What is a SSAS?

What is a Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS)?

A SSAS (Small Self-Administered Scheme) is a specific type of occupational pension scheme, typically used in the UK by owners/directors of small and medium-sized enterprises who like the idea of having more control over their own pension arrangements.

The members are appointed as trustees and collectively they control the investment strategy. The number of members is limited to 11, hence the term ‘small’. For this reason, they’re more common in family-run businesses and start-ups.

A SSAS is generally set up to provide retirement benefits for the owners and directors of a business, as well as other senior staff and sometimes also certain family members, regardless of whether they work for the company.

One of the key features of a SSAS that sets it apart from other pension schemes, particularly SIPPs, is its unique ability to offer a secured lending facility to the scheme’s principal employer or other participating employers. It can also acquire commercial property, including the principal employer’s trading premises and then lease it back on commercial terms.

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