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Should SIPPS be Used to Fund Property Projects?

Brian Bennis, joint founder of SIPPclub, says that Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP) are an untapped money supply of more than £2trn that could be used to fund property projects.

Bennis says that the poor performance of the FTSE has left many people disillusioned with their pensions. He adds: "In the UK, it is estimated there's more than £2trn invested in pensions and most of it is languishing in the stock market."

He says of the fund managers: "Arguably, they have no interest whatsoever in making you money, because they pocket those fund charges whether your pension value rises or falls. People no longer trust the banks and the financial institutions. People are taking control. And when it comes to pensions, it's in the form of the 'self-invested personal pension.'

"In a SIPP, your money isn't managed by an insurance company. You make the decisions. Almost 1m people have already done it (transferred their pension to a SIPP). Between them, around £100bn is currently sitting in SIPPs."

According to Bennis, HMRC figures show that there were 52,000 commercial property transactions in 2011, the latest year for which data is available, worth £72bn. He says it is estimated that only 1,000 would have been done by SIPP investors, indicating the potential surge in activity that could occur.

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