A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by SSAS Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from SSAS Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Managing Director PeterJones
Business flexibility and
retirement planning
SSAS Limited offers administrative services
to small businesses and entrepreneurial clients engaged in a
SSAS pension scheme. The company provides clients with the
framework to structure investments to comply with strict HMRC
rules. Their SSAS model allows clients, who are typically small
business owners, to make use of their pension fund in a tax-efficient
manner. This allows the entrepreneurial spirit of clients to flourish
through the close relationship between business and scheme. SSAS
Practitioner has instigated a flexible working environment, with all
their staff working from home, which has contributed to a high
level of staff retention. Managing Director Peter Jones explains what
sets them apart from other firms and how they support government
attempts to clamp down on fraudulent pension advisers.
Small Self-Administered Schemes have been used since the 1970s. As they can
only contain up to eleven members, they are traditionally used by small, owner
managed businesses. A trading company is required to sponsor the SSAS for it
to be registered by HMRC. There is therefore a link between the SSAS and the
employer at the outset which can be extended through transactions between
the two, such as contributions to the SSAS from the employer which qualify for
corporation tax relief, a loan back of funds to the employer, and the employer
occupying a property owned by the SSAS.
SSASs therefore provide the ability for individuals to fund retirement without
relying on traditional investment providers. Crucially this means that clients can use
their pension to invest in their company to assist its growth.
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2009
»Based in Foxton, Leicestershire
»No. of employees: 8
»No. of SSASs: 600
Highlighting best practice
We were established in 2009 and
have grown organically since then.
Our eight employees administer 600
schemes, ensuring the smooth running
of the portfolio.We pride ourselves on
our technical expertise and attention
to detail, with clients experiencing
easy access to a dedicated member of
staff and also to company decision-
makers.With our SSAS model, the
clients are the only trustees. This
allows the scheme to be run under our
guidance, without the necessity for the
costly and cumbersome involvement
of a corporate trustee. We structure
investment proposals and provide the
required documentation, preventing
clients falling into legislative pitfalls.
We also monitor transactions and
ensure that investments are within
the complex legislative framework.
We do this without physically applying
our signature to paperwork, enabling
our model to run efficiently and avoid
unnecessary cost and delay. Our role
is fully encompassing; we undertake
all reporting requirements once the
scheme is set up.
Empowering our clients
The interaction between company
and scheme results in self-moderation,
and as the trustees are the ultimate
beneficiaries, they naturally want to
ensure the relationship runs smoothly.
The opportunity for the scheme to
purchase commercial property from
the company and loan funds back
also provides a convenient and self-
propagating opportunity for growth.
Transactions such as these release
cash for the company and lead to the
scheme receiving tax-free rent and
interest payments. This prevents these
payments falling into the hands of
third-party landlords and banks and
keeps them with the beneficiaries of
the scheme, who have generated the
funds. This unique opportunity for
schemes and companies to interact in
a tax-privileged environment is crucial
for the prosperity of small businesses,
which play such a pivotal role in a
prosperous UK economy.
Our flat and fully inclusive annual fee
is unique in an industry peppered
with time-cost and fee-structure
models. This allows for entrepreneurs
to budget more efficiently without
witnessing an erosion of their pension
due to excessive administration fees.
We find that by using our personalised
service, the vast majority of our clients
run their schemes in a sensible fashion
and so deservedly have control over
their own hard-earned retirement
funds. Each of our clients act as their
own HMRC administrator, supported
by the guidance we provide to ensure
they are compliant with all necessary
regulation from HMRC.
The UK’s only truly low-
cost, well-established,
fully-inclusive SSAS
provider leaving you in
control – with no set-up
fee, takeover fee or
additional costs
such as these
release cash
for the
company and
lead to the
receiving tax-
free rent and
Embracing a flexible working
We embrace a modern working
approach and our staff are home based.
This leads to a high proportion of our
roles being filled by employees who
are attracted to the flexible working
pattern. This environment has allowed
us to retain staff and the associated
knowledge base obtained from many
years of pensions experience. The
efficiency of a modern IT system, and a
model where we do not physically sign
on transactions while still being privy to
them, is very popular indeed.
The high level of service we offer is
reflected in the five-star awards we
have received from both Defaqto
and Moneyfacts, and is apparent
from the many client, accountant
and Independent Financial Adviser
testimonials published on our website.
Clamping down on pension
Over the last few years, SSASs have
been placed increasingly in the spotlight,
with greater attention given to pension
liberation fraud. To combat this,
HMRC looks very closely at each new
registration request. It is undoubtedly
positive that HMRC identifies false
corporations applying to register
schemes for unwholesome purposes.
We are pleased HMRC have managed
to combine greater due diligence with
faster registration times of late and we
welcome any measure to protect the
industry and legitimate SSAS holders.
Another legislative change to the
sector came with the recent Financial
Guidance and Claims Act 2018. This
included legislation that bans cold-
calling individuals and convincing them
to extract money from their pensions.
We support any initiative that prevents
this practice. Not only will this improve
the financial safety of the general
public, but it will also boost the
reputation of our industry.
We plan to continue growing our
business, offering a self-invested pension
at a reasonable cost to the UK’s small
business community. We will continue
to focus on how we can improve this
while retaining the unique flat fee.
By continuing to empower those we
work with to take charge of their own
schemes, we are confident that we can
maintain our progress andtheirs.
Each of our
clients act as
their own
supported by
the guidance
we provide
We are completely
owned and
operated, with no
conflicts of interest.
This gives us full
flexibility to shape
our service around
the needs of our

This article was sponsored by SSAS Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster