are passionate about sharing that knowledge with advisers and clients alike. We appreciate how daunting this subject can be so we pride ourselves on offering a clear support structure, whether that be for the first time newbie or the most experienced SIPP or SSAS adviser, to help navigate simply through the options and opportunities that are on offer.

So we try hard to crush (or at least suppress) the perception that the self-invested pensions are unnecessarily complex. Yes they need a bit more work than traditional forms of defined contribution pensions, but like all things, more work yields greater results. But essentially the rules are exactly the same as all other types of pension, it’s simply the type of investments that are on offer are more flexible.

And the flexibility of the investment options is increasingly relevant during these difficult and unpredictable times as can be seen on the next page, so our plain English approach is now more important than ever.

In other words, we want our self-invested pensions to have the full complexities of a Dickens, the intensity of a Stephen King but the simplicity of an Archer.

Let’s put these Hard Times to bed and work towards those Great Expectations that self-invested pensions have to offer!


This information reflects the regulatory and taxation situation as it affects pensions at the time of publication in April 2017 and is provided to the best of our knowledge. It is not a complete representation of the pensions legislator landscape and is for guidance and information purposes only. We cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or subsequent legislative changes.