Rowanmoor Group plc, the UK’s largest independent SSAS provider and a bespoke SIPP and Family Pension Trust (Family SIPP) operator, is offering new scheme practitioner services for SSAS trustees looking for professional support. These services will be offered as an option alongside its ‘full’ scheme administrator and trustee-serviced Rowanmoor Pensions SSAS.
Rowanmoor Group will be offering a variety of services as part of its SSAS practitioner offering. These will range from providing technical expertise, actuarial, consultancy and scheme accountancy services, to scheme documentation and administration.
This service has been launched in response to new requirements that will be introduced by HMRC from 1 September 2014 which state that all scheme administrators must be ‘fit and proper persons’, with sufficient knowledge of pensions tax legislation and duties and liabilities attaching. If not, scheme administrators should retain the services of a professional adviser to act in such a capacity to fulfil this role. If these criteria are not met, HMRC has the power to refuse to register new schemes or even de-register existing schemes.
Ian Hammond, Managing Director at Rowanmoor Group plc, said:
“The registered scheme administrator for the SSAS takes on responsibility for ensuring the scheme is run in accordance with legislation, including any necessary reporting to HMRC, and is ultimately liable for scheme sanction charges for any breaches. Given the highly complex tax rules and legislation surrounding SSASs, we recommend this role is undertaken by a professional company. For existing SSASs which have been administered without the involvement of a professional and may be facing hefty fines as a result, Rowanmoor Group’s new SSAS practitioner services offer a possible solution. We will aim to take the pressure off employers and member trustees with scheme administrator responsibilities, supporting them to efficiently govern their schemes.
“Pension liberation fraud continues to be a significant issue within the pensions industry and there is a fear that the increased pension flexibility post-Budget could lead to further fraudulent activity. The recent introduction of the ‘fit and proper persons’ criteria by HMRC will help to ensure schemes are administered correctly. Those involved with running a SSAS will need to have an even greater knowledge of pensions legislation and terminology to fulfil their duties as a scheme administrator.
“As the UK’s largest independent SSAS provider, we have the benefit of experience and expertise and can ensure that the SSAS is compliant and run correctly going forward.”