Providers call for tighter SSAS regulation

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Pension providers are calling for tighter regulation of small self-administered schemes as they report growing levels of non-standard investments entering the market.

Currently, SSAS are regulated by The Pensions Regulator as occupational schemes while Sipps fall under the FCA’s remit.

Mattioli Woods operations director Mark Smith says riskier non-standard assets have been moving away from increasingly tightly controlled Sipps.

He says: “We’ve been speaking to the FCA about this. Both Sipps and SSAS are regulated but the way they are regulated is hugely different.

“The FCA is very prescriptive around areas like non-standard assets and is very clear about what it wants to see from Sipp providers.

“But there’s nothing like that for SSAS. We’re seeing people move to SSAS for non-standard investments, so there needs to be a better way to regulate this part of the market.”

Dentons director of technical services Martin Tilley says: “SSAS are still the weak link where investment misappropriation might happen.

“The market needs a bit of help from FCA-regulated entities such as banks, which should only deal with SSAS with a fit and proper administrator.”