Since acquiring the SSAS book from Rowanmoor in January 2023, WBR Group has been made aware of a potential historic issue regarding the professional trustee firm that had been appointed to a number of the SSAS schemes. Due to this, we have a contingency plan in place to replace that trustee firm with one of our own. This is a technical and administrative process that will not affect the operation or management of the SSASs and at no point in time are client assets at risk. A dedicated inhouse team will handle the necessary work and there will be no cost to our clients. The team will ensure that assets are re-registered where Rowanmoor Trustees Limited (RTL) is listed as a co-owner: this includes the re-registration of properties. WBR Group will keep clients and their advisers informed throughout this process.

Background to the RTL issue:

  • A SSAS is a small occupational pension scheme that is set up by the directors of a business who want more control over the investment decisions relating to their pensions and in particular, to use their pension plans to invest in the business. As such, each member of the SSAS is usually a trustee
  • A SSAS will normally have a professional trustee that acts on their behalf, however, a SSAS does not need to have a professional trustee
  • It is advisable to appoint a professional trustee for a number of reasons, including the fact that they have the expertise and experience to help the members run the scheme in accordance with the pension rules and regulations
  • A professional trustee can also provide guidance and support on complex matters such as tax, compliance, investments, and transfers
  • WBR Group is the UK’s largest independent provider of SSAS services and tax experts
  • WBR Group announced on 7 December 2022 that it had acquired Rowanmoor Executive Pensions Limited’s book of around 3,500 SSASs
  • WBR Group has become aware of a potential historic issue with regards to the independent trustee firm historically appointed to a number of the Rowanmoor SSASs (Rowanmoor Trustees Limited), and due to this, contingency plans have been put in place
  • Rowanmoor Trustees Limited is not a company owned by the WBR Group and is still owned by the Rowanmoor Group.
  • Rowanmoor Trustees Limited has been run as a dormant trustee company and has no assets, but due to a determination by The Pensions Ombudsmen it has been confirmed that Rowanmoor Trustees Limited is likely to go into administration. The timing of this eventuality is unknown but it could be several months
  • Due to the likelihood of this happening, WBR Group intends to undertake a process to replace the professional trustee with one of its own companies and re-register assets held within the SSASs accordingly. This is a technical and administrative process that will not affect the operation or management of the SSASs
  • WBR will handle the re-registration process on behalf of clients that have been impacted and there will be no cost to them, in addition, and as part of this process, WBR will also be providing a new 2024 Deed and Rules at minimal cost.

Any clients or advisers with concerns are invited to approach their WBR contact, or email