A Small Self-Administered pension scheme can prove itself to be an invaluable tool for long term retirement planning, as well as helping a limited company move forward. When run appropriately, in line with the circumstances of the members, a SSAS offers the widest range of flexibilities that can be achieved within a private pension

However, a SSAS isn’t appropriate for everyone’s requirements and needs, as greater flexibility usually results in additional maintenance costs. Equally, some of the features that apply to a SSAS can be achieved inside simpler pension arrangements, and therefore the added sophistication that this product delivers is not always essential.

A SSAS may be appropriate if you:

  • Have individual, or combined pension funds in excess of £125,000
  • Are considering pooling your pension wealth alongside your spouse/business partner/family members
  • Would like to consider lending money from your pension, back to your limited company
  • Wish to take a more entrepreneurial approach to managing your pension
  • Want to consider the purchase of commercial property
  • Are looking for bespoke pension advice
  • Are willing to accept a potentially higher level of charges (as a SSAS will usually be more expensive than a “standard” pension)
  • Want greater flexibility and control over your pension investments
  • Are keen to have flexibility in drawing benefits at retirement
  • Have alternative income sources at retirement

Before making any decision about the suitability of a SSAS we recommend that you seek specialist advice. We have provided SSAS pension advice in Leicester for over 30 years and would love to hear from you if you wish to discuss your own situation.

Please find below a list of Frequently Asked Questions to provide further initial guidance on Small Self-Administered Schemes:

Q. Can I transfer an existing pension into a SSAS? A. Yes, however careful consideration needs to be given to the existing pension, as valuable features such as guaranteed annuity rates or Terminal Bonuses may be lost on transfer into a new pension. Boolers are authorised to provide specialist advice on all types of pension transfers.

Q. I have a number of old pensions from past employment, is it good to consolidate them into one pension? A. This can have several benefits, such as more efficient charges and opening up wider investment opportunities. However, as above, whether it is in your best interests to consolidate needs detailed investigation and we therefore suggest taking specialist advice on this matter.

Q. How do I contribute into a SSAS? A. This can be set up on a regular or ad-hoc lump sum basis, as a personal contribution or employer contribution.

Q. What can a SSAS invest in? A. Numerous share based investments and commercial property (including Commercial / Agricultural Land), a full list can be found at What can a SSAS Invest into?

Q. Can a SSAS borrow to buy a Commercial Property? A. Yes, up to 50% of the scheme’s net assets may be borrowed.

Q. Can a SSAS lend money? A. Yes, however there are specific rules that must be adhered to, further detail can be found at SSAS Lending

Q. Can I use a SSAS to buy a proportion of a property? A. Yes, the property ownership can be shared with other parties.

Q. Can a SSAS purchase residential property? A. As a rule no, although some exceptions include purpose built commercial properties, with a residential element e.g. Hotels and Student Halls of Residence. But if you’re thinking of a “normal” house or flat then it’s a definite no.

Q. Are the contribution limits of a SSAS different to a Personal Pension? A. No, the rules regarding contribution levels are exactly the same as a Personal Pension.

Q. Can I transfer Protected Rights funds into my Boolers SSAS Focus? A. Yes, this has been possible since 1 October 2008.

Q. Can I have more than one pension? A. Yes, although every individual has a total annual pension contribution allowance. Having more than one pension does not increase the amount that can be contributed to your total pension provision in any one tax year.

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