Old Mill Updates

Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSAS) - financial difficulty and allowance easements

Connected tenant rent deferral, rent reductions and rent holidays, and SSAS employer loan repayments – financial difficulty and allowance easements

Amidst the many changes that HMRC have announced in recent weeks, on Thursday 26 March they introduced temporary changes to pension processes.  The changes come in response to an increasing number of queries regarding SSASs that own commercial property, that is let to the sponsoring employer asking about rent holidays, reducing rent and payment deferrals. This also includes deferment of loan repayments and loan repayment holidays on employer loan repayments, with many businesses looking to reduce their outgoings due to the current COVID-19 situation.  For now, these changes apply for the next 3 months. HMRC will review the position at the end of June.

1st April 2020

Scheme administrators are looking to provide increased numbers of payment holidays on loans due from connected parties and rents on commercial properties held in registered pension schemes.

Usually, to make sure that a payment holiday is on a commercial basis (and does not result in an unauthorised payments tax charge), HMRC would expect the scheme administrator to obtain an independent valuation.

To help scheme administrators and businesses affected by the current situation, HMRC are content that any arm’s length commercial decisions relating to registered pension schemes, including rent holidays and loan repayment deferrals, will not give rise to an unauthorised payment charge and can be agreed without independent valuations taking place.

Old Mill’s process is to ask for a formal request for deferral, reduction or payment holiday and we’re happy for this to be received by email or letter. Upon receipt of this request we’ll liaise with the Trustees and once an arrangement has been agreed we’ll draw up the appropriate paperwork to document the arrangement.

These arrangements can also be negotiated between Trustees and unconnected tenants, and the same process will be followed.

If your business has a SSAS and you’re unsure what you can and can’t do, speak to our specialist pensions advisers.