The dedicated team, which is one of the largest in the sector of any firm in the United Kingdom, acts for Pension Providers of all sizes across the country in assisting them place commercial real estate assets into SIPP, SSAS and other pension related structures for their customers, and thereafter in the management and disposal of them as required.
Commercial real estate owned in this way allows the pension holder to maximise pension and tax benefits. Part of our service offered to clients and prospective clients is the vast knowledge built up by the team over the past 15 years or so by virtue of our many panel appointments to providers of processes and the streamlining of transactional steps to aid efficient delivery of any transaction for the provider and pension holder supplemented by relevant reporting and information provision.
In recent times the team has, under the ambit of its numerous panel appointments, also been involved in larger scale Pension Provider portfolio re-organisations. We are currently at the forefront of advising clients on the position in respect of the application of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax to in specie transfers in Scotland between providers which has caused some complexities for the industry in Scotland. The Morton Fraser Property in Pensions team has a unique advantage by virtue of its very extensive sector client base in being able to act in many cases for both transferor and transferee in portfolio re-organisations and transfers on the basis that both Pension Providers are established and existing clients of the team(subject of course to no conflict of interest existing or arising at any point).
The team has also had to evolve and adapt to client requirements as the industry changes, with Provider consolidation triggered in some cases by the new capital adequacy requirements imposed upon Providers and in others by simple business rationalisation. This, however, has been helped by the many established contacts within providers and related professionals in the sector from IFAs, managing surveyors, insurers, environmental experts and others built up by the team over many years and via its position as the only independent Scottish law firm members of AMPS(The Association of Member Directed Pension Schemes).
The sector is optimistic notwithstanding the ongoing general economic challenges-pensions will of course continue to exist and real estate assets will continue to be put in the pension pot to gain maximum return. And Morton Fraser will be there to assist with specialist commercial real estate input and advice whatever the issue.