SSAP: At a Glance
SSAP: An Overview
A Small Self-Administered Pension (SSAP) is a corporate pension scheme with 12 or fewer members. The Wealth Options SSAP offers single member schemes a SSAP established under trust by your employer, for your benefit.
Each member should have their own SSAP as this allows more flexibility in terms of investments that the SSAP can make. It should be noted that you do not have to be a director of a company to establish a SSAP. Any employee can set up a SSAP with the permission of your employer.
How does a SSAP work?
A SSAP is a tax-efficient investment scheme that is suitable for both employees and controlling directors. It allows you to enjoy the greatest level of control over the direction of your investments.
You are the Member Trustee of the SSAP. The Trustees are responsible for, and control all aspects of the SSAP’s investment strategy and payment of retirement benefits.
One of the Trustees must include a Professional Trustee known as a ‘Pensioneer Trustee’. A Pensioneer Trustee is an individual or company who are pension experts and are approved by the Revenue Commissioners to act as a Pensioneer Trustee.
Wealth Options Trustees Limited is a Revenue approved Pensioneer Trustee and will administer the SSAP on behalf of you the Member Trustee. They provide all the legal documentation required to set up the SSAP, seek initial approval from the Revenue, and provide all ongoing services e.g. annual accounting and actuarial valuations etc. Wealth Options Trustees Limited will also act as the registered administrator to your SSAP.
Here are some examples of what investments which can be made by your SSAP. These are not exhaustive lists but give you an indication of the flexibility and range of your investment choice under an ARF. With some of the investments there are specific Revenue rules which you can discuss with your financial broker.
The Irish retirement regime is one of the most liberal and innovative in the world. Coupled with that is the fact that over 90% of all businesses in Ireland are small or medium sized enterprises, run by owner-directors.
For the owner-director a Small Self-Administered Pension (SSAP) should be the number one choice for retirement planning. A SSAP is established under trust by a company’s directors. The director is the ‘member’ and ‘Trustee’ of the pension scheme.
A SSAP provides a tax-efficient environment in which a company’s funds can be invested to provide retirement benefits for directors. As the fund grows it is ringfenced for the member and is free from creditors should the company go into liquidation.
A SSAP gives company directors the opportunity to maximise their pension funds prior to retirement by giving them control over their investments. Unlike other pension schemes the directors can control and choose their investments. The range of investment options are extensive and include: property, structured deposits, direct investment in stocks and shares etc.
Since the introduction of the Finance Act 2004 the Trustees of single member SSAPs can also borrow money in order to invest for the benefit of the scheme. There are certain rules with regard to borrowing and your financial broker or Pensioneer Trustee can explain these to you.
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