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.

​Getting Started with a SSAS ​

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. 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.

1. Information about Your Company and the Members of the SSAS

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.

2. Anti-Money Laundering

Complying with anti-money laundering legislation is a legal requirement. It’s important that each member of the SSAS has their identity verified.

3. Transfer Existing Pensions

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.

4. Trust Documentation

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).

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.

5. Registering with HMRC

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.

6. Obtain a Pension Scheme Tax Reference Number

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.

7. Register the SSAS with the Pensions Regulator

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.

What our customers say...

  • Simon and Teresa have helped me to gain control of my pension and now I am able to invest it in property through a fund with high fixed returns. I will also be able to use it on my own purchases / projects, which gives me much more cash access... Read more

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    Martin Littleboy
  • positive review We had a number of workplace and final salary pensions, dotted all over the place and decided to pull them all into one SSAS. Laura and the team were excellent in explaining what to expect and keeping us advised every step of the way, in fact as part of... Read more

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    Rosemary Wooding
  • positive review Mike Holt and his team have been awesome getting my SSAS set up. All ready to go in record time and looking forward to building the pension pot, tax-free!

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    Jeroen Hoppe
  • positive review Really professional company.
    I’ve pointed a few clients their way that want to release ‘dead’ money from their pensions to invest in higher returns.
    Gareth really knows his stuff and Teresa is super efficient.

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    Nick Carlile
  • positive review Genuine professional people delivering top notch quality customer service accompanied with the all important experience and in-depth knowledge of this business field.
    Many thanks in particular to Gareth and Teresa for their unswerving support advice and guidance over these past few years since I took up the challenge of looking after...
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    Nick Clement

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.