Pointon York launches Sharia-compliant self invested personal pensions

Pointon York has launched a range of Sharia-compliant self-invested personal pensions (Sipps) as part of efforts to meet a growing demand from Muslim savers for a suitable retirement plan.

Pointon York, which has received accreditation for the Islamic Bank of Britain, will offer four Sipps, including a corporate Sipp, which is made up of three tiers. An e-Sipp is a low-cost option and can be easily managed online, meaning that employees have access to up-to-date fund and transaction details at all times.

Meanwhile, the single investment Sipp allows employees to invest one kind of asset. Employees in an individual sipp have an unlimited choice of funds. Praemium provides the technology platform where funds are held.

Employers can offer one option or all three levels to their workforce. Typically the e-Sipp would be offered to lower earners and the single investment is suitable for those on mind-range salaries, while the individual option is aimed at executives. It is at the employer’s discretion to offer staff an upgrade if their circumstances change.

Jo French, managing director of Pointon York, said: “It will also provide IFAs with the right products to deliver bespoke tax and wealth management strategies to the Muslim community. Employers will also benefit by being able to offer staff a pension scheme in advance of the 2012 auto-enrolment deadline.”

Sultan Choudhury, commercial director at the Islamic Bank of Britain said: “Fresh warnings are issued daily that Britons will not have enough money to live on when they retire. Many British Muslims are party to this due to the limited choices of Sharia compliant products available to them. Retirement planning has been neglected because, amongst other reasons, the specific needs of Muslims have not been addressed.”

The most recognisable principle of Islamic finance is that products and services operate without interest. Investments must exclude all interest-bearing transactions and should also exclude unethical business activities such as pornography, gambling, speculation and tobacco.

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