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Self-Invested Personal Pension Schemes


If you are nearing retirement or are planning for your future, a SIPP pension may be worth your consideration. Here our award-winning solicitors share their knowledge to help answer some frequently asked questions about self-invested pension schemes and how they work.

What is a SIPP?

A Self Invested Personal Pension scheme (SIPP) is an efficient way of saving for retirement by investing in commercial property.

In April 2006, the acquisition of commercial property in UK and overseas using a SIPP became one of HM Revenue and Customs approved investments. It is now a UK Government approved personal pension scheme that allows an individual to have greater control and more freedom over how their pension pot is invested.

What Types of Property Can You Invest in?

The properties invested in must be commercial properties, such as:
  • Offices
  • Shops
  • Factory units
  • Warehouses
  • Hotels
  • Student accommodation
  • Care homes
The purchase of land for development of residential property or conversion is also permitted, providing the property is sold before it becomes habitable.

It is also possible to invest in the residential elements of commercial properties if they are either occupied by an employee as a condition of their employment. For example, a shop with a flat above where the shop and flat are rented to the shopkeeper.

What Are the Benefits of Investing in a SIPP?

The rental income received from a SIPP attracts no UK income tax and the capital of a property held by a pension scheme attracts no UK capital gains tax, although overseas properties may attract local tax. Furthermore, on death before retirement, the whole pension fund may be paid as a tax free lump sum.

Who Will Own the Property?

The trustees of the SIPP trust - usually the client and the SIPP provider - will buy the property and they will be the legal owner of the property.

How Do I Get a SIPP?

In order to invest in a SIPP, you must be a UK resident or transferring from one UK pension scheme to another. Once the pension scheme is established, the funds can paid into the SIPP by contributions or transfers from other pensions.

How Long Will the Process Take?

It is important to seek independent financial advice to set up the SIPP and to consider your options regarding your investment. However, should you decide to purchase commercial property via the SIPP, we can deal with the legal services required to purchase the property.

Whilst the purchase of property usually takes 4-6 weeks, the acquisition of a commercial property through a SIPP can take a little longer due to the need to comply with the SIPP’s requirements. As such, the transaction can take around 8-10 weeks. There may also be further delays if a mortgage is being taken out to purchase the property.

How Can Howells Help?

Our dedicated team of commercial property solicitors have experience in the acquisition and disposal of commercial property using SIPPs.

We regularly act for self-employed individuals and companies who purchase or transfer their business premise through their SIPP. We draft commercial leases which see the property leased back to the individual or company from the SIPP in order to run the business from the property. The rent due under the lease then belongs to the SIPP, which will be directly invested into the SIPP.

Speak to Our Friendly Team Today

Should you require any further information, our commercial property team at Howells Solicitors is on hand to help. Our aim is to make the transaction as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

Contact us on 0808 178 2773 or via our contact us page.


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