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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-schemes-newsletter-109-april-2019/pension-schemes-newsletter-109-april-2019
1. Pension flexibility statistics
The quarterly release of official statistics on flexible payments from pensions for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 has now been published.
HMRC can now give more information on the number of tax repayment claim forms processed for pension flexibility payments.
From 1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 we processed:
|Form number||Number of forms|
Total value repaid: £31,101,988.97.
Figures for the period 1 April 2019 to 30 June 2019 will be published in July 2019.
2. Registration statistics
For 2018 to 2019 HMRC received in total 1,925 applications to register new pension schemes. This is a 23% reduction compared to applications received in 2017 to 2018.
Of these schemes, 81% have been registered and HMRC has currently refused registration for about 11% of applications. No decision has yet been made on the remainder.
Since 2012 to 2013 HMRC has seen an 88% decrease overall in the number of applications to register pension schemes.
3. Managing Pension Schemes service
a. New features added to the service
In the Manage and Register Pension Schemes Newsletter – December 2018 we told you we’d be adding features to the Managing Pension Schemes service.
From 18 April 2019 you can use the service to:
- update some of your scheme administrator details
- de-enrol from the service if you’ve stopped being a scheme administrator
We’ve updated our GOV.UK guidance to reflect these features. We’re aiming to update the service in June 2019 so that you can amend some of your scheme details online. We’ll keep you updated on this work in future pension schemes newsletters.
b. Reporting for schemes registered through the service
Pension scheme administrators who need to file a return or report for a pension scheme with a pension scheme tax reference (PSTR) beginning with ‘2’ should email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and put ‘Managing Pension Schemes – reporting’ in the subject line of your email. Your email should include the following details:
- scheme name
- the PSTR
- the event or charge type that you need to report
- the scheme administrator ID
- contact details
We’ll then contact you with details of how to report to HMRC.
c. Practitioners reporting for pension schemes on the service
We want to remind pension scheme practitioners that if you need to file any scheme reports or returns for a pension scheme on behalf of the scheme administrator, you can only do this if the scheme administrator of the pension scheme has sent us an APSS150 asking us to authorise you as a practitioner to act on their behalf.
If we have not received an APSS150 asking us to authorise you, we won’t be able to discuss anything about the scheme or scheme reporting with you.
Once we receive the APSS150 from the pension scheme administrator, we’ll contact you and the administrator to confirm that you’re authorised to act on their behalf. You can then send us the information in article a. along with your practitioner ID and we’ll give you details of how to report to HMRC.
d. Multiple scheme administrator IDs
When we migrate registered pension schemes and scheme administrators to the Managing Pension Schemes service, you’ll only be able to hold one scheme administrator ID for:
- each Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference (sometimes referred to as a CTUTR) that you hold if you’re registered as a scheme administrator who is an organisation
- each Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference (sometimes referred to as an SAUTR) that you hold if you’re registered as a scheme administrator who is a partnership
- your National Insurance number if you’re registered as an individual scheme administrator
So in readiness to migrate pension scheme details and scheme administrator IDs to the new service, we want to work with these scheme administrators with multiple scheme administrator IDs to move their schemes under one scheme administrator ID on the Pension Schemes Online service.
To do this we can help you check:
- your scheme administrator IDs
- the schemes of which you are the administrator
You must send us a separate request for each of these and provide the following information.
List of scheme administrator IDs
You must provide:
- your scheme administrator name
- your scheme administrator address including postcode
- your contact telephone number and email address
You should email this information to email@example.com and put ‘List of my scheme administrator IDs’ as the subject line of your email.
List of registered pension schemes attached to your scheme administrator ID
You must provide:
- your scheme administrator name
- your scheme administrator ID
- your contact telephone number and email address
You should email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org and put ‘List of my registered pension schemes’ as the subject line of your email.
We’ll validate the information you provide and may ask you for more information before we provide any scheme or scheme administrator details.
You should use the information to check your records and tell us of any scheme administrator IDs or schemes that you no longer need.
Scheme administrators operating with more than one Corporation Tax UTR, can have a scheme administrator ID for each Corporation Tax UTR you hold.
Once you have a list of your schemes and scheme administrator IDs and you have decided which scheme administrator ID you want to keep, you can contact us if you need help with moving your schemes under your chosen scheme administrator ID. Email us at email@example.com and put ‘Help with scheme admin IDs’ in the subject line of your email.
4. Relief at source for Scottish taxpayers
The Scottish Income Tax rates for 2019 to 2020 are:
For 2019 to 2020, if you’re the administrator of a pension scheme using the relief at source mechanism, you’ll continue to claim tax relief at the rate of 20% for members who are Scottish taxpayers.
For pension scheme members who are Scottish taxpayers liable to Income Tax at no more than the Scottish starter rate of 19%, or who pay no tax, you should continue to claim relief at 20% in respect of these individuals, and HMRC will not recover the difference between the Scottish starter and Scottish basic rate.
Pension scheme members who are Scottish taxpayers liable to Income Tax at the Scottish intermediate rate of 21% are entitled to claim the additional 1% relief due on some or all of their contributions above the 20% tax relief paid to their scheme administrators. We will not be able to put this directly into your scheme on behalf of your members, but we’ll adjust their tax code so that they get this tax relief through their pay.
Pension scheme members liable to Income Tax at the Scottish intermediate rate can claim the additional relief for 2019 to 2020 through their Self Assessment return or, if they do not already complete Self Assessment returns, by contacting HMRC.
5. Pension scheme returns
We want to remind you that you’re only required to submit a pension scheme return (PSR) for a pension scheme if you’ve received a Notice to file a PSR from HMRC.
You can find more information about the PSR in the Pensions Tax Manual at PTM163000.
6. Overseas transfer charge - regulations
The following regulations have been made and laid:
- The Pension Schemes (Information Requirements – Repayment of Overseas Transfer Charge) Regulations 2019
- The Pension Schemes (Information Requirements — Qualifying Overseas Pension Schemes, Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes (ROPS) and Corresponding Relief) (Amendment) Regulations 2019
The Pension Schemes (Information Requirements – Repayment of Overseas Transfer Charge) Regulations 2019 detail the conditions and process for claiming a repayment of the overseas transfer charge where the charge was either paid in error or a change in the individual’s circumstances means the original transfer has now become exempt from the charge.
The second set of regulations align the information requirements of SI2006/208 with those detailed in the Repayment of Overseas Transfer Charge regulations.
7. Master Trusts authorisation of existing schemes
The window for existing Master Trusts to apply to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for authorisation closed on 31 March 2019.
Around 90 Master Trusts were operating before 30 October 2018. TPR received 30 applications, with a further 10 schemes granted extra time to file their applications. So the total number of Master Trusts operating has reduced. TPR expected that some schemes would find that they couldn’t meet the new criteria.
TPR has 6 months to assess each application to decide whether a scheme can continue to operate. The number of Master Trusts may shrink further as some of those that have applied may not meet the required standard.
Both TPR and HMRC will work with Master Trusts that are closing to make sure that savers are protected while their savings are transferred to another scheme. All Master Trusts who didn’t apply for authorisation have found new providers for their schemes, while TPR is monitoring activity to make sure market exits are, and continue to be, well-managed.
If you’re setting up a new Master Trust you can find out how to apply for authorisation on TPR’s website.
8. Updates to the ROPS notifications list
The ROPS notifications list was updated on 25 April 2019. These changes were scheduled for 1 May 2019 but we published these early by mistake.
Because we’ve published these updates early, we won’t be updating the list on 1 May 2019. We are sorry for any confusion this has caused.
The next updates for the ROPS notifications list will be published on 15 May 2019.