Can I use my pension to buy property, stock, bonds & funds where I have full control?

What is the SSAS?

A Small Self-Administered Pension Scheme (SSAS) is a pension which has a small number of members, and which is self-administered. A SSAS is suitable for both owner directors and employees, allowing the holder to enjoy the greatest level of control over the direction of their investments.  SSAS offers a high level of flexibility in respect of contributions and there is no obligation to make regular contributions.

What makes SSAS different from other pension products? 

If you invest in an insurance company pension product, you must choose from the fund options available under that contract. A SSAS will allow you to avail of all of the benefits of the pension structure without the obligation to invest in specific funds. It is possible to hold individual properties, land, deposits, listed equities and a variety of other investments directly in your SSAS. Your SSAS contributions are only limited to the maximum relevant earnings threshold. 

What is involved in a SSAS?

If you open a SSAS you are obliged to hire an independent Trustee to have official oversight on the scheme and to ensure timely annual reporting. You must also behave in line with the relevant legislative guidelines. There are two platforms available in Ireland that allow access to low cost index funds through such schemes. 

What are the costs associated with an SSAS? 

The cost of setting up and managing your SSAS is met by fees which are typically paid by your company and are fully tax-deductible. The ongoing cost of a SSAS is fully transparent and depends on your investment strategy. When you control the direction of your investment, you also have the power to manage

What are the advantages of setting up a SSAS?

  • total transparency on costs
  • total control on strategy
  • corporation tax relief on contributions for your company
  • no benefit in kind
  • access to whole-market investment options, funds, indices, property and even deposits accounts!

What happens if you die before retirement?

In the event of your untimely death a lump sum of up to 4 times your salary can be paid to your estate tax free. In some cases this may absorb the full value of the fund. An annual income for dependents will be purchased with any surplus monies in the fund


If you are in a position to make reasonable contributions to your pension fund, then it makes perfect sense. The transparency and control are unraveled and the cost savings will benefit your pension pot when it comes to drawing your pension.