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 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.

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). 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.

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. It is important to register your SSAS with the Pensions Regulator. The Pensions Regulator is sponsored by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). 

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 01235 426666 or book a FREE pension consultation online.

What our customers say...

  • An excellent service from Khaleda who took us through the process of setting up our SASS pension. We were fully advised on the whole process and kept up to date regularly with all questions being answered fully. We would highly recommend using Khaleda who we can’t fault. Brilliant

    Jessett Simon Daisy Avatar
    Jessett Simon Daisy
  • I’ve been working with The Landlord’s Pension this year to sort out historically messy pension arrangements and take control by creating a Family SSAS. Chris Brown has been an absolute pleasure to deal with, friendly professional advice all the way through. Thanks!

    Ray Georgeson Avatar
    Ray Georgeson
  • I cannot recommend Lewis Jones from the Landlord’s Pension highly enough. His professionalism and knowledge of SSAS’s has been outstanding. He has guided me through the end to end process of setting up a SSAS to transfer my Pension into and has never complained when I’ve sent numerous emails with... Read more

    Lissa Lowrie Avatar
    Lissa Lowrie
  • Highly recommend The Landlords Pension for setting up a SSAS pension. Many Thanks to Liam, Michelle, Teresa and the team for their support throughout and making it an easy process. Looking forward to our working relationship with future investments.

    Matthew Martin Avatar
    Matthew Martin
  • Many thanks to Dan,Michelle and Teresa in helping me setup the SASS very supportive throughout the whole process
    Always happy to answers any questions and I look forward to working with them
    I couldn’t have done all this without The Landlords Pension
    Angela Woods

    Angela Woods Avatar
    Angela Woods

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.