A specialist firm providing administration and trustee services to self-administered pension schemes.
We are an independent professional trustee and scheme administrator providing operational services to self-administered pension schemes (SSAS).
We have over 40 years’ experience specialising in self-administered pension schemes and have developed a wealth of knowledge and commitment to delivering the level of service you expect, with complete support throughout the entire process of investment and that all important time of reaping the benefits.
Our mantra is “style and class” and our company values are centred around the key words:
We are not financial advisers.
This website is designed for use by qualified pension professionals.
If you are a client acting without advice from a Financial Adviser who is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, we strongly suggest that you seek advice before establishing a pension scheme with us or making any investment or pension transfer decisions.
If you do not already have an Independent Financial Adviser, information can be obtained from www.unbiased.co.uk or telephone 0800 085 3250.
What is a SSAS?
There is a strong argument for establishing a SSAS as opposed to the more mainstream SIPP product. A SSAS has additional protection and investment opportunities not available through a SIPP and a single member SSAS can be more cost effective than a full SIPP or a multiple member SSAS compared to a group SIPP product. Learn More.
If you are unhappy with the service and support you receive from your current provider or you feel you are paying too much, you can move to us. Transferring Professional Trustee and Scheme Administrator duties for a SSAS is not a pension transfer. It simply involves replacing these formal roles and notifying the relevant authorities and investment providers. This can reduce the amount of compliance required in moving the scheme. Learn More.
In some circumstances we can convert an Executive Pension Plan (EPP) to a SSAS opening up the investment opportunities offered through a SSAS. This process is not a pension transfer and is purely a replacement of the Professional Trustee and Scheme Administrator roles whilst adopting some new Scheme Rules. Where a member has protected tax free cash, they would retain this unlike a pension transfer. Learn More.
Where a SSAS provider does not fulfil the role of Scheme Administrator, this responsibility is likely to rest with the Member Trustees. A Scheme Administrator’s role is complex and requires specialist knowledge to carry out the necessary functions correctly, without which, there are substantial fines and penalties. Often, members are not aware of their requirements until a significant stage in the life of a pension scheme such as the retirement or death of a member. We have a wealth of experience in taking over SSASs where there is no professional Scheme Administrator. Learn More.
Ask us a question
You need to complete our application pack: an application form, a trust deed and a bank application form. These need to be signed on behalf of the establishing company and by each member who must be a trustee.
There may be other paperwork to complete depending on your plans for the SSAS. For example if you are transferring-in another pension arrangement you will need to complete their transfer discharge paperwork.
We will carry out anti-money laundering checks on all parties involved.
When the SSAS is registered by HM Revenue & Customs, pension contributions and pension transfers can be paid into its bank account and invested from there.
Yes. A SSAS is an occupational pension scheme which means it is established by an active company. If you are planning on transferring-in another pension arrangement you will need to provide evidence of your employment with the company, such as copy payslips, a P60, your contract of employment or personal bank statements showing your remuneration from the company. If the company ceases to exist or is later sold the SSAS can continue to operate.
We have a fixed fee structure which reflects the work involved for each thing we do. Our headline fees are.
|Initial Scheme set-up||£250 plus VAT per member subject to a minimum of £500 plus VAT|
|Initial Existing Scheme Takeover||£500 plus VAT|
|Annual in Arrears fees (at the anniversary of establishment or our appointment)||£300 plus VAT per member subject to a maximum of £1,200 p.a.|
|Add-on fees for other specific types of work||Please refer to our full fee schedule|
We undertake to establish a SSAS within 48 hours of receiving a fully completed application pack. Due to the HM Revenue & Customs scheme registration process, it can take about eight weeks for a scheme to be registered. Contributions and pension transfers cannot be paid until the scheme has been registered.
Yes this can usually be done. Please however note that some pension arrangements involve valuable guarantees that you would be giving-up by transferring. For this reason there are laws that require you to obtain financial advice before transferring certain types of pension arrangement. You will also need to demonstrate to the transferring pension company your employment link with the company(ies) that participate in the SSAS before they will pay your pension transfer.
Yes. It is also often possible for you to transfer the investments held by your SIPP to the SSAS without having to sell them and make a cash transfer. This is called an “in-specie” transfer and means you don’t have to risk being out of the investment markets at an inopportune time or selling your property unnecessarily.
Each individual has a maximum overall pension saving limit called the Lifetime Allowance. You need to be conscious of this when paying money into a SSAS. There is a maximum annual pension contribution limit called the Annual Allowance. This can vary for different people and is fixed on a tax year basis. There is no maximum size for a pension transfer.
You or your family can’t borrow personally from your SSAS but the SSAS can make loans to the following: Participating companies - these are companies that either established the SSAS or have joined the SSAS and made at least one pension contribution to it). These loans must follow strict conditions set-out by HM Revenue & Customs Unconnected third parties. These loans don’t have set conditions but must be prudent and commercial.
The SSAS can purchase commercial property only. Residential property is not permitted. Commercial property can include:
- All the expected types such as offices, factories, shops, warehouses and restaurants
- Long leasehold property
- Student halls of residence
- Caretaker and property manager accommodation provided the occupier is an unconnected party and must live there as part of their contract of employment
- Guesthouses, serviced apartments or holiday lets
- Caravans and log cabins
- Short term leasehold property (i.e. less than 50 years)
- Student houses
- Solar panels or wind turbines
Yes BUT the SSAS must dispose of the property BEFORE it is completed. This is before the earlier of the architect’s certificate of completion being issued or the utilities being connected making the property habitable.
Yes. The SSAS can have multiple bank accounts and these can be with multiple banks if you wish. We must be either the sole signatory or a co-signatory on each account so that no payments can be made without our authority and we can ensure all payments comply with regulations.
No. We allow whole of market access to all investment providers such as fund managers, platforms, stockbrokers and wrap account providers.
A SSAS is a UK registered pension scheme and benefits from a number of generous tax reliefs:
- Contributions paid-in by your company are an allowable expense of the business and avoid Corporation Tax on the amount paid.
- Contributions paid-in by individuals benefit from income tax relief at their highest marginal rate. Contributions to a SSAS are paid gross and all tax relief is granted through self-assessment.
- Income on investments made by the SSAS fund do not attract income tax.
- Capital gains made on selling investments do not attract Capital Gains Tax.
- A SSAS can also reclaim VAT on property expenses provided the SSAS is VAT registered.
- On drawing retirement benefits a tax free lump sum of 25% of your fund value can be paid.
- There is no National Insurance paid on pensions.
- On death your fund is passed tax-free to your nominated beneficiaries and there is no Inheritance Tax (they will pay income tax on any pension they withdraw from your fund if you are over 75 when you die).
You have to pay income tax at your marginal rate on pension income you receive from your SSAS (not the tax free lump sum). This is paid via PAYE. National Insurance does not apply.
Your beneficiaries MAY have to pay income tax on any benefits they receive from your fund when you die.
When a SSAS buys commercial property is it liable to Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase price and is subject to the usual thresholds for commercial property.
Yes. The SSAS can register for VAT when buying commercial property in the same way as a business.
The VAT paid on purchase can then be reclaimed or the purchase may be treated as a Transfer of a Going Concern and no VAT applies.
VAT paid on any development costs can be reclaimed.
VAT must then be charged on the rent under any lease of the property.
VAT records must be maintained and quarterly VAT returns must be submitted.
Benefits can commence from age 55 or possibly earlier if you are in ill health.
This depends on the value of your share of the SSAS when benefits commence. There are a number of different rules which may apply but the basic rules are that you can receive 25% of your fund as a tax free lump sum and the balance can be withdrawn as a pension which is subject to income tax.
Your share of the SSAS is inherited by your beneficiaries in the proportion you nominated.
They can then choose how they withdraw these funds:
- They can choose not to draw anything and leave the funds until they want to start drawing-down.
- They can choose not to draw anything and leave the funds to their nominated beneficiaries (known as Successor Beneficiaries)
- They can draw funds in ad-hoc lump sums as and when desired.
- They can draw a regular income from the fund.
- They can withdraw their entire inherited fund in one lump sum immediately.
No. This requirement was abolished many years ago.
Yes, if contributions are to be paid to the SSAS for them by the company they must be in meaningful employment with the sponsoring company(ies).
They can pay personal contributions to the SSAS.< br />
If they want to transfer-in another pension arrangement they must be in meaningful employment with the sponsoring company(ies).
They must become a trustee of the SSAS at the point of joining.
Yes, provided it has a common link with the establishing company such as common directors or shareholders
The company will become a participating company in the SSAS.
Yes, a company can set-up as many SSASs as it wants.
- A SSAS can make secured loans to sponsoring companies. A SIPP can’t.
- A SSAS can buy shares in sponsoring companies. A SIPP can’t.
- A SSAS can pool funds for up to 11 people to give a larger fund allowing larger investments.
- A SSAS allows a family pension fund with benefits for all family members.
- A SSAS allows unallocated contributions to be made by employers which are allocated to members at a later date.
- Fees are often lower, especially for multiple members.
- A SSAS is a stand-alone pension scheme meaning there is no co-mingling with other people’s money or investments. This gives it greater security.
- A SSAS bank account will have full Financial Compensation Scheme protection rather than being a pooled account with only a proportionate share of protection.
- Investment within a SSAS can be earmarked for specific members or pooled between them.
- Pensions paid via PAYE can be paid through your company PAYE system if you wish to reduce costs.
- Your company can pay the running costs of the SSAS which are an allowable expense of the business for corporation tax and VAT thereon can be reclaimed if your business is VAT registered.
- We specialise in SSAS and it always makes sense to use a specialist.
- We have over 40 years experience in operating SSASs.
- We are one of the largest SSAS providers in the UK.
- We own our own back office systems.
- We provide full online access to SSAS information for both clients and financial advisers.
- We have an extremely competitive and unique “pay-to-play” fee structure.
- We provide online banking.
- Each SSAS has a designated Account Executive responsible for its day to day operation and is allocated to a designated Director for its governance, oversight and support.
You can move the operation of your SSAS to another Professional Trustee and Administrator company. The structure of the SSAS remains intact and we are removed as the registered owner of any investments and bank accounts
A SSAS is an occupational pension scheme and has three regulators:
- HM Revenue & Customs who regulate the establishment of the scheme, the amounts that can be paid in and out of the scheme and the investments it can make. They also set the tax rules governing the SSAS https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs
- The Pensions Regulator who oversee the operation of the scheme, the treatment of the members, the governance and oversight of our firm http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk
- The Information Commissioner who regulate the control of personal data The Information Commissioner who regulate the control of personal data https://ico.org.uk
We are of course also subject to anti-money laundering and proceeds of crime regulations https://www.gov.uk/guidance/money-laundering-regulations-introduction
No investment is guaranteed and the value of your investments may rise or fall with investment markets and you may not get back what you put in. However there are a number of measures we take to ensure security of investments:
- Individual trusts: each SSAS operated by us is a Trust, which means it is a separate legal entity and is safe from our or your creditors.
- You are a Trustee of your own SSAS together with Whitehall Trustees Limited. This gives you control over decisions regarding your SSAS.
- Our Professional Trustee company exists purely to hold pension scheme assets. It does not trade and has no liabilities.
- Investments held by your SSAS in cash and FCA regulated investments are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme https://www.fscs.org.uk
- You have access to the Pensions Ombudsman and Pensions Advisory Service to help resolve any disputes or complaints you may have. They have the power to award compensation where appropriate.
- We maintain professional indemnity insurance, including employees and officers cover of £1,500,000 to ensure that should you have to make a claim against us there is adequate cover in place.
- All payments made via the trustee bank accounts and all company signing of cheques and documents is carried out in accordance with a clear segregation of duties and disbursement policy. The trustee bank accounts we operate are subject to daily reconciliation.
- We have a business continuity plan involving daily data backup and cloud technology to allow remote access to all areas of the company’s operation.
- Property investments must always be adequately insured.
- Loans are not protected unless secured by a legal charge.
Your personal information is protected by Data Protection legislation and we adhere to a strict data security policy.
All SSAS assets are held under separate trusts which mean they do not form part of our company assets. Our Trustee Company, Whitehall Trustees Ltd, is the professional trustee of each SSAS and co-owns the assets. However, Whitehall Trustees Ltd does not trade and has no liabilities. If our company fails all SSAS assets are therefore protected.
Company failure is therefore a practical issue of appointing a receiver who will ensure the SSASs continue to operate until the Trustee Company is either sold to another firm who take-on the operation of the SSASs or each SSAS is moved to another firm individually as the business is run-down.
As the SSAS is a stand-alone Trust it is a separate legal entity and is protected from the company’s creditors.
A protection measure can be taken to formally remove the company from the SSAS by a Deed of De-Adherence to ensure there are no company powers over the SSAS.
As the SSAS is a stand-alone Trust it is a separate legal entity and is protected from your creditors.
The Trustee in Bankruptcy may make a claim against the SSAS if they feel you have used it to protect assets from them.
The Trustee in Bankruptcy may make a claim for your pension income when this commences.
Bankruptcy laws and practices change regularly so these statements may be subject to change.
We have a complaints procedure and a copy can be provided on request. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint you can refer this to the Pensions Ombudsman https://www.pensions-ombudsman.org.uk
Jane Davies - BA (Hons) Cert PFS
Jane was born and raised in Salford and entered financial services in 1997.
Rising quickly through the ranks she was a company director by the age of 25 attaining an Open University degree in the process.
Jane has developed, managed, sold and operated SSASs for over fifteen years.
A keen traveller and theatre goer, she likes to enjoy the finer things in life.
Richard Mattison - BSc (Hons) ACII Dip PFS
Richard was raised in the West Country before attending the University of Reading.
He commenced his career in life insurance in 1988 before starting in the SSAS business in 1990.
Since then he has specialised in the field of SSAS and SIPP and has managed, launched, operated and sold award-winning pension products for many years.
He is an enthusiastic music lover with a special affection for Elvis Presley.