SSAS – Contributions


Contributions can be a one off lump sum, a regular contribution or a transfer in from an existing policy or policies, such as occupational pension schemes, final salary schemes, section 32 buy-out policies, free standing additional voluntary contribution schemes, retirement annuity contracts, stakeholder and personal pension schemes.


Making contributions can be an extremely tax-efficient way of funding your pension from your business as they may qualify as a legitimate business expense.

Personal contributions should also qualify for tax relief and are not subject to Income Tax or National Insurance.

How much can I invest into a SSAS?

  • you can invest as much as you like, but high contributions may not be tax-efficient
  • if your personal contributions exceed your annual limit, you will not qualify for tax relief on the excess
  • the annual limit is the greater of 100% of earnings or £3,600 if your annual earnings are £3,600 or less
  • in addition, if the total contributions (personal and employer) from all sources exceed the Annual Allowance, then you will be taxed at your highest marginal rate on the excess over the Annual Allowance

Annual Allowance

Contributions up to the Annual Allowance may qualify for tax-relief. If you pay (or someone else pays) a contribution greater than this, you may be subject to an Annual Allowance charge on the excess.

Lifetime Allowance

The maximum amount a member may accumulate in a pension throughout their life is subject to the Lifetime Allowance.

The Lifetime Allowance is the amount below which you benefit from the tax-exempt status of pensions. The Lifetime Allowance is relevant to all, except if you have pre-2009 ‘enhanced’ or ‘primary’ or 2012 or 2014 ‘fixed’ protection.

Tax Year Annual Allowance Lifetime Allowance
2013/14 £50,000 £1,500,000
2014/15 onwards £40,000 £1,250,000


Lifetime Allowance – when contributing to a pension you should be aware of the Lifetime Allowance. For the 2015/16 tax year the standard Lifetime Allowance is £1.25 million. If the total value of your pension(s) is near or over this amount, you should consider seeking financial advice.

You should consult your tax adviser to discuss eligibility for tax relief.

Important: if you have applied for Enhanced or Fixed Protection then any contribution to a pension will lose this protection.