Barnett Waddingham SIPP: Why Choose It?

Barnett Waddingham is celebrated for its exceptional customer service and expertise in bespoke pension solutions. They cater to individuals desiring a hands-on approach to their retirement planning.
  • Last Updated: 22 Mar 2024
  • Fact Checked
  • Our team recently fact checked this article for accuracy. However, things do change, so please do your own research.


Francis Hui
Discover the Pros & Cons of Self-Invested Personal Pensions & Plan Your Future. Read This Guide for an Analysis of the SIPPS Offered By Barnett Waddingham.
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Key Takeaways
  • A Barnett Waddingham SIPP is a self-invested personal pension that allows individuals to take control of their retirement savings.
  • The benefits of a Barnett Waddingham SIPP for retirement planning include tax advantages, flexibility in investment choices, and potential for higher returns.
  • To open an account, you need to contact Barnett Waddingham directly and go through their account opening process.
  • They offer a wide range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and commercial property.
  • The fees vary depending on the investment choices and services selected, and they are calculated based on a percentage of the pension value or transaction size.

When navigating the world of pensions, the Barnett Waddingham SIPP emerges as a strong contender, especially for wealthier individuals aiming to secure their financial future. 

Given that 55% of Britons don’t know their pension pot’s value, understanding how pension schemes work has never been more important.1 

The Barnett Waddingham SIPP’s distinct features and its alignment with those possessing more substantial assets place it in a unique position in the pensions landscape.

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    Understanding SIPPs providers could potentially make a real difference to your retirement savings, so the Every Investor team has spent hours investigating the intricacies of the SIPP offered by Barnett Waddingham to establish how it compares to other options.

    Read on to find out what you need to know.

    Who Is Barnett Waddingham?

    Barnett Waddingham is a UK-based consulting and advisory firm specializing in actuarial, pension, and investment services.

    The company offers a range of services, including pension scheme administration, actuarial consulting, and investment advice.

    Barnett Waddingham is known for its expertise in the pension and employee benefits industry, providing services to a diverse client base.

    However, it’s advisable to check for the latest information about Barnett Waddingham, as details about companies may evolve over time.

    What Is a SIPP?

    The Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), available in the UK, offers individuals an opportunity for greater autonomy over their retirement savings.

    This personal pension plan allows for the selection and management of a wide variety of investments, including equities, fixed-income securities, and real estate, within the pension fund.

    What Are the Advantages of a Barnett Waddingham SIPP?

    A Barnett Waddingham SIPP offers several advantages for individuals looking to plan for their retirement.

    Firstly, it provides a wide range of investment options, allowing individuals to diversify their portfolio and potentially maximize returns.

    Additionally, the SIPP offers flexibility in terms of contributions, enabling individuals to make regular or one-off payments depending on their financial situation.

    Furthermore, the SIPP allows for tax-efficient savings, with contributions benefitting from tax relief and the potential for tax-free growth within the pension.

    Overall, a Barnett Waddingham SIPP offers individuals the opportunity to take control of their retirement planning with a flexible and tax-efficient solution.

    One of the unique advantages of a Barnett Waddingham SIPP is the access to their expert guidance and support.

    They provide personalized advice tailored to each individual’s financial goals and circumstances, ensuring that their pension plan aligns with their specific needs.

    Additionally, the SIPP offers a transparent and user-friendly online platform, giving individuals easy access to their pension information and enabling them to manage their investments effectively.

    With their extensive experience and expertise in the pension industry, Barnett Waddingham ensures that individuals can make informed decisions and optimize their retirement savings.

    What Does Barnett Waddingham Do?

    Barnett Waddingham acts as a one-stop shop for pensions, risk management, insurance, and wealth management.2

    Brief History & Overview

    The firm was founded in 1989 when Adrian Waddingham and Rodney Barnett merged their small actuarial businesses to form the partnership we now know as Barnett Waddingham (BW).3

    Since then, the company has grown from 20 people to more than 1,520 across nine offices.4

    Key Players in Barnett Waddingham’s Development

    Key players in Barnett Waddingham’s development include Nick Salter, who was with the firm since the beginning and was instrumental in building the company into what it is today.

    He took over from Adrian Waddingham as senior partner in 2012, a role he held until his retirement in 2022.5 

    The company’s current senior partner is Andrew Vaughan, and Julia Bassett is the CEO of the company’s SIPP business.6

    Current Market Position

    Barnett Waddingham is a significant market player, overseeing more than 61,000 SIPPs valued at £13,43 billion, inclusive of over 1,300 commercial properties.7 

    The company’s standout skills lie in white-label SIPPs and third-party administration, which have powered the company’s impressive growth. 

    What are white-label SIPPs?

    These products are offered by SIPP providers ‘but can be branded and modified to suit an intermediary firm’.8

    Thanks to its particular focus, BW has drawn in a significant chunk of top businesses, with nearly 25% of the FTSE 100 and about 10% of FTSE 350 companies.9

    What is Barnett Waddingham’s Flexible SIPP?

    Barnett Waddingham’s Flexible SIPP merges the best of ‘lite’ and bespoke SIPPs.

    The company can also manage your organisation’s pension fund and provide co-branded (or ‘white-label’) digital SIPP options.10

    Key Features & Benefits

    Among the key features and benefits of a BW SIPP is its focus on commercial property transactions.11

    Another perk is the product’s adaptability, namely:

    • a lower-cost option that allows you to invest your funds in a single portfolio with one of BW’s investment provider panels
    • a more expensive option with the full range of assets, with the flexibility to switch between these options.12

    Costs & Charges

    The costs and charges associated with this SIPP comprise an annual fee of £265 and setup fees of £100–£400. 

    Other charges include:

    • a £200 fee payable when withdrawing money flexibly from your pension pot (known as ‘flexi-access drawdown’)
    • a £125 annual fee if you choose to withdraw money regularly each month or quarter 
    • a £75 fee for annual or one-time withdrawals
    • a minimum charge of £800 for property purchases, and an annual property fee of £200.13

    How Does Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP Offering Compare With Competitors?

    Comparing Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP offering with competitors’ products may help you determine which option would best suit your needs.

    One useful starting point could be weighing up the fees charged by different providers.

    For example:

    • Barnett Waddingham’s Flexible SIPP has a yearly admin fee of £265 and setup fees of £100–£400, with varying drawdown and property-related charges.
    • By contrast, Interactive Investor charges a flat monthly fee of £12,99 for its Pension Builder Plan and £19,99 for its Super Investor plan, with a £119,88 annual custody fee. 
    • AJ Bell offers one of the lowest platform fees on the market at 0,25% of your total investment value, with a fee of £4,95 per trade if you perform more than 10 transactions per month.
    • Curtis Banks, which also offers an extensive commercial property portfolio, has an annual admin fee of £352.

    While each provider offers its own advantages, careful consideration of fees, services, and your investment size can guide you to the best fit.


    Costs are not the only consideration when choosing the most suitable SIPP for your unique needs, so speak to a pensions advisor if you would like a closer analysis.

    While the fees quoted here were accurate on 22/12/2023, they may have changed since our last update.

    How Do You Go About Investing With Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP Product?

    Investing with Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP product brings with it a range of investment options as well as universal SIPP features such as flexible drawdown options and tax benefits.

    Types of Investments Available

    Barnett Waddingham offers various types of investments, with its primary focus on its 4,000-strong commercial property portfolio.14 

    Flexibility & Withdrawal Options

    When it’s time to draw your pension, you have the flexibility of the usual withdrawal options available to SIPPs, such as a 25% tax-free lump sum on retirement, drawdowns, or purchasing an annuity.

    Your retirement benefits hinge on your SIPP’s investment value at retirement.

    Annuity or drawdown pension income rates vary based on age, health, lifestyle, pension form, beneficiary provisions, and investment yields.15

    Tax Implications

    Your SIPP contributions are subject to tax relief up to the annual allowance,16 and there is no tax applicable on your investment growth or the 25% amount you can withdraw on retirement.17

    Who’s Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP Product Best Suited to?

    Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP product is best suited to customers keen on consolidating pension pots, especially those with investable wealth starting at £50,000.


    Those interested in property investments through BW would need at least £200,000. 

    The product is a potential fit for individuals transitioning to or in retirement who want to diversify their pension portfolio, particularly those keen on unique opportunities beyond standard workplace options, and those comfortable with managing their investments or having an advisor on board.18

    How Do You Open a Barnett Waddingham SIPP?

    Opening a Barnett Waddingham SIPP is fairly straightforward and can be done online.

    Who Is Eligible?

    Although the BW Flexible SIPP is available to everyone, a typical new client is between the ages of 40 and 65, has a fair understanding of pensions, is affluent, and acknowledges the inherent investment risks involved in SIPPs.19

    What Is the Minimum Investment?

    The company suggests a minimum investment of £50,000.20

    What Is the Process?

    You or your financial advisor will need to apply and submit the necessary paperwork, which you can obtain from the BW website.21

    How Do You Navigate Barnett Waddingham’s Digital Platform?

    Navigating Barnett Waddingham’s digital platform proves easy, as it allows access to portfolio data and investment tools.

    User Interface & Experience

    Barnett Waddingham’s platform SIPP Online is where you or your advisor can manage your SIPP accounts.

    The platform provides round-the-clock access to vital information, with separate, easy-to-navigate zones.22

    Tools & Resources Available

    The tools and resources available include secure document delivery and storage, portfolio valuations, real-time cash balances, and downloadable cash statements. 

    You can also use the platform to view your contribution history and pension payment history, and to inform BW of any address changes. 

    In future, you’ll be able to:

    • provide instructions
    • upload documents 
    • initiate drawdowns 
    • adjust pension payment amounts
    • make ad hoc contributions using your card 
    • manage direct debit contributions.23

    How To Contact Customer Service & Support?

    Customer service and support play a critical role in maintaining solid relationships with customers and ensuring their needs are met efficiently and effectively.

    Contact Channels

    Some of BW’s contact channels available are email, post, contact forms, and telephone.

    Response Times

    According to Trustpilot’s analysis, Barnett Waddingham responds to negative reviews in less than two days.

    Client Reviews & Testimonials

    Based on 61 reviews, Trustpilot has rated Barnett Waddingham 1.6 out of five stars for ‘poor’ customer service.24

    However, given the size of BW’s customer base of 61,000 SIPPs (apart from other clients),25 this is a very small sample from which to assess the company’s customer service.

    On the other hand

    BW received an Investor in Customers Silver Award with a score of  7.36 out of 10 in 2022, based on an in-depth, independent assessment of clients’ and advisers’ views.26

    What is Regulatory Compliance & Protection?

    Barnett Waddingham operates under strict regulatory compliance and provides comprehensive protection measures to safeguard clients’ investments.


    Barnett Waddingham is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),27 guaranteeing transparency and security.

    FCA Reference Numbers

    • BW SIPP LLP: 458323.28
    • Barnett Waddingham LP: 494494.29

    Registered Company Numbers

    • BW SIPP LLP: OC322417.30
    • Barnett Waddingham LP: OC307678.31

    Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) Protection

    The FSCS can pay out up to £85,000 if your provider goes under.32

    Data Security Measures

    According to its privacy policy, Barnett Waddingham uses appropriate information security technology to protect your personal data. 

    Data is stored, processed, and disclosed only with your permission or for a justifiable cause, in compliance with the law.33

    How Do You Evaluate Barnett Waddingham’s Place in the SIPP Market?

    When evaluating Barnett Waddingham’s place in the SIPP market, the company’s strengths and weaknesses need to be taken into consideration before making any predictions or recommendations.

    Strengths & Weaknesses

    Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP, while offering a tailored and flexible retirement solution, comes with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses to consider.


    • A blend of fixed and time-based fees ensures customers only pay for the features they use.34
    • A broad asset range, including a strong property portfolio.35
    • There’s a low-cost option where you hold a single investment from the provider panel and a pricier alternative that provides access to a comprehensive Allowable Investment Schedule.36
    • 24/7 online access to your SIPP.37


    • Not viable for people without significant pension wealth, given the high minimum investment thresholds.38
    • Customers might receive less than their initial investment, with returns hinging on contributions, investment performance, and applicable fees.39 
    • The Flexible SIPP does not guarantee a set retirement income; this value fluctuates based on SIPP value, withdrawal rates, investment outcomes, and fees.40
    • Contributions to a pension are non-refundable.41

    Predictions for Future Developments

    Given their track record of innovation, it is reasonable to anticipate Barnett Waddingham will continue to enhance their offerings, potentially incorporating more digital tools and personalised investment options. 

    BW has embraced sustainable investing and has over £1 billion of client assets invested in ESG and climate change funds, as well as having implemented policies to reach Net Zero within the company by 2025.42 

    Final Thoughts & Recommendations

    Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP product stands out for its flexible, comprehensive, and expert-driven approach to retirement planning. 

    It comes highly recommended for individuals seeking control over their pension investments and those valuing bespoke solutions. 

    The firm’s dedication to customer support and extensive industry experience further enhance its appeal, making it a worthy contender in the retirement solutions market.

    Common Questions

    Why Choose Barnett Waddingham SIPP for Your Pension Needs

    What Fees and Charges Can I Expect With Barnett Waddingham SIPP

    How Flexible Is the Investment Choice With Barnett Waddingham SIPP

    Can I Consolidate My Pensions Into a Barnett Waddingham SIPP

    What Unique Features Does Barnett Waddingham SIPP Offer

    What Are the Tax Implications of Investing in a Barnett Waddingham SIPP

    How Can I Manage My Barnett Waddingham SIPP Online

    Is There a Mobile App for Barnett Waddingham's SIPP Management

    Can I Transfer My Existing SIPP to Barnett Waddingham

    How Has Barnett Waddingham Performed in the SIPP Market

    Can I Take Out Money from My Barnett Waddingham SIPP Before Retirement

    In Conclusion

    Barnett Waddingham’s SIPP stands out as a dynamic and tailored retirement solution, catering to those seeking flexibility and control over their investments. 

    With its distinct strengths, including a wide asset range and digital capabilities, it offers clients the freedom to shape their retirement strategies uniquely. 

    However, like any financial product, it has its limitations which potential users must weigh up. 

    While the Barnett Waddingham SIPP resonates well with informed investors and those with significant pension wealth, prospective clients must evaluate its features against their financial goals and needs.

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