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Thinking of Purchasing an Investment Property? Think SSAP

By: Gearoid McKernan | Posted on: 29 Mar 2018

Thinking of Purchasing an Investment Property? Think SSAP

Thinking of Purchasing an Investment Property? Think SSAP



If you are thinking about investing in property, you may wish to consider setting up a Small Self-Administered Pension Scheme (SSAP) as a very tax efficient means of doing so.


What is a SSAP?


A SSAP is a Revenue approved Pension Scheme which is set up by a Company for an employee or a director of that Company. It is a tax efficient means of wealth accumulation that allows individuals to invest to provide maximum retirement benefits in the future.


The individual controls how the SSAP is invested. A wide variety of investments can be considered including direct property investments. Pre-tax monies are introduced into the fund and the income and gains deriving from those property assets are treated as tax free in the fund.


On retirement, the assets transfer to an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF). You can access a tax free lump sum from that fund along with benefits that are distributed to you in the future. As part of succession planning, the assets from the ARF can be passed onto your next of kin in the future.



Benefits- Tax Efficiency and Control


The key benefit to investing in property using a SSAP, as opposed to in a personal capacity is its tax efficiency. Funds taken from a SSAP to purchase an Investment Property are free from Income Tax, USC and PRSI. This allows an individual more funds to purchase a larger Investment Property with the result of increased rental income. The rental income derived from a SSAP Investment Property is tax free and as a result increases the Pension Fund.


The result is that a SSAP property investment can yield rental income which is four times greater than an Investment Property purchased in a personal capacity. The sale of the property is also exempt from Capital Gains Tax.


The pension is flexible and allows you a high element of control. You have a large selection of investment options such as direct properties or alternatively shares and bonds to suit your risk profile. You work with your Advisors and Accountant to choose the right investment strategy. You have complete investment control of your pension. You also have large scope to make contributions into the scheme.



Revenue Controls


The SSAP is approved by the Revenue Commissioners. There are some restrictions which potential Investors should be aware of.  Most notably:


  • The purchase of property must be for the sole purpose of providing benefits in retirement


  • The purchase must be at ‘arms length’. The pension scheme cannot buy or sell property from their member, their employer, or anyone connected with the scheme member.


  • The property cannot be let to the member’s relatives, their employer, director or associated companies


  • Personal use of property is prohibited



Hugh Growth in Popularity


Property Law Solicitors have been seen a significant increase in the numbers of clients purchasing property through SSAPs in the past twelve months. It seems that the greatest barrier has been lack of awareness of the Scheme on the part of potential Investors. However this is quickly changing. Given the enormous benefits of investing in property through this medium, it is anticipated that the growth in popularity of property investment through the SSAP will continue.



Any Questions?


At BDM Boylan Solicitors, we are very familiar with the legal process of purchasing a property through SSAP. We will be happy to assist you in doing so. We can also point you in the right direction to set up your Scheme. Please feel free to contact our Conveyancing Department with any queries.





Gearoid McKernan


BDM Boylan Solicitors,

Clarkes Bridge House,

Hanover Street,



021 431 3333