The following investments can normally be made in a SSAS with no tax charges:

Cash, cash funds and deposits

Exchange traded commodities

Government & local authority bonds and other fixed interest stocks

Investment notes (structured products)

Shares in investment trusts

Managed pension funds

National Savings and Investment products

Permanent interest bearing shares (PIBs)

Physical gold bullion

Real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Stocks and shares listed on a regulated venue (including AIM)

UK commercial property, including land

Loans to

Sponsoring Employees

A SSAS is permitted to make a loan to a sponsoring employer but the loan must meet all the following conditions, otherwise it could be treated as an unauthorised payment and subject to serious tax consequences.

Security: The amount of the loan must be secured throughout the full term as a first charge on any asset whose value is at least equal to the face value of the loan (including accrued interest). The charge must be in place before the loan is made and there must be no other charge on the asset that takes priority over the charge.

Interest rate: The interest rate on the loan must be at least 1% above the base rate.

Term of loan: The term of the loan must be no longer than five years and the total amount owing (including interest) must be repaid by the end of that term.

Maximum amount of loan: The maximum amount that can be lent to a sponsoring employer is 50% of the net assets of the SSAS.

Repayment terms: The loan must be repaid in equal instalments of capital and interest for each complete year of the loan.

Loans to

Third Parties

A SSAS may also make a loan to a third party, i.e. to an individual or company who is not connected to a member or sponsoring employer of the SSAS. There are no specific requirements that apply to such loans but they must be genuine investments and should be prudent, secure and taken out on a commercial basis.

If a loan to a third party is used, either directly or indirectly, to acquire any ‘taxable property’, i.e. residential property or tangible moveable property then there may be serious tax consequences even though the loan is to a third party.


A SSAS can invest in a commercial property that is let to the sponsoring employer.  In such cases it is important that the property is managed on an arm’s length basis and that rent is charged based on the open market rental value.

It is possible for a SSAS to borrow money, subject to conditions, to help fund  a property purchase.


SSAS Invesments

The following investments are not normally considered appropriate for a SSAS:

Carbon credits

Contracts for difference or spread betting

Currency trading accounts

Intellectual property and copyrights

Land banking

Life settlement funds

Litigation funding

Loans that are made to acquire residential property or any other ‘taxable property’

Peer-to-peer lending

Seed capital

Traded endowment policies

Unquoted overseas companies.

The following investments will normally give rise to tax charges and, therefore, it would not normally be appropriate to hold them in a SSAS:

  • direct investment in ‘taxable property’, which is defined as:
    • residential property, including residential ground rents; or
    • tangible moveable property (e.g. antiques, boats, cars, jewellery, wine, works of art).
  • loans to members and/or individuals or companies connected with a member or sponsoring employer (excluding loans to a sponsoring employer that meet the conditions set out above)
  • any investment that is made to facilitate early access to a member’s pension fund (‘pensions liberation’) or any direct or indirect payments or benefits to the member and/or persons connected with a member or sponsoring employer of the SSAS.


The following investments may give rise to tax charges and, therefore, professional advice should be taken to assess whether or not it is appropriate to hold them in a SSAS:

  • unlisted UK companies
  • unregulated collective investment schemes (UCIS)
  • loans to third parties
  • indirect investment in ‘taxable property’

Transactions with

A member of a connected person

A SSAS is permitted to enter into investment transactions with a member or an individual or company connected with a member or sponsoring employer of the SSAS.  However, any such transactions must take place on commercial terms and an arm’s length basis.


A SSAS can borrow for investment purposes and charge its assets as security for any such borrowing. The maximum amount it can borrow is 50% of the fund’s net assets (after deducting any existing borrowings).

What is the tax

Position on a SSAS's Investments?

The investments in a SSAS will normally be free from UK income and capital gains taxes, although tax cannot be reclaimed on UK dividends.



It is important to consider the following factors regarding the suitability of a proposed investment in a SSAS:

  • Is the proposed investment actually available to a SSAS?
  • Are you aware of the risk factors associated with the investment?
  • Are there any restrictions on selling the investment, e.g. a minimum investment term, which could affect the ability to encash the investment in order to:
    • switch investments
    • take income and/or lump sum benefits
    • allow benefits to be paid to your beneficiaries in the event of your death?
  • Are there any circumstances in which the SSAS could be asked to inject more funds into the investment, e.g. as a further call, in which case are you satisfied that those funds will be available when required and are you aware of the consequences if those funds are not available?
  • Is the investment likely to give rise to any taxation?

Warning: We recommend that if you are unsure about any of these points, or whether a particular investment is suitable for a SSAS, you seek professional advice from an adviser regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.