As a response to the new SIPP market, Scottish Widows, the life and pensions arm of Lloyds TSB, has launched a new retirement account that provides a pension plan with a transparent charging structure, wide investment choice and a competitive rate on cash holdings.

<p>SIPPs will become regulated in April, with full disclosure requirements mandatory from November 2007. The pensions specialist claims that this new account is the first product with a broad investment choice launched by a major insurer that already fully meets the requirements of SIPP regulation. <br /><br />The transparent charging structure will disclose all of Scottish Widow&#0039;s administration fees that are to be expressed in the form of a percentage, which will be applied monthly based on the total value of assets held in the SIPP, with a reduction in the percentage as the value grows. <br /><br />The product will also disclose the total expense ratio TER of investments on quotations, showing the complete cost to the client for a particular investment. This enables the customer to make a decision on a fully informed basis, knowing from the outset how much the investment will cost them.<br /><br />Furthermore, Scottish Widows has teamed up with Fidelity FundsNetwork to offer customers a wider choice of internally and externally managed funds and approximately 1,000 funds within its Fund Supermarket. <br /><br />The new product also features a cash holding account known as the control account which currently pays the equivalent of the full Lloyds TSB bank base rate, higher than traditional SIPP investments.</p>