Alltrust SSAS - Small Self-Adminstered Scheme
The Alltrust SSAS is a Small Self Administered Scheme. A SSAS is an occupational pension scheme that would normally have a Sponsoring Employer. This Employer will normally have a role to play in the pension scheme, as is distinct from the Trustees and the Members.
A SSAS offers similar flexibility to a SIPP in both investment options and retirement planning. It can, however, have added complexities. Given this, we normally only deal with clients through their appointed Professional Financial Adviser rather than on a direct basis.
A SSAS is usually a group arrangement, which means that typically there is more than one member. A sponsoring employer is responsible for setting up the arrangement, and will usually directly employ at least one of the individual members.
It is a pension scheme and therefore a primary means of saving for retirement. Monies are put into the SSAS where they are invested in a variety of assets. At the time an individual is looking to retire, their share of the monies held within the SSAS are used to provide regular income in addition to a payment of tax free cash – usually up to 25% of the net value of the members pension fund at the point of drawing benefits.
The members of the SSAS are also usually Trustees, and they decide what investments to make. SSASs allow for a considerable number of different types of asset to be held, and the Trustees must choose where they wish to place their funds. This is usually in conjunction with a Professional Financial Adviser.
A SSAS can be funded by making contributions to it (normally from the Sponsoring Employer), or by transferring assets from existing pension arrangements into it.
A SSAS also has considerable flexibility in relation to drawing retirement benefits in the form of tax free cash payments, and income payments – which can be varied to suit the needs of the individual member.
Broadly, the aims of a SSAS are as follows:
- A means to save for your retirement in a tax-efficient way, as your fund is usually free from income tax and capital gains tax;
- A broad range of investment options, restricted only by relevant legislation and good practice;
- A wide range of options at your retirement, including drawing income from your fund, Scheme Pension or purchasing an annuity;
- The provision of a product that is flexible in meeting your changing needs and personal circumstances both at, before and after retirement;
- To provide cash and income benefits to your financial dependants in the event of your death;
- The ability for you to make your own investment decisions, in conjunction with your appointed financial or investment adviser, and your co-Trustees;
There is usually no commitment on your part to make any contributions, or to continue paying if you start. Contributions are usually paid by the Sponsoring Employer and can normally be started or stopped at any point.
A SSAS is a long-term arrangement. Benefits can only be drawn from the SSAS in accordance with legislation that prevails at the time. Currently, benefits can generally only be drawn from age 55, unless you retire due to ill-health, or have a protected early retirement age.
Fees are chargeable in relation to the administration of the SSAS and are in addition to those of any investment or financial adviser. These fees can normally be paid by the Sponsoring Employer or be drawn from the fund.
When you take pension income from the SSAS the level of income that you take will be determined by HM Revenue & Custom limits. Income is also taxed under the PAYE scheme.