The SSAS offers plenty of choice and flexibility in the ways you can invest your pension money and there’s even more specialised options available than you might find with a personal pension or standard company pension scheme.
Small self-administered scheme principles
How is a SSAS different to other pensions?
If you’re running your own company then having greater control over your pension and retirement planning is a definite appeal. You and your fellow SSAS members could choose from a much wider range of investments, albeit the SSAS can include a similar range of funds to these other types of pensions.
As the name suggests the SSAS is set up and run by the company itself, but most people employ professional advisers to help with the specialised areas of investing, administering the scheme and preparing its annual accounts. The SSAS is overseen by trustees, who are often members as well. They make sure the scheme is properly run and that the scheme’s money is invested suitably. If it’s sounding quite involved then at times it can be.
Amongst the investment options you could include with your SSAS are:
A SSAS can be used to borrow money, perhaps to raise a mortgage on a property. This is a popular option with company owners who might buy the buildings they use to run their business.
Setting up and running a SSAS is more complicated and costlier than taking out a personal pension or a typical auto-enrolment scheme through your employer. The SSAS providers and advisers often have higher charges than you might see with a personal pension due to the specialised nature of the investments.
Is a SSAS right for me?
If you’re running a small business or work for one then you might think taking more control of your retirement planning makes real sense. On the other hand, if you have a hat full of issues with running your own business then it might be best to steer well clear.
It would be a sensible move to make sure that you and the other members have some experience of investing and are comfortable with making your own decisions before things get underway. And, don’t overlook the fact that the money is pooled in the SSAS. So, individuals can have very different ideas about investing, as well as the timing of when and how they want to retire and therefore withdraw money from the scheme. We all know how plans can change.