SSASs are registered pension schemes, initially set up by an employer for the benefit of a selected individual or group of individual employees. It is possible that more than one employer can participate within a SSAS for the benefit of members and in addition, in certain circumstances, other individuals may be permitted to participate within an established SSAS.
SSASs are able to invest in the full spectrum of investments permitted for member directed pension schemes and specifically can make investments in:
- Loans to participating employers
- Commercial property purchases – including property tenanted by a participating employer.
SSASs, unlike SIPPs can include more than one member and are ideal pension arrangements for members of a family, partners in a business or other affinity groups. They are a pension vehicle, which offers the potential for retaining core assets - even though individual members may come and go. They therefore may be regarded as appropriate “family” pension schemes.
SIPPs are individual pension schemes, which can have the maximum flexibility permitted by HMRC with regard to contributions, benefits and investments. SIPPs are available both to the self-employed and to employees and may receive contributions from both employers and members.