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A SSAS pension will have up to 11 members, all of whom act as trustees. As such they manage the administration and investment of the scheme themselves, often with the help of a professional trustee or administrator responsible for the everyday operation of the scheme.
All member trustees are naturally inclined to ensure that the scheme is administered properly as this will ultimately have an impact on the benefits that are paid to them as members when they retire.
The current system relies on self-reporting to declare the tax due on breaking the often complex pension rules and this system fails where lay people involved do not have sufficient knowledge of what is required of them. So whilst it is currently possible to run a scheme without professional assistance, it is not usually good for the member trustees and HM Revenue & Customs may rightly worry about whether rules are being adhered to, even if they are genuine errors or mistakes.
Worryingly for some, there is certainly value in having a professional trustee to block taxable transactions before they occur and keep the various authorities up to date with scheme information.
As SSAS experts, we recommend making sure that you have either a professional trustee or a professional administrator to help guide you through the often complex pension regulations.