What Is The Difference Between A Personal Pension & A SIPP?

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What Is The Difference Between A Personal Pension And A SIPP

Are you currently saving for your retirement? If pensions are currently an important consideration for you, in the UK you are likely to be faced with two main choices (outside of a workplace pension) – a standard personal pension (a package offered by UK pension institutions) or a self-invested personal pension (SIPP – typically offered by boutique providers and investment platforms, and also large pension institutions).

Both personal pensions and SIPPs are changing – traditional personal pensions are now providing access to a diversified range of investments, offering flexibility which has been more typically associated with SIPPs. So, what are the main advantages of SIPP pensions in comparison to a personal pension, and what are the charges? And how should you go about choosing a SIPP? In this blog, we look closer…

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The Advantages Of SIPPs

If you are looking for the widest range of investment options, SIPPs still hold the edge over traditional personal pensions. These include listed, and from some providers, unlisted shares. With a full SIPP, you open the door to tailored investments such as physically owned commercial property, but it should be noted that this variety of options sometimes isn’t available through DIY investment platforms. Simply put, the main difference between – and some might say, advantage of – SIPPs over a personal pension is that self-investment is now allowed with normal personal pensions.


Personal pensions can sometimes be the cheaper option due to their fixed rigidity, whereas SIPPs offer additional flexibility and represent a better investment for your money. For UK residents, the PP and SIPP might be worth weighing up against one another, but the UK-based SIPP is the only available option for UK expats in the US, especially those looking for more flexibility, visibility and control.

At FCC Management, we can ascertain whether a personal pension or a SIPP is appropriate for a customer after we have completed a comprehensive financial analysis.

For more guidance on the different options for a pension scheme UK-wide, why not download our UK pension guides? Click here for guides on SIPPs, and a variety of other pension-related subjects.

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