Frequently asked questions

Bespoke SIPP and SSAS pensions schemes are a complex topic, but we’re here to make things as simple as possible. If you have a question that’s not covered below, please get in touch and ask us.

What is a SSAS?

SSAS stands for Small Self-Administered Scheme pension. It’s a kind of occupational, trust-based pension scheme that can have up to a maximum of 11 members, all of whom are trustees operating on a unanimous basis. AJ Bell Platinum acts as a professional trustee and scheme administrator for all our SSASs, alongside the member trustees.

Each SSAS is established with a Limited company. Usually, the company’s directors will use the SSAS to pool their pension funds and also make company contributions. A typical scenario is for SSAS funds to be invested into a commercial property that the company can trade from.

A SSAS has the flexibility to invest in deposit accounts, quoted equities, stocks and collective investments. It can also invest in commercial property, and borrow from a commercial lender or the Limited company. In addition, a SSAS can offer the flexibility of a loan back to the attached Limited company, subject to HMRC’s requirements.

SSAS schemes benefit from all the same tax relief and advantages as a traditional personal pension, including tax-free growth on investments, an annual allowance of up to £60,000 a year, a tax-free lump sum of 25% at age 55 and flexi-access drawdown.

If you would like more information about our SSAS offering, please contact one of our AJ Bell Platinum Consultants.

What is the fee structure for the AJ Bell Platinum SSAS?

Rather than charging on a time costed basis, we tailor our fees to the profile of each scheme and the client’s objectives. Having said that, we can provide an indicative fee quote, based on the details of a particular client scenario, including the anticipated number of members, details of transfers or contributions to be paid, and what the investment intentions are.

Our annual fee includes all routine administration, preparation of annual pension scheme accounts and an annual fund split between the members (if there’s more than one member), the annual renewals with the Pensions Regulator and Information Commissioner, and the completion of the Registered Pension Scheme Returns. Where possible, we quote in advance of any additional tasks that would sit outside our annual administration fee (i.e. property purchase, borrowing, loan backs, benefit payments, transfers in and out).

If you have a particular scenario that you wish to discuss, please contact one of our AJ Bell Platinum Consultants.

Can the AJ Bell Platinum SSAS purchase a commercial property?

Our SSAS product can accommodate a commercial property purchase. Usually, the type of commercial property would include industrial warehouses, offices and retail units, but we can also permit land purchases.

We would initially require details of the property that is being considered so that we can clarify if the purchase is achievable in the scheme. Further information regarding a proposed property purchase can be found in our property notes.

If you would like to discuss a potential property purchase, please contact one of our Platinum Consultants.

Can I use my SSAS to provide a loan to my Limited company?

A SSAS offers the ability to provide a loan to the connected company to assist its ongoing growth and investment. In line with HMRC rules, the maximum amount of a loan is 50% of the net asset scheme value. The loan can be for a term of up to five years, and is subject to a minimum interest rate of 1% above basis, in line with commercial rates.

Regular loan capital repayments and interest are payable over the term of the loan. A loan must also be secured by way of a first legal charge on an asset with a value that covers the loan and the interest charged (loan to value of at least 70%). Ideally, security for a loan would be commercial property, as a SSAS can take ownership of commercial property should the loan default. However, we can consider an alternative to commercial property as security, and would review this on a case-by-case basis.

How is the fund allocated when there’s more than one member?

The fund split is usually produced on a pooled approach, based on the amount each member has contributed to the SSAS or transferred in. However, we can also earmark assets within the scheme to a particular member, if required. We produce annual fund splits for all our SSASs.

Still need to speak to us?

You can contact our team to answer any further queries you may have, whether you prefer online, post or over the phone. Alternatively, with over 100 years of combined experience, our dedicated Consultants are available to answer any more complex questions. You can find their contact details, here.