What is a SSAS pension?

A Small Self Administered Scheme - known as a SSAS - is a type of employer-sponsored defined contribution workplace pension scheme that can be independently managed by a company for 11 members or less.

A SSAS is primarily aimed at private and family owned businesses, and they are typically set up by the directors of a business in order to gain more control over how their pension contributions are invested. 


For the directors and employees of private and family owned businesses, the SSAS pension can provide significant benefits over more traditional pension schemes - including greater control and flexibility over assets held and investment choices available. 

Used to its maximum, a SSAS can invest in a wide range of investment opportunities that have the potential to deliver higher returns than more mainstream investment products. 

With added benefits of being able to hold commercial property and make loans back to the sponsoring company, the SSAS is becoming an increasingly popular choice for entrepeneurial private companies.

Many entrepreneurs are attracted to a SSAS because, as long as certain conditions are met, funds paid into the scheme can be lent back to the business. Unlike any other pension scheme, any contribution a business makes to a SSAS is an allowable expense to be charged against the profits, thereby lowering the corporation tax liability.

A SSAS is also able to lend money to third parties. This can be a particularly useful way of investing in residential property schemes, through an approved investment such as a property bond.

Here's an overview of some important SSAS features;

  • A SSAS can have a maximum of 11 members.
  • Members can be company directors, employees and relatives of employees.
  • The use of a SSAS means that investors are able to save and invest in a tax-efficient way for retirement.
  • You have the ability to make investment decisions with fellow trustees, an investment manager or a financial adviser.
  • A SSAS boasts the ability to invest into a broad range of investments that have the potential to generate higher returns than mainstream investment products.
  • You get all of the benefits associated with a registered pension scheme with a SSAS.
  • You have the flexibility in buying an annuity if you wish, using some or all of your fund.
  • With a SSAS, you can continue to invest in your pension fund whilst withdrawing income - until it runs out.
  • You have flexibility over provision of your beneficiaries in the event of your death.



CARLTON Bonds are an IFISA provider specialising in fixed term property bonds.

Against a backdrop of low interest rates and a volatile stock market, the IFISA can provide an attractive investment opportunity for experienced investors. 

With the ability to hold peer-to-peer loans and debt-based securities, IFISA investments have the potential to generate higher rates of return than more traditional investment routes for investors with a greater appetite for risk.

To find out more, download our free IFISA guide.

The Innovative Finance ISA Guide