Focus 106 – SSAS Takeovers

Recently, there has been a marked increase in the enquiries we are receiving to take over existing SSASs, ranging from single schemes to books of business.  In part, this is due to the review service that we have in place for advisers, designed to ensure these SSASs are meeting the increasingly onerous regulatory and legislative frameworks.  We carry out this initial review remotely, free of charge; but if required, a face-to-face meeting may be available.    

In our day-to-day interaction with advisers, we have identified a significant number of existing SSAS books that over time have become sufficiently large in number to warrant close and careful attention – yet when viewed in relation to the adviser’s overall business are a non-core product offering. In short, the adviser has unwittingly become a reluctant SSAS practitioner! This leads to a dilemma for many firms of having to maintain and update back-office systems, software, etc, and to train and retain dedicated SSAS administration staff whilst not having sufficient SSAS numbers to warrant such expense and time.    

In these situations, there can potentially be real advantages of outsourcing the administration functions to a specialist firm, who will work with the adviser to deliver a first class service. This enables advisers to free up valuable resources and focus on their core activities, whilst drawing comfort from the fact that their clients will receive administrative expertise and technical support.    

Any individual or corporate entity wishing to be appointed to the role of Scheme Administrator to a SSAS has to fulfil HMRC’s Fit and Proper Persons test. In addition, despite not being regulated by the FCA, a SSAS still needs to fulfil its obligations to HMRC and TPR. The obligations on Scheme Administrators are constantly evolving, so by using a professional Scheme Administrator, clients and advisers will have peace of mind that the scheme is being run efficiently and compliantly.    

For more information about our cost effective administration and Trustee services, please call your usual Talbot and Muir contact or anyone in our Adviser Support Team.