Commercial Property with SSAS
Business owners can hold commercial property within a SSAS pension as an investment. In fact, a SSAS is usually the best option when considering where to hold this key asset.
Below we answer the common questions we are most frequently asked about SSAS pensions and commercial property.
These answers should be helpful, however as each case is unique we recommend that you contact us to discuss your own particular property and circumstances. We can prepare an illustration that will show:
- If you can transfer your property into a SSAS
- The process we would use
- The tax implications
- The benefits and drawbacks
Why should a business consider using a SSAS for their commercial property?
There are four main reasons why a SSAS pension is the ideal vehicle for a business to either buy, hold or transfer in an existing commercial property or land.
Security of Asset
SSASs are Trusts, which means that they are probably the safest environment to hold an asset. Even if the sponsoring employer hits financial difficulty, assets held within the trust are safe from creditors* This is not true for all pensions – it is possible for a court to order access to personal pensions and even SIPPs.
SSASs are registered with HMRC meaning they have considerable tax benefits. With the correct structure in place, it is possible to legitimately reduce the amount of tax both the sponsoring company and individual trustees will pay.
The power of the collective
Because SSASs are collective schemes, it’s possible for several directors to “pool” their current pensions. This larger fund can be used to buy a commercial property for the business, which can in turn provide numerous benefits to the business and the individuals both in the short and long term.
Because of the structure of a SSAS, it is possible for existing members to pass their share of a property to their beneficiaries within the SSAS on their death. This can be extremely useful for providing continuity in family businesses.
What type of property can be held in a SSAS?
A SSAS can hold any land or property that is NOT residential.
The following would be classed as commercial property and would be suitable for a SSAS:
Offices, garages, restaurants, pubs, hotels, land (with or without planning permission), shops, the commercial element of a split use property.
The following would all be classed as residential and so not able to be held in the SSAS:
Airbnb, holiday homes, buy-to-lets, student accommodation (unless it’s attached to a university).
N.B. Residential property that is for the purpose of trade can be held in a SSAS e.g., the living accommodation for a pub manager (but not the owner).
Can a SSAS buy property from a third party?
Yes, the SSAS can use its funds to buy from a third party. It is also possible for the SSAS to borrow from a lender (bank etc) to help fund the purchase.
Can I transfer property I own into a SSAS?
Yes, there are many benefits to transferring currently owned commercial property into a SSAS.
Can SSASpro provide us with advice on commercial property?
Yes, one of our most frequent transactions involves commercial property.
We can advise on the tax, legal and pension implications of buying or transferring property. We also have a team of lawyers and tax specialists who are able to complete the transaction for you.