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Permitted investments

Investments held in our self-invested pensions must meet our requirements for permissible assets. Occasionally legislation will affect particular asset types and render them unacceptable, where this is the case we reserve the right to disinvest.

Members can appoint an investment manager to run portfolios in their scheme. If so, we offer guidance on the administration requirements and acceptability of assets.

Investments that can be held in the Option SIPP

All investments for the Option SIPP must meet the FCA’s definition of Standard Assets (please note we do not allow commercial property in the Option SIPP). In addition, we allow Fixed Term Bank Accounts with terms of more than 30 days in the Option SIPP.

Below you will find examples of companies that have terms in place with EBS Pensions. These firms have been through our due diligence process, and in turn, completed regulatory checks on us.

Please contact our Customer Services team on 01204 803 500 or email us to see if your chosen investment or platform provider is available or can be added to our panel.

We have relationships with more than 45 discretionary fund managers (DFMs) and stockbrokers, from the big national brands to lesser known names and a selection of digital wealth managers. For an up-to-date list, please contact a member of our Sales team.

If your client is looking to purchase funds, shares, bonds or other assets that can be held on a platform, we can open up an Embark Third Party Investment Account (TPIA) within an Option SIPP.

It’s extremely cost effective and you can set-up an account for your client without the need for any client signatures.

Here are the costs for the TPIA:

Account value             TPIA

£0 – £150k                                                  0.150%

£150k – £500k                                          0.125%

£500k – £1m                                              0.100%

£1m+                                                              0.100%

Please note the TPIA costs will be charged in addition to the Option SIPP fees.

How much could a client save?

This structure could save clients considerable amounts of money in their pension, especially for clients with larger pots. Let’s take a client with a £500,000 SIPP who is not taking an income from their pension.

The market average platform fee is 0.29%* for pot sizes of £500,000 which equates to £1,450.

If your client decided to use an Embark Option SIPP with an Embark TPIA instead, the fees will be…

£228 (£190 plus VAT) + £662.50 (TPIA fees) = £890.50

A saving of £559.50 per annum!

*Source: lang cat – Fixed that for you: State of the platform nation 2018.

Other platform accounts are available. Contact our Customer Services team on 01204 803 500 or email to find out more.

Individual funds

Clients can invest directly in UK regulated funds, without the need for a platform. We have arrangements with the following fund managers:

  • Margetts Fund Management
  • Rathbones
  • Sequel Funds
  • Levendi
  • Vanguard Asset Management*
  • Dimensional Fund Advisors*
*Minimum investment £100k.

Execution only trading

If your client would like to use an execution only stockbroker, these options are available:

  • EQi
  • James Brearley, ICON Platform
  • Stocktrade

SIPP deposit accounts

In addition to the Metro Bank or Royal Bank of Scotland transactional SIPP account, your client can hold additional deposit accounts with their Option SIPP. Contact our Customer Services team on 01204 803 500 or email us to find out more.

Additional investments that can be held in the Full SIPP

All investments that are available through the Option SIPP are also available through the Full SIPP. Clients that have a Full SIPP can also invest in property and certain non-standard assets, albeit subject to our due diligence requirements being met.

The asset classes that we allow are listed below; please contact us if you are in any doubt whether your investment choice is allowable.


The following are examples of properties that we will consider in the Full SIPP:

  • Offices
  • Retail shop
  • Retail shop (multi-tenant)
  • Retail Financial Services
  • Restaurant
  • Café
  • Drinking establishment
  • Hot food takeaway
  • Office (single tenant)
  • Office (multi tenant)
  • General industrial
  • Special industrial
  • Storage or distribution
  • Hotel
  • Non-residential institution
  • Leisure
  • Land for commercial purposes
  • Agricultural land

Read more


The following non-standard investments are allowable. We will perform additional due diligence on these investments before we will allow them in the Full SIPP.

  • Fixed term bank accounts with terms of more than 30 days
  • Exempt Property Unit Trusts (EPUTS)
  • Unauthorised Unit Trusts
  • Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes (UCIS)
  • Qualified Investor Schemes
  • Securities in Special Purpose Vehicles
  • Limited partnerships
  • Trust-based property syndicates
  • Hedge Funds
  • Offshore bonds
  • Unlisted Equities (UK and non-UK)
  • Unlisted Futures, Options and Warrants
  • Unlisted Corporate Bonds
  • Unlisted Loan Notes


While we aim to offer the widest range of investment opportunities possible, some assets cannot be held in our self-invested pensions. Including:

  • Tangible moveable property including: plant and machinery, wind turbines, solar panels, antiques, fine wine, furniture, jewellery and gemstones, oriental rugs, rare books and stamps, vintage cars, works of art, Krugerrands and yachts
  • Residential property (including ground rent)
  • Secured or unsecured loans to connected or unconnected third parties
  • Carbon credits
  • Harvestable commodities and plantations
  • Land banking
  • Life settlements
  • Contracts for difference
  • Precious Metal investments – gold, silver, platinum, copper etc apart from investment grade gold bullion