The SSAS (Small Self-Administered Scheme), so often the poor relation in the self-invested pension market to SIPPs (Self-Invested Personal Pension), is going through something of a renaissance.
In recent weeks more and more SIPP providers are pumping new life into their SSAS offering, with JLT becoming the latest firm to do so.
JLT Practitioner SSAS
JLT has launched a new ‘low cost’ SSAS aimed at investors who want to take a more ‘hands-on’ approach to their self-invested pension and who do not require the services of a professional trustee, preferring instead to have member trustees only.
The JLT Practitioner SSAS has a competitive annual administration fee of £650, with other fees chargeable depending on the requirements of members. The full fee schedule for the JLT Practitioner SSAS can be found by clicking here.
Member trustees can call upon the expertise of JLT’s technical team to ensure that they are staying within HMRC rules, one of the key requirements of a trustee, whilst as administrator JLT will provide day to day support in terms of administration and record keeping services.
Commenting on the launch Richard Prior of JLT said: “We are delighted to announce our new Practitioner SSAS service, to compliment our full SSAS range. Many of our SSAS competitors have left the market or have been operating as a practitioner and administrator to SSAS clients without the option of a full service SSAS. JLT Premier Pensions now offer both of these services”.
Prior continued: “We still recognise the benefits of SSAS products and are actively engaged with both advisers and members to offer them the most suitable self invested pension product. The launch of the Practitioner SSAS reflects our commitment to providing the services which our clients require as well as our commitment to the SSAS product and the advantages it offers”.
The roles in a SSAS
The new life being breathed into the SSAS market through various innovations, such as the Practitioner SSAS from JLT, means it is an opportune time to revisit the sometimes confusing roles within a SSAS and remind ourselves what each one actually does.
Scheme Administrator. All registered pension schemes must have at least one Scheme Administrator; often, the Scheme Administrator will also be a trustee of the scheme.
The Scheme Administrator is responsible for fulfilling certain functions including: registering the pension scheme with HMRC. operating tax relief on contributions under the relief at source system, reporting events relating to the scheme and the Scheme Administrator to HMRC, making returns of information to HMRC, paying certain tax charges.
The Scheme Administrator is liable to penalties if they fail to provide information required by a notice or the legislation, provide incorrect information, do something specifically forbidden by the legislation, or fail to keep records. The Scheme Administrator may also be liable to a tax charge if the pension scheme makes an unauthorised payment.
Practitioner. The practitioner can fulfill many of the roles of the scheme administrator, by effectively acting as agent for the Scheme Administrator. However, certain matters such as scheme registration can only be dealt with by the Scheme Administrator. Preparation of scheme accounts and more general scheme administration can be completed by the practitioner.
Trustee. A SSAS operates under a trust, as all occupational pension schemes must. In addition to having a number of rights and powers, trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to protect the interests of the scheme and to act impartially, prudently, responsibly and honestly, in the best interests of all scheme members.
A trustee has valuable powers in the running of the pension scheme. Under general trust law; these are powers of maintenance, advancement and delegation. Other responsibilities include providing information to scheme members (and others) regarding the lifetime allowance, benefits and transfers.
There are a number of reasons when a SSAS may be preferable to a SIPP:
Charges. A SSAS, which can include multiple members, may be cheaper than a ‘Family SIPP’ which is essentially a number of SIPPs, grouped together, often for the purpose of purchasing a property.
Loan Backs. A SIPP cannot lend money to a connected party, for example the business of a SIPP investor. This is not the case with a SSAS, which makes this type of pension popular with business owners who may want to consider alternative ways of raising finance. This area is complex and there are advantages and disadvantages to SSAS loans, which can be looked at in more detail by clicking here .
Individual Trust. Every SSAS is written under an individual trust, which means it can be tailored to the needs of the members, something which is not possible under a SIPP, which is written under a master Trust.
Want to know more?
If you would like to know more about the JLT Practitioner SSAS or indeed self-invested pensions in general feel free to contact one of our team.
Our team of Independent Financial Advisers in Nottingham are experienced in advising on self-invested pensions, if you would like advice on your options call one of our IFAs today on 0115 933 8433, alternatively enquire online or email firstname.lastname@example.org