SIPPs and SSASs were originally intended for business proprietors, but SIPPs in particular may be equally suitable for individuals.

The advantage of these pension saving vehicles is that they allow you to select a wide range of investments – not just investment funds – and place them in a pension to benefit from tax favoured growth. Business proprietors can even include the firm’s premises in the pension, and borrow from the fund for business purposes (subject to legal constraints). Residential property can’t be included.

Most new investment regulated pension schemes are set up as SIPPs, but many people still have SASS plans.

A SASS is a small occupational scheme, set up by the directors of a company who want control over investments and be able to invest their pension in the business. It therefore, offers more flexibility and control over investment and is usually available only to the directors. Members of the scheme are usually trustees.

A SIPP is a personal pension plan, open to anyone and set up by an insurance company or specialist operator. The SIPP provider acts as the trustee, but the member has greater control over the investments, which can include unit trusts and property. A SIPP cannot be invested in a company as it incurs higher running costs. The member’s employer can also contribute to the SIPP, and this can be done as a payroll deduction.

It requires a much greater degree of involvement to administer a SASS compared to a SIPP. Both are investment regulated schemes, but there are key differences between the two. For this reason, it is important you take advice from an Independent Financial Adviser on which is the best option for your needs.