Abundance, a regulated online platform that lets people lend money to renewable energy projects in the UK and share in the returns from generating low-carbon electricity, has launched a personal pension. From the Abundance Blog: “We’re pleased to announce the launch of the Abundance Pension. It’s something you told us you wanted, so we’ve made it happen.”
The Abundance Pension is a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), which is being offered in partnership with European Pensions Management Ltd (EPM). It lets you invest directly into the Abundance project(s). They say it can help protect some of your money from stock market volatility, as the price of renewable energy is uncorrelated to global stock markets. Every investment into a project provides returns twice a year that can be reinvested into new projects.
Ahead of the launch, Abundance commissioned OnePoll to carry out an independent survey – and the results included:
– 88% of us think it’s our responsibility to provide for our retirement, but just 63% of us have a pension
– Almost half of us (47%) are concerned about the effect of global stock market shocks – like the recent one in China – on our pensions
– Accordingly, 44% of us are interested in pension options that reduce our exposure to these markets
– One fifth of us (21%) would save more into our pensions if we knew exactly where our money was being invested
Bruce Davis, co-founder and joint MD of Abundance said: “We hope that this new product’s unique combination of tax relief, the diversified and uncorrelated nature of our Debentures, and the steady and attractive returns they pay from investments matching our customers’ values will make the product a significant new motivation for many people to save more towards their retirement.
“Finally they will have easy and direct access to choose between diverse investment assets, all with a social or environmental benefit, and all paying consistent, strong and uncorrelated returns within a tax-advantaged pension wrapper.”
“The Abundance Pension launch is also a useful precursor to the arrival of the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) next year, which we also plan to offer. If anyone had any doubts as to how competitive and effective an ‘IFISA’ is likely to be, the Abundance Pension provides a very promising indication.”
John Fleetwood of independent SRI Consultants 3D Investing said: “This is a great initiative. Holding non listed investments in pensions is difficult and can be expensive. Abundance has teamed up with a provider that facilitates this at a low cost. Abundance investments are suited to investors with a 15-20 year time horizon, which makes them a good fit for a pension (assuming that they deliver the projected returns).”
So how does it all work?
You’ll find more information in the new pensions section of the Abundance website. You download forms from their website, fill them out, and send them in. Abundance processes them with EPM, who will open the pension for you. Once it’s open, Abundance gets in touch to let you know and you can start making tax free investments into Abundance projects. It’s free to open and transfer, with no management fee until October 2016.
If you do have any questions, send Abundance an email at [email protected], or give them a call on 020 3475 866 during office hours (Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:30).
The Abundance Pension is a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) provided by European Pensions Management (EPM), who are authorised and regulated by the FCA (461099). Setting up an Abundance Pension involves entering into a SIPP contract with EPM to hold Abundance Debentures. Abundance is not a direct pension provider and cannot give pension advice.