IFAs expect Ssas interest to boom following Spring Budget

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IFAs expect Ssas interest to boom following Spring Budget
According to commentators, the scrapping of the LTA could have come with a "nasty sting in the tail" for people who had been advised to take out fixed protection but who may have been encouraged by Hunt's Budget proposals to return to the workplace and become re-enrolled into a pension.

Advisers expect interest in small self-administered pension schemes to boom among business owners following last week’s Spring Budget.

In particular, some have said this may be fueled by a desire to purchase commercial property.

Last week the government removed the lifetime allowance on pension pots to encourage high earners to stay in work longer. 

The lifetime allowance caps the total amount a person can save in a pension without having to pay an additional tax charge.

Currently it sits at ​​£1,073,100 but following last week’s Budget the lifetime allowance charge will be removed from April 2023 before the allowance is abolished entirely from April 2024.

Advisers said this change may tempt many business owners who want to borrow money from their retirement pot to start building their Ssas even further. 

Joshua Gerstler, a chartered financial planner at Borehamwood-based The Orchard Practice explained that Ssas's have always been a good vehicle for business owners who want to lend themselves money from their pension schemes.

“For those looking to borrow large amounts of money, the removal of the lifetime allowance might tempt them to start building up their Ssas even further,” Gerstler said.

“Another interesting knock-on effect may be the ability to now purchase more expensive commercial property in a Ssas/Sipp than had been possible previously. 

“Quite rightly, people did not want to purchase a commercial property where they had a realistic expectation of the value surpassing the lifetime allowance. 

“This will no longer be an issue and we expect to see renewed interest in using a Sipp or Ssas to purchase commercial property.”

In addition to this, advisers have pointed out that the removal of the lifetime allowance now offers another efficient mechanism for business owners to manage inheritance tax via Ssas and Sipps. 

David Robinson co-founder and wealth manager at London-based Wildcat Law said: “Previously, the lifetime allowance had limited their efficiency for this but with the removal of the cap, expect to see a resurgence in Ssas uptake."

“The other area that we expect to see growth in is salary exchange for executives where pay is exchanged for pension contributions. The benefits of this are immediate savings on income tax combined with a potential saving on inheritance tax,” Robinson added.

However, this is something others in the industry have labelled as an unintended consequence and IHT loophole for the wealthy. 

Commercial property

Elsewhere, other IFAs outlined what they saw as the main benefit of the change. 

“If all members of a Ssas are set up as trustees there is greater flexibility in what you can invest in and less admin involved,” Samuel Mather-Holgate of Mather & Murray Financial explained.