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Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS)

What is a SSAS?

A SSAS is a type of occupational pension scheme that may be established by an Employer for the owner(s) and/or selected directors and employees (there may also be provision for including family members or other beneficiaries).  The individuals who have been selected to benefit are called the members.  There can also be associated employers in some circumstances.  Where it is appropriate to make different arrangements for different members an employer may set up more than one SSAS.

The essential character of any occupational pension scheme, including a SSAS, is that money is paid in to the scheme and invested so that pensions can be paid to the members in later years (and sometimes to dependants).  Money may be paid in by the Employer and / or by the members (and may include payments in from other pension schemes including from a SIPP).

What makes a SSAS special is that eligibility is discretionary and there is considerable investment flexibility (although also limitations).  A SSAS limitation is that membership of a SSAS is limited to no more than eleven members (including members who have retired and are drawing a pension) but, as mentioned above, it is possible for an Employer to establish more than one SSAS.

Thinking of setting up a SSAS?

Congruent will help you, the Employer, understand whether a SSAS is an option for you and whether there are other options.  An initial consultation, at your premises (or other convenient venue), is free and that may be all that is necessary for us to provide you with the necessary documents for you to study and to make a decision.  Sometimes further detailed work is necessary and Congruent will suggest what needs to be done, and the fees payable if any, for you to consider.  The number of SSAS in force across the country is increasing so it does seem that they meet a legitimate business need, although they will not be suitable for every employer.

If you decide to set up a SSAS with Congruent there are contractual arrangements that need to be in place prior to the execution of the Trust Deed and Rules.

A general warning about SSASs

It is important to recognise that because a SSAS offers investment flexibility (although with limitations), and also makes use of tax benefits, it must meet significant HMRC requirements at all times.  The essence of these requirements is that money put into a SSAS is within the allowed monetary limits and is used only for the intended purpose and that the Employer and members cannot benefit in a way that is not allowed.  There are significant statutory requirements and those must be observed at all times with potentially severe penalties for non-observance.  A SSAS should never be established unless all this is fully appreciated – Congruent can assist you with this.

Congruent services for SSASs

Congruent provides three complementary services to SSASs which are provided in combination.  Two of the services - professional trustee and scheme administrator services respectively - are both required throughout; actuarial services are provided as and when required.  Because of the different nature of the three services, and because of statutory and governance requirements, these services are provided respectively by Congruent Trustees Limited, Congruent Administrators Limited, and Congruent Actuarial Limited.  All three companies are 100% owned subsidiaries of Congruent Holdings Limited and together with other companies constitute the Congruent Group.

We aim to be transparent in the pricing for these services - fixing the cost in advance where possible. Please see a breakdown of our fees for our SSAS offering.

  1. Professional Trustees - Congruent Trustees Limited
  2. Scheme Administrator - Congruent Administrators Limited
  3. Actuarial Services - Congruent Acturial Limited


SSAS Overview
SSAS Factsheets








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