SSAS frequently asked questions
Providing answers to some of our most commonly asked questions
A Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS) is a type of pension scheme that is set up by an employer usually for a select number of directors. It differs from a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) in that it is a separate scheme for the employer and our costs are charged per scheme rather than per member.
You may be particularly interested in a SSAS if you are a business-owner and wish to use existing and/or future pension monies to interact with your business or simply wish to have a pension arrangement that is not tied down to one provider. Your SSAS would be able to own your company premises for leaseback or lend monies to your company so that you pay loan interest to your own pension rather than to your bank.
The Barnett Waddingham SSAS gives you complete control over who you select to provide services to your pension scheme. We would take care of the scheme administration and due to the nature of SSASs we would act as a professional trustee to assist in the process and to guide you generally in relation to the scheme. You would be free to choose your own scheme bankers, investment advisers, solicitors, accountants and investment providers as you see fit.
There is a one-off fee of £1,250 plus VAT for providing the documentation to set up a SSAS and after that we charge a regular fee for acting as a trustee and administrator and to cover any other pieces of work that arise - such as retirement planning, provision of loan documentation etc.
One key reason why our SSASs are so popular is that they offer a wide range of investments that may be selected by the pension holder or their adviser. You may choose your banker or use our preferred account which makes scheme administration more efficient. Investment into stock markets can be made directly by using online trading platforms or through an appointed stockbroker.
We pride ourselves as being expert in dealing with pension property transactions. You may appoint your own solicitor and property manager and we will guide them and you through the process. Pension monies may be used for land and commercial property transactions, but residential property cannot be purchased. The property can be leased to your company and scheme is able to transact with you or your company over the property sale/purchase.
If finance is required, you may approach your own bankers or we can put you in touch with local bank managers. Pension funds may gear up within certain limits to help fund a property purchase, for example.
Uniquely, funds in SSASs can be loaned to the sponsoring employer provided certain criteria covering term, interest rate, security etc.are met and loans do not exceed 50% of fund value. It is critical that loan repayments are kept up to date: you cannot choose not to repay the loan simply because it has come from your own pension savings.
There are a range of options for accessing benefits. Most people will be able to draw a tax-free cash sum of up to 25% of their fund value when they reach age 55 and use the rest to draw as taxable income over their lifetime.
Your family can access your fund on death, either by way of receiving a lump sum or income. The lump sum is taxable if you have already drawn your own tax-free cash sum. More details can be found in our downloads section accessed below.