It is important to make sure you have a plan for when you retire, and there are a number of products in the pensions and investments market designed with this in mind.

More about SIPP & SSAS

Two such types of Pension Scheme are a SIPP (a Self-Invested Personal Pension) and a SSAS (Small Self-Administered Scheme), which can offer tax benefits as well as greater control and flexibility in terms of what can be invested.

SIPP's and SSAS's can be used to invest in many types of assets, including commercial property which is where Forbes can assist, providing you with expert legal advice to deal with the legal complexities involved with acquiring commercial property and to ensure that a transaction is properly structured to comply with HMRC's requirements.

The SIPP and SSAS property team at Forbes have many years' experience in this specialist area, and act for numerous Pension Scheme administrators operating throughout the country as a trusted source of advice and support.

Our specialist team can give you clear and straightforward legal advice on property transactions involving a SIPP or a SSAS, including but not exclusively:

  • Property purchases

  • Property sales

  • Leases (whether as Landlord or Tenant)

  • Lease management (such as assignments or surrenders of leases)

  • Taking security over property as part of third party funding for an acquisition

  • Transferring property between Pension Schemes

  • Documenting co-ownership arrangements where a property is to be held by multiple parties, some or all of which are Pension Scheme

We have a practical working relationship between member trustees and their financial advisers and chosen scheme administrator. This ensures that a cost effective and efficient service is always provided, allowing each transaction to proceed as quickly and as smoothly as possible.

For more information contact Mohassan Mehmood in our SIPP & SSAS Pensions department via email or phone on 0333 207 1158.


Can I buy any property with a SIPP?

A SIPP can be used to purchase/invest in a number of assets, including commercial property. However, it is important to note that a SIPP (or SSAS) cannot purchase residential property, otherwise significant tax penalties will be charged by HMRC.

What if the property is mixed use (partly commercial and partly residential)?

A Pension Scheme cannot acquire an interest in any residential property, so the transaction will need to be structured to ensure that any residential parts of the property are excluded from the property being acquired by the Pension Scheme, which we can assist with.

Can a SIPP take out a commercial mortgage?

Yes, many lenders allow funding for Pension Schemes towards commercial property purchases. Each lender will have their own requirements which will also need to be complied with in addition to the Pension Scheme administrator's own requirements.

Who owns the property in a Pension Scheme?

The property will usually be purchased and owned in the name of the trustees of the Pension Scheme, on behalf of the Scheme. Any actions taken by the trustees in relation to the property will be governed by the rules of the Pension Scheme.

What are the rules regarding a Pension Scheme buying a commercial property that is then leased to a connected party?

A property can be leased to a party connected to the Pension Scheme (such as a trustee's company) although HMRC rules require the arrangement to be carried out on an "arms-length" basis. Therefore, the terms of the lease must be in line with the open market (as if it was being leased to an unconnected party) and the terms would need to be confirmed by an independent, qualified surveyor.

Corporate Support

Advising SIPP's on the disposal of shares in a company Drafting and advising on a range of security documentation including Authorised Employer Loans and Loan Agreements Drafting ancillary documentation including board minutes and Companies House forms

Dispute and Debt Recovery Support

Enforcement procedures Insolvency procedures Handling cases where liability is contested Advice on credit control procedures

Employment Law Support

Assisting organisations in the implementation of stakeholder, final salary, defined benefit and auto-enrolment schemes in the workforce Advising on the interpretation of Scheme rules in matters of dispute; Representation in Pensions Ombudsman proceedings; Calculation and forecast of pension loss in complex litigated matters

Tax & Trust Law Support

Drafting bespoke "spousal bypass" trusts for members to nominate pension death benefits Drafting bespoke trusts for minors or other vulnerable beneficiaries on the death of member Acting as professional trustees in situations where funds are to be held on trust for benefit of minor or other vulnerable beneficiary on death of member Advising Pension Fund Trustees on potential beneficiaries when members die without making a nomination Advising on Estate Planning for members outside of their pension arrangements

Our dedicated Commercial Property team


Partner, Head of Department, Commercial Property

Richard Clithero

Helen Marsh.jpg

Partner, Commercial Property

Helen Marsh


Partner, Commercial Property

Matthew Jones

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© 2024 Forbes Solicitors is the trading name of Forbes Solicitors LLP Offices in Preston, Manchester, Salford, Blackburn, Blackpool, London and Leeds UK Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St Johns), Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 8DD • Vat No: 174 394 344 Forbes Solicitors is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA No. 816356). Details of the SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be found here.

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