Self-Administered Pension Planning

Self-Administered Pension(SAP)

GFA believe that a Self-Administered Pension Scheme(SAP) can be a very effective and tax efficient way for business owners and key employees to accumulate their retirement pension pot.

We are happy to coach and guide you through the entire process and if you already have an existing pension plan/plans advise you on the best way to fund your retirement going forward.

What is a SAP ?

A SAP is a low cost, tax efficient means of providing for your retirement. It is a pension established by an employer that is suitable for company owner directors and senior employees. It can also be set up by the employer for a salaried employee.

A SAP allows you control the choice of investments in your retirement fund in conjunction with us as your financial advisor. Unlike other types of occupational pension scheme the SAP gives you the opportunity to control every aspect of your retirement planning – the investments, the risk, the cost.

What advantages does SSAP have over a traditional occupational pension plan offered by an Insurance company?

The SAP offers signification benefits when compared to a traditional occupational pension plan. The main benefits can be summarized in three words – flexibility, control and ownership


You chose what you want your SAP to invest in (subject to Revenue rules!) Investments are chosen by you in conjunction with us as your financial advisor and benefit from tax free growth during the life of the scheme.


When you control the investments of your SSAP you control the level of risk within your SAP.


By controlling the investments within the SAP you control the costs associated with your SAP.

How does the SAP work?

A SAP is set up as a standalone trust. You act as Trustee of the SAP in conjunction with a Pensioner Trustee. When certain conditions are met a SAP will be granted ‘exempt approval’ by the Revenue Commissioners.

It is this exempt approval that gives the SAP significant tax benefits both for the employer and the scheme member. As Trustee you can make the investment decisions associated with the SAP. As a SAP is set up as a trust the assets of the SAP are legally separate from both the company that set up the SAP and the chosen Pensioner Trustee.

What can I invest in with my SAP?

Here are a few examples of the kind of assets your SAP can and can’t invest in:

Allowable Investments

  • Property – Residential or Commercial
  • Syndicated Property
  • Land
  • Shares in Public and Private Companies
  • Corporate & Government Bonds
  • Unit Trusts
  • Insurance Company Funds
  • Deposit Accounts
  • Loan Notes
  • Gold Bullion

Prohibited Investments

  • Property with personal usage
  • Antiques & Works of Art
  • Fine Wines
  • Loans to Beneficiaries or Connected Persons

This is not an exhaustive list and other investments are also available. There are also a number of other investments that cannot be made through your SAP. We will be able to assist you with building a portfolio of eligible and suitable assets for your SAP that matches your risk tolerance.

Are there any other benefits of a SSAP?

Yes there are significant benefits for both the employer and employee

For the Employer/Company

  • Employer contributions to the SAP (within Revenue limits) are allowed as an expense for Corporation Tax .
  • Employer contributions to the SAP (within certain limits) will not result in an income tax liability for the scheme member
  • The assets of the SAP do not form part of the employers’ assets and as such are ‘out of reach’ of the creditors of the company
  • Employer contributions to the SAP can be varied each year to suit the financial circumstances of the company

For the Employee /SAP member

  • Employer contributions to the SAP (within Revenue limits) do not create an income tax liability for the employee(i.e.BIK)
  • Personal contributions to the SAP (within Revenue limits) are allowed against the employee’s income tax
  • Benefits can be accessed from age 50
  • The SAP member can control the investment of assets in the SAP, this can be a hands on or hands off role, the level of involvement is up to the SAP member

Other benefits

  • A SAP is an ideal way of rewarding and retaining key staff without creating a tax liability for them
  • A SAP can be used as part of an efficient business exit plan for shareholders in a company
  •  There is complete transparency of all fees associated with an SAP
  • All income and gains of a SAP are exempt from Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax and property and other assets can easily and cheaply be transferred to an ARF on retirement

Please note that the provision of a SAP product/ service does not require licensing, authorisation or registration with the Central Bank of Ireland and, as a result, is not covered by the Central Bank of Ireland’s requirements designed to protect consumers or by a statutory compensation scheme.

How it works

Contact us today

Please contact Jack FitzPatrick today on Tel: 086-2541272 or Email to arrange a no obligation confidential appointment with him.

Getting to know you

This meeting is to decide if both of us believe it is appropriate for you to establish your own SAP and are comfortable working together to achieve your retirement goals .


After assembling relevant data, we will discuss and agree with you a strategy for building assets and investments in your new SAP and the on-going monitoring and growing of your SAP Fund.