A SSAS (Small self-administered pension schemes) is a small occupational pension scheme designed to provide retirement benefits for the directors of a business. Unlike other pension schemes, a SSAS allows the members of the scheme to have more control over the investment decisions relating to their pensions.
The number of members is generally limited to no more than 11. It can include company’s directors and/or key staff, plus is even open family members, even if they do not work for the employer.
Contributions may be made to the SSAS by the members and/or the employer. Each receives tax relief on contributions made, subject to certain conditions.
- Offer the employer increased flexibility on where the scheme’s assets can be invested. This can include investing in assets that are not generally available for many other types of scheme to invest in. As an example, a SSAS is able to purchase the company’s trading premises and lease these back to the company. It may also, subject to certain terms and conditions, lend money back to the company and purchase the company’s shares.
- A SSAS can also borrow money, subject to terms and conditions, for investment purposes. For example, the SSAS may raise a mortgage to assist with the purchase of the company’s premises by the scheme and the mortgage repayments may then be covered, in all or in part, by the rental income that the company pays the SSAS.
All of the SSAS’ assets are held in the name of the trustees – there are no ‘individual pots’ for each member, although each member is deemed to hold a proportion of the scheme’s assets.
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