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 (FCA Handbook reference IPRU-INV5.9). In addition, we allow Fixed Term Bank Accounts with terms of more than 30 days in the Option SIPP.

Please note we do not allow commercial property in the Option SIPP. If you would like to invest in commercial property you can do so through our Full SIPP; please refer to the section below.

Please contact our Customer Services team on 01204 803 500 or email us to see if we have an existing relationship with your chosen investment or platform provider or if we need to start our due diligence process to allow clients to invest with them. Alternatively please contact a member of our Sales team.

We have relationships with the majority of the UK’s Discretionary Fund Managers (DFMs) and stockbrokers, from the large national brands to lesser known names. If you have a particular firm in mind, please contact a member of our Sales team who will check to see if we have an existing relationship with the firm.

If your preferred DFM/Stockbroker is not a firm we have used before, we will need to complete our usual due diligence checks before proceeding. We will do this promptly once we have received your request so that we can open an account on behalf of your client(s) as soon as possible.

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. Alternatively, we have relationships with numerous other platforms if preferred, and can complete out usual due diligence checks on those platforms that we have not used before.

Regarding our Embark TPIA, 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:

Accout 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.

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

Individual funds

Clients can invest directly in UK regulated funds, without the need for a platform.

Execution only trading

If your client would like to use an execution only stockbroker, let us know which firm you would like to use and we will create an account for your client. If we have not used them previously we will need to complete our usual due diligence checks before proceeding.

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 allowable in the Option SIPP are also allowable in the Full SIPP, however in addition Full SIPP clients can also invest in commercial property, albeit subject to our due diligence requirements being met.

Examples of the property types that we allow are listed below; please contact us if you are in doubt whether your intended property purchase will be 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

Non-Standard investments

Other than fixed term bank accounts, we no longer allow non-standard investments in our Full SIPP. Non-standard investments are any investments that are not included in the FCA’s definition of a standard Asset.

If you already hold a non-standard investment, you can continue to do so; there is no requirement to dispose of it. However, will will not permit any top ups into the investment.

Below are examples of the types of non-standard investments that we no longer allow:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Precious Metal investments – gold, silver, platinum, copper etc apart from investment grade gold bullion
  • Harvestable commodities and plantations
  • Land banking
  • Residential property (including ground rent)
  • Secured or unsecured loans to connected or unconnected third parties
  • Life settlements
  • Contracts for difference
  • Carbon credits