Small Self Administered Schemes

Small self-administered pension scheme (SSAS) is a type of employer sponsored defined contribution workplace pension. They are generally set up to provide retirement benefits for a small number of company directors and/or senior or key staff.  They can also allow employees and family members, even if they don’t work for the employer.  The number of members is generally no more than 11.  

A SSAS can offer increased flexibility on where the scheme’s assets can be invested, this means that you are able to invest in assets which aren’t generally available for many other types of schemes. As an example, a SSAS is able to purchase the company’s trading premises and lease these back to the company.

Controlling directors

A controlling director of a company is a director who, along with their family, is able to control 20% or more of the shares in the company. It is possible for a public limited company to operate an SSAS where one or more of the members are connected. In all situations, only one SSAS is permitted per company.

The directors are scheme members and often, also the trustees. SSASs are subject to the usual pension scheme rules and have particular requirements to ensure that the scheme is correctly run. Since 1991, for a scheme to be considered an SSAS, there must be fewer than 12members and one or more must be a controlling director.

The HMRC memorandum 109, August 1991, also adds ‘a scheme is defined as self-administered if some or all of the income or other assets are invested other than in insurance policies’. A SSAS is protected from creditors.

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You can also request contact details from the Pension Tracing Service by phone or by post.

The Pension Tracing Service
Telephone: 0800 1223 170
From outside the UK: +44 (0) 1782 389134
Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 5:00 pm

The Pension Tracing Service
The Lantern
High Street
EX34 9QB

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