How to set up a SSAS
A comprehensive guide to Pensions and Investments for Investing in Property
Every Small Self Administered Scheme (SSAS) needs to be registered with HMRC, however, the process can take some time. It is best to start this as early as possible, especially if you’re approaching the end of the financial year.
The first step to setting up a SSAS is deciding who will be part of the scheme. A SSAS is usually intended for a small number of directors or senior staff at a company, but any employees of the company can be invited to join the scheme.
You may also invite your family members and your employees’ family members to join the scheme which is why it is sometimes referred to as the SSAS family pension. Everyone in the SSAS must be aged 18 or over and, in most cases, there are no more than 11 or 12 people in the scheme at any given time.
To set up a SSAS, you’ll need to gather information about your company and each member of the SSAS. Each member will need to provide you with their personal details (contact information, etc.) and a signature. You’ll also need to decide on a name for your scheme.
In addition to collecting basic details, you’ll need to know if any members of the pension hold a certificate of protection or a HMRC protection reference number, as well as check if the Money Purchase Annual Allowance applies to any members of your scheme.
Book an enquiry with one of our pension advisors for a full list of the documentation you’ll need to open a SSAS.
Complying with anti-money laundering legislation is a legal requirement. It’s important that each member of the SSAS has their identity verified.
Every member of the SSAS must decide whether they’d like to transfer any existing pensions to the new scheme. This is optional and each member may transfer as many or as few pensions as they like. We recommend that each member of a new SSAS talks to an independent financial advisor before making a decision.
A SSAS is a trust, which means that it is run by designated trustees. All members of the SSAS can be a trustee (this is common, but not a requirement). The pension must include a pension administrator. The SSAS pension scheme administrator can be a member trustee or a appointed professional.
We also recommend appointing a professional trustee — someone who is experienced in running a SSAS. The professional trustee is responsible for the day-to-day management of the scheme and is paid for this service. However, it’s not a legal requirement to appoint a professional trustee.
Being a trustee comes with legal responsibilities, so all trustees should know their obligations and the potential consequences of failing to meet those obligations.
The trust needs to be registered with HMRC before any contributions are received. The trust will also need to open a bank account to receive contributions.
A Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR) number is a unique code made up of eight numbers, followed by two letters (XXXX XXXX OO). Every new SSAS will need a PSTR from HMRC, as it shows that the scheme has been registered for tax relief and exemptions.
The Pensions Regulator is the UK Regulator for work-based pensions, which includes SSAS. The Pensions Regulator is sponsored by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). It’s important to register your SSAS with the Pensions Regulator.
The Landlord’s Pension has a simple process to make establishing a SSAS pension very straightforward. Once the above steps are complete, your SSAS can begin to receive contributions. If you have any questions about any of the steps listed here and would like to speak to a pensions advisor, please call 020 3907 8400 or book a FREE pension consultation online.
Need specific pension investment advice?
Read our SSAS Pension guides:
- SSAS vs SIPP pensions
- What is a Self-Administered Pension?
- How To Set Up A SSAS pension
- What kind of regulations and protections are there for SSAS?
- What Can an SSAS Pension Invest In?
- What are SSAS death benefits
- HMRC Rules
- SSAS Pensions
- How to find the best SSAS provider
- Can a SSAS buy residential property
- A guide to SSAS Pension scheme Loans
Still unsure about something? Please don’t hesitate to contact us about enquiries relating to pensions and investments in property.
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Highly recommend The Landlord's Pension for opening a SSAS. They are highly professional yet friendly and personable. They are really helpful and keep you informed every step of the way. It's refreshing to pay for a service by a company who actually do what they say they are going... Read moreVicki Prosser29/01/20
Highly recommend The Landlord's Pension for opening a SSAS. They are highly professional yet friendly and personable. They are really helpful and keep you informed every step of the way. It's refreshing to pay for a service by a company who actually do what they say they are going... Read moreVicki Mason29/01/20
Very happy with the service from explaining how things work to setting things up with HMRC and pension transfers, everything has gone as planned and in some cases quicker than expected.
Thank you Dan, Michelle and Teresa for your patience and professionalism in dealing promptly with all our queries.Mei Wong20/12/19
I recently opened my SSAS through The Landlord’s Pension and they have been professional, approachable and efficient throughout. Simon, Teresa and Michelle have all been great in answering my questions and queries and doing their best to ensure the process of transferring over my existing pension has been a... Read moreSteve Brazil08/12/19
The Landlord’s Pension is an expert in this niche sector of financial planning and have been helping clients to invest in property since 2004.