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What is a SSAS?

By Day Cooper Day

So what is a Small Self-Administered Scheme? Small Self-Administered Schemes or SSASs for short are pension schemes established by companies for senior employees, usually company directors.

I have my own company. Why would I want a SSAS? SSASs offer the highest level of flexibility of any pension scheme in the UK, coupled with the greatest level of control for the members. This includes loaning money to your company or buying property that your company occupies – and you never have to buy an annuity.

I thought that SIPPs offered the most flexibility so why would a SSAS be better? SIPPs come in all different varieties and each SIPP provider places their own restrictions on what the members can invest in. However, the 3 advantages of a SSAS over even the most flexible SIPPs are:

  1. SSASs can loan monies to companies connected to the members.
  2. SSASs are multi-member schemes so make co-investment very simple and cost effective.
  3. Each SSAS is a scheme in its own right and is not connected to a provider so you remain in control at all times.

I’ve heard that SSASs are complicated. SSASs are not complicated and are made simple by the support of proactive and professional Independent Trustees and administrators. The high level of flexibility offers members more choice but equally they can opt for simpler choices. A well run scheme such as those that we offer with full online banking facilities and online access to scheme documentation makes life easy for the members. SSASs allow you to control your pension scheme in a way that more closely mirrors how you run your company and personal assets compared with other types of pensions.

What happens if I die? I don’t want my money to be lost in taxes. Before you have withdrawn funds, in most cases the full value of the SSAS can be paid to whoever you nominate. If you have withdrawn funds, the balance will usually be paid to a surviving spouse or dependants.

What if I change my mind about who should receive it? You can change your wishes at any time and it is much simpler than changing a Will.

So I can have a scheme that I control, that can lend money to my companies, where the administration is taken care of for me and which is cost efficient. Why has no one suggested this before? SSASs have been authorised by HMRC since 1979 – 12 years before the first SIPP was launched – and there are many entrepreneurs who have benefited from their flexibility over this period. However, during this time it was more advantageous for larger companies to sell other products. Also, insurance companies offer a mass-market service and are not structured in a way that can offer bespoke advice to entrepreneurs.

How do I choose a good SSAS provider? We would be an excellent choice! In general, we suggest that you choose a provider who offers a full service including annual meetings, who allows full investment flexibility provided that it fulfils HMRC requirements, and offers online banking for all members. Finally, you should choose the most cost effective provider.

Day Cooper Day SSAS sounds suitable for me but how much would it cost? We have a transparent charging structure where fees are kept to a minimum. You only pay for the services you need. Day Cooper Day will never accept banking commissions or kickbacks – these are yours to keep so you get the best possible returns.

In the what you can do section you will find a selection of scenarios that we have helped with and have detailed our costs in each case.

We hope that Day Cooper Day can meet your needs at the right price so please contact us today for further details and a personalised fee estimate. There’s no charge for an initial meeting to discuss whether a SSAS is suitable for you and we look forward to hearing from you.

team@daycooperday.com

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