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Bill Aitchison was introduced to Mattioli Woods by his longstanding accountant who had worked previously with our consultancy team. Bill had built up various pension arrangements over a number of years with insurance companies and also through a final salary scheme arrangement.

At the point he was introduced to us, Bill was receiving pension income from his insured pension benefits; two separate SIPP arrangements and his final salary scheme pension. Shortly approaching age 75, and disappointed with the performance of his insured pension scheme investments, we developed a strategy in conjunction with Bill’s accountants, which enabled him to maximise the cash he held personally and better use his pension assets. The main problem was with his impending 75th birthday only four weeks away, action needed to be taken quickly as under the prevailing rules Bill was required to withdraw all of his tax-free lump sum prior to age 75.

Having undertaken a full audit and review of Bill’s existing pension benefits and other assets, it was concluded that by maximising his pension contributions prior to age 75 and transferring his two existing SIPPs to a Mattioli Woods Family SIPP, Bill could utilise the funds in order to purchase a commercial property, which he owned personally. This would maximise the amount of cash held by Bill both through the payment of his tax-free lump sum and release of the funds from the purchase of the commercial property, whilst providing a long-term stable income for him and his family via his Family SIPP.

Although the timescales were exceptionally short, within four weeks we undertook the transaction in conjunction with the solicitors appointed by Bill, and were in a position to receive contributions, arrange for the transfers-in of his existing benefits, purchase the commercial property and subsequently settle his tax-free cash payment, all before he reached his 75th birthday.

Taking into consideration the significant changes in pension legislation, the use of the Family SIPP in this circumstance was an ideal vehicle, as given Bill’s existing State pension benefits and final salary scheme pension benefits, the SIPP opened the route for the adoption of flexible drawdown, essentially allowing Bill to select his level of income from the pension scheme going forward.