Small self-administered pension schemes (SSAPs)

A SSAPS is a corporate pension scheme with less than 12 members. It can be used where family members work and own a business together or for groups of company directors.

The scheme is self-administered, which means that you decide yourself what the pension fund will be invested in.

Under Revenue rules, all SSAPSs must have a Revenue-approved “Pensioneer Trustee”. This will be a person or a company who is independent of the business and who is a professional pension trustee. This person or company will have experience in dealing with and setting up pensions.

This person acts as your pension administrator, shows you how to get started and tells you what rules and regulations you need to follow. A list of pensioner trustees is available from Revenue on request.

The difference between this type of pension and any other pension is that instead of giving your money to a life insurance or investment company for them to invest, you keep the money and invest it yourself. There are some restrictions on how you can invest the money. A sample of some of those restrictions is below:

  • If you are investing in a property investment, the person selling or letting the property cannot be connected to the SSAPS
  • You can’t use the pension fund to purchase a holiday home. There are also strict rules regarding the purchase of overseas property
  • You cannot purchase shares in a company that you own, or are a director of
  • Personal items cannot be bought, for example, art, jewellery, vintage cars etc.
  • Investments in private companies which are not listed on the stock exchange can only be a maximum of 5% of the pension’s assets and a maximum of 10% of the private company’s share capital

You can get more information on SSAPSs from Revenue.

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