Pension Practitioner
The SSAS Experts
07
AUG
2013

The Pensions Regulator – New Code of Practice

The Pensions Regulator is concerned with the regulation of self administered schemes and has issued guidance in connection with the regulation of SSAS and occupational schemes generally. We welcome that revised code of conduct.

It is aimed at assisting trustees who wish their scheme to meet the quality standards that form the basis of a SSAS and sets out what the regulator considers that trustees should do to meet those standards. 

Introducers

Where introducers are using a SSAS as a wrapper for a specific class of investment, such as property or other illiquid asset, we will require the trustees to have greater regard to scheme liquidity and investment risk.  For non-mainstream, non investment regulated investment products we will only act as practitioner where those investments also form part of a balanced portfolio of regulated classes. 

We will seek to ensure that non regulated persons cannot promote non-mainstream products to SSAS retail clients, in light of the guidelines also issued by the Financial Conduct Authority. We will do this creating a section on our website on the new code of practice.

Pension Extraction

A SSAS pension scheme is one of the most tax efficient way to create a nest egg for your future.  Pension extraction (via a SSAS or other means) is therefore both destructive to the policyholder and the industry generally. It usually involves an individual investing in an non-regulated product and the agent arranging the investment provides cash or other financial inducements back to the investor. The products used are usually high risk and unlikely to provide a meaningful return to investors. The practice is also fraudulent (as it is a defraud of taxation) and where we find that a client or introducer engages in this, we will report to the relevant authorities.

Investments

All schemes that we administer are arranged on the basis that the members are also the trustee and as such are self managing their investments. Where the trustees invest in assets that are not regulated by the FCA, they should obtain independent professional advice from a firm with expertise in that investment area. 

For example, a RICS surveyor on property purchase, or in the case of say wines through an structured investment an independent wine expert, such as Tom Cannavan or David Williams. We have an extensive bank of contacts who can give you independent, expert advice on the investments you are selecting and we receive no payments from those referrals. If you therefore wish us to put you in touch with someone to can give you an independent view please let us know, we are here to help you get the best deal for your money. 

Whom we are working with

Getting value from your investments.
We work with a number of independent financial advisors from networks such as Positive Solutions and St James’ Place. We also work with Russell Investments, Rathbones, Lloyds Corporate to name but a few. As the UK’s fastest growing SSAS administrator we are able to use our extensive networks to find you the best deal for your money.

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