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Before you think you are reading an old article, I am of course referring to the start of the new tax year. 
It doesn't seem possible that it is 30 years since the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, stood to deliver his Budget on 14 March 1989. The immortal words ‘I propose to make it easier for people in personal pension schemes to manage their own investments’ led to what is now the self invested pensions (SIPP).
We recently saw the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) issue a policy statement in response to the consultation it carried out in June 2018 on retirement outcomes. As part of the consultation exercise, the FCA engaged with SIPP providers and the industry body AMPS, among others.
As the last of the mince pies are eaten and the decorations all taken down, thoughts turn to what 2019 will bring for the SIPP market. While SIPPs received a lot of negative attention in 2018, advisers and their clients still see the benefits of investing in this tax efficient way.
So it was with bated breath that Chancellor Philip Hammond stood to deliver his November Budget speech. Rumours has been swirling for weeks that pensions could be hit with changes to taxation. It was suggested that this would be to pay towards the NHS deficit among other things. It was with great relief that when he sat down and we reviewed the actual Budget papers that this was all just speculation and there was little impact. This can only be a good thing as any meddling impacts the distrust that consumers have for the pensions system and makes it difficult for advisers to plan for the long term with clients. How many times have we heard that PCLS or tax-free cash as it is more commonly known will be scrapped? Every Budget for as long as I can remember.
There has been a flurry of corporate results in the last few months from SIPP providers that have shown an increase in revenue due to the increase in SIPPs being set up due to the large number of DB transfers to SIPPs.
The FCA recently published its final report on the Retirement Outcomes Review which has some interesting ideas to improve the experience of non-advised consumers, but some of the areas could cause difficulties for the SIPP sector.

There was an interesting report from CoreData Research issued recently that showed full self invested pension schemes (SIPPs) have risen to the top of the wish list for advisers on platforms.

The fall-out from a General Election inevitably involves a game of musical chairs; masquerading as a Parliamentary reshuffle.
After serving six years on the AMPS Committee, three years of which as Chairman, I felt that it was the right time to step down and let someone else take the helm.
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