News update – Staff given chance to invest in firm’s fund

Martin Currie, the investment management company, has launched a group self-invested personal pension (SIPP) increasing choice for its 223 staff by allowing them to invest in the firm’s own fund.

Andy Sowerby, managing director of marketing, distribution and product management for Martin Currie, said the firm enlisted providers Hargreaves Lansdown after new pensions simplification rules introduced in April paved the way for group SIPPs. Previously, members of occupational pension schemes who earned more than £30,000 were not allowed to pay into any other scheme.

But changes introduced on April 6 allow workers to invest in a raft of different funds. "With A-Day some of our staff were looking at their own pension provision and introducing their own SIPP. We felt that as an employer, with a number of staff looking at [a SIPP], it was right for us to look at that as an option we could provide and administer as a benefit for our staff," he added.

Staff were particularly keen to invest in the firm’s own fund. "It gives us access to a variety of underlying investment options, including Martin Currie’s own fund, the fund we manage ourselves. Our staff were very keen to take charge of their own investment choices," he added.

Sowerby said the organisation aimed to give staff a range of pension investment options. "We’re a fund management company. We wanted to give our staff a toolkit of different pension provisions. We have a defined contribution scheme in place already, which is non contributory. The group SIPP sits alongside it."

The product includes an online function allowing investors to trade shares and research investments. Tom McPhail, head of pensions research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said group SIPPs were becoming popular and the company was working with several FTSE 100 clients on similar schemes.