Self Administered Pension Funds

One of the most flexible ways to save for retirement is through a self-administered pension. These plans also give you control over the investment strategy, and  income you take in retirement - subject to government minimums. When you pass away, your estate inherits any assets in the SSAP.

You do not have to be a company director to have an SSAP, any employee can set up a SSAP with the permission of their employer.

You can even purchase property or land, offset all of the expenses (including solicitors, auctioneer, stamp duty, property tax, water charges, maintenance, and management charges); pay no Capital Gains Tax and the rental income can be used as income in your retirement.

Ireland's Only Lending Facility for Self Administered Pension Funds

Buy a residential or commercial property for your pension fund?

Use your Pension Fund to provide 50% of the cost of the property and borrow the other 50% at a great rate

Contact Colm @ Cregan Kelly O'Brien to learn more

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Cregan Kelly O'Brien have partnered with ICS/DILOSK to provide Ireland's only lending facility to self administered pension funds.

Why Choose Cregan Kelly O'Brien for Pension Advice

Colm Kelly - Financial Planning & Advice

Why Cregan Kelly O'Brien?

Collaboration sits at the heart of our offering. Taking an overall view of your financial situation and challenges enables us to help you make better choices.

We bring our expertise in insurance, financial planning and accounting together to enable us to work with you to address all of your insurance and financial challenges. As a result of taking this broader look at your affairs, we can ensure that all the solutions that we put in place fit together, maximising the benefits to you and ensuring that costs are kept as low as possible.

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Who are the Parties to the SSAP?

You are the member trustee of the SSAP. The trustees are responsible for, and control all aspects of the SSAP's investment strategy and payment of retirement benefits.

One of the trustees must include a professional trustee also called a 'Pensioneer Trustee'. This trustee must be an individual or company who are pension experts and be approved by the Revenue Commissioners to act as a Pensioneer Trustee.

Cregan Kelly O'Brien arrange all the legal documents required to setup the SSAP, and arrange for initial approval from the Revenue. Cregan Kelly O'Brien will also arrange all ongoing services such as accounting, actuarial services, and the appointment of the Pensioneer Trustee.

Read our article in the Sunday Business Post

Buying a Property with Your Pension Fund

Find out more about about purchasing a property with your pension fund

What Can an SSAP Invest In ?

Authorised Investments

  • Approved property;
  • Land;
  • Property syndicates;
  • Shares in private companies (subject to limits)
  • Quoted equities on recognised markets worldwide;
  • Gilts, bonds and fixed interest stocks;
  • Investment trusts;
  • Unit trusts;
  • Insurance company funds;
  • Bank and building society deposits;
  • Offshore managed funds;
  • Futures and options;
  • Copyrights;
  • Loan notes.

Prohibited Investments

  • Holiday homes with personal usage;
  • Shares in your principal employer;
  • Rare books and stamps;
  • Works of art and antiques;
  • Fine wines;
  • Loans to member trustees or their families;
  • Secured and unsecured loans to the principal employer or connected person;
  • Assets that could be used for member trustees' personal gain, e.g. golf membership;
  • Furniture and oriental rugs;
  • Yachts and vintage cars;
  • Jewellery and gem stones;
  • Gold bullion.

Setting Up an Self Administered Pension (SSAP)

You require an existing pension plan or lump sum to invest
Revenue Approval
Cregan Kelly O'Brien will arrange all the documentation required for Revenue Approval
Identify investment Strategy
Develop the investment strategy
Setup SSAP
Cregan Kelly O'Brien arrange the setup of the special purpose vehicle (SSAP)
Transfer Funds
Transfer existing pension funds or lump sum into SSAP
Invest & Monitor
Invest & Monitor Performance

Funding the SSAP

The maximum contribution that can be made to a SSAP in any one year is determined by Revenue rules, and limits. An actuarial report is provided to the Member Trustee at outset and every three years after establishing their SSAP.

The actuarial valuation report details the maximum contributions that can be made to the SSAP to provide benefits for the member and their beneficaries. The company's directors use this information to determine an employer's normal annual contribution to the SSAP. Special, one off contributions may be made to fund for past service.

Members may themselves make personal contributions and get valuable tax relief. This must take into consideration any contributions that they are making to other occupational pension schemes or PRSAs.

What are the inheritance tax considerations?

Death before retirement: Your spouse or estate is entitled to up to four times your current salary plus the current value of all your personal contributions as a tax free lump sum

Death after retirement where you have an Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) in place:your spouse or estate is entitled to benefits from the ARF. Any drawdowns will be taxed.

Death after retirement where an ARF is in place and where your spouse dies: the balance of the ARF forms part of the estate and rules relating to the age of the children affect the tax position

Retirement Options

Normal Retirement Age: The Member Trustee selects the normal retirement age for the SSAP (between ages 60 - 70)

Early Retirement: The member may retire earlier than the usual retirement age, this may be from the age of 50 onwards. If early retirement is taken, benefits may be reduced.

Tax-free Cash: A retiring member may take a lump sum of up to 25% (subject to a maximum of 200K euro tax free, balance taxed at 20%) of the accumulated fund at retirement. The balance of the fund can be invested in a approved retirement fund under which the retiree can exercise investment control subject to certain Revenue limits.


A retiring bondholder may elect to receive a cash lump sum, up to a maximum of 1.5 times final renumeration (subject to the 200K tax-free limit, with the balance up to 575K taxed at 20%) and the balance of the fund must be used to purchase an annuity i.e. a pension. This will reduce the amount of the pension that can be paid.


Members with ten years' service of more at their normal retirement age may take a maximum pension equating to two thirds of their final renumeration. The actual pension payable on retirement will depend on the funds being available with the SSAP. The pension may increase in payment at a fixed rate or in line with the consumer price index(CPI), and can also include a spouse/dependants pension.

Key Benefits of a SSAP

A Summary of the Key Benefits of
a Small Self Administered Pension


A SSAP allows the member to control where their assets are invested.


All assets are held off balance sheet under a trust readily identifiable for the beneficiary


A member can clearly see what assets are in the scheme and what the associated costs are.


The scheme is portable between employers without liquating assets,  and easily replace the Pensioneer Trustee. Assets can be transferred to a self administered retirement, or ARF without liquating assets


A member can borrow to purchase an asset for the SSAP.


A SSAP is usually less costly than a traditional pension scheme.


Not being part of a group/corporate pension scheme gives you greater confidentiality in terms of benefits.
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Contact Us
Financial Planning
Colm Kelly
T: +353 1 870 0370

Tommy O'Brien
T: +353 1 883 9020

Financial Life & Planning Limited T/A Cregan Kelly O'Brien Financial Planning are responsible for handling all aspects of Financial Planning for individuals and business owners including advice on Pensions and Retirement planning , Saving and investments , Life and Serious Illness cover and Income Protection cover and business protection  offered on this website. Finance Life and Pensions Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

About Cregan Kelly O'Brien


In 2007 Maurice Cregan and Colm Kelly established CK Financial Services to provide financial planning and advice to business owners and individuals. Tommy O'Brien, a General Insurance expert, then joined them in 2010, enabling them to meet the full financial needs of their clients. Financial Life & Planning Limited would deliver Financial Services, and O'Brien Cregan Kelly Insurances would deliver Insurance Broking services. Two Business Names were registered Cregan Kelly O'Brien Financial Planning and Cregan Kelly O'Brien Insurances

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