One of the most common reasons for establishing a SSAS is to enable the Trustees to invest directly in commercial property or land:
Commercial property – it is common for a SSAS to invest in the property occupied by the sponsoring company, or an unconnected third party or in wider commercial portfolios;
Land – agricultural or development – with or without planning permission. The land must be sold on at market value prior to any residential development;
Transactions between the pension fund and the sponsoring employer and/or scheme member(s) are permitted, although they must be executed on arms length, commercial terms and supported by an independent market valuation, where appropriate.
It is also permissible to transfer in existing pension benefits from other providers to assist with liquidity in order to fund a property/land purchase (although professional advice should be obtained from a transfer specialist before proceeding).
A SSAS can borrow in order to fund particular investments (or indeed pay pension benefits). This would typically be to assist in the purchase of a commercial property or land. Borrowing is permitted up to 50% of the net value of the scheme’s assets.
No Capital Gains Tax on disposal
Rental income received tax-free
Rental income treated as a tax deductible expense for the payer
Tax relief on contributions paid into the scheme to fund the property purchase
Borrowing repaid from tax relieved pension contributions/rental income