Figures for 2015 show that 1.7 million Sipps were sold compared to just 150,319 in 2011.
With the pension freedoms came into force in April 2014, the number of Sipps being bought nearly trebled between 2014 and 2015 alone, with 607,744 sold in 2014.
Meanwhile, the numbers of Sipps sold in 2012 was 162,583, which doubled year-on-year to 341,377 in 2013.
The UK’s sweeping pension freedoms, intrduced in April 2015, allowed greater access to money held in defined benefit and defined contribution schemes for people aged over 55.
Pooling pension pots
Jason Porter, director of European IFA firm Blevin Franks, told International Adviser that he has seen a “gradual increase” in the number of clients using Sipps.
However, most of the firm’s clients, who are British expats living in Europe, still prefer to use qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (Qrops).
He added that since the pension freedoms were introduced, more and more people are pooling their pensions schemes – which may include a number of smaller pots from different jobs – into a wrapper such as a Sipp which may have lower fees.
“Instead of having three or four different pension schemes, be it company or private schemes, which all have different levels of charges and different investment philosophies, clients can move it into a Sipp where the overall charges might be less and for the funds that you go into the charges might be less,” said Porter.
“It also allows you to manage it [investments] how you want to manage it.”
Porter explained the increase may also be down to the increasing requests for pension transfers out of defined benefit pension schemes, which have seen a massive upsurge post-freedoms.