Guidance

Manage a registered pension scheme

Find out how to tell HMRC about changes in the pension scheme you manage and any retirement annuity or deferred annuity contracts you wish to manage.

Declare yourself a scheme administrator for a retirement annuity or deferred annuity contract

You must not use the online service to register as a scheme administrator if you need to declare yourself as the scheme administrator for either of these types of contract.

Instead, you’ll need to contact Pension Schemes Services.

HMRC will set up a record for you on the Pension Schemes Online service and provide you with the details you need to log on and complete your registration. You can then declare yourself as a scheme administrator for these contracts by following the relevant guidance.

Master Trusts

If you’re an existing registered pension scheme and your scheme structure changes to become a Master Trust you must tell HMRC within 30 days of this on the APSS578 form and you must also apply for authorisation from The Pensions Regulator.

If you become a Master Trusts and do not get authorisation from The Pensions Regulator you will not be able to operate as a Master Trust.

HMRC will be able to de-register a scheme which is a Master Trust and does not receive or loses its authorisation from The Pensions Regulator.

If your registered pension scheme is already a Master Trust on 1 October 2018, you must apply for authorisation from The Pensions Regulator. You can only apply from 1 October 2018 until 1 April 2019. If you do not obtain authorisation, you will not be able to operate as a Master Trust.

If your Master Trust scheme structure changes and you are no longer a Master Trust you must also tell HMRC within 30 days of this on the APSS578 form. You may also need to tell The Pensions Regulator. You can find more information on reporting events on The Pensions Regulator website.

Check which procedure to follow

As a pension scheme administrator, how you update scheme information and file returns and reports with HMRC will depend on your pension scheme administrator ID and the scheme’s pension scheme tax reference (PSTR) or submission reference number.

If your scheme administrator ID begins with ‘A0’, or you have a pension scheme tax reference (PSTR) beginning with a ‘0’, you should use the online service. There is detailed guidance available on how to use this service.

There will be circumstances where you will not have either of these. There are different procedures you must follow in that case in order to change scheme administrator details and authorise practitioners.

When not to use the online service

If your pension scheme administrator ID begins with ‘A2’, you’ll need to follow the procedures below.

You’ll also need to do this where the relevant pension scheme has either:

  • a PSTR beginning with a ‘2’
  • a submission reference number

Change scheme administrator details

If you need to tell HMRC about changes to your scheme administrator details you must use form APSS 153.

You must meet one of the criteria that prevents you from using the online service in order to use form APSS 153.

Authorise a practitioner

If you need to authorise a pension scheme practitioner to work on the scheme you’re the pension scheme administrator for, you must use form APSS 150.

You’ll need the practitioner’s 8 digit practitioner ID. If they have not already registered as a pension scheme practitioner, they’ll need to do so in order to get this number.

You must meet one of the criteria that prevents you from using the online service in order to use form APSS 150 instead of the online service.

Published 4 June 2018
Last updated 1 October 2018 + show all updates
  1. A new section master trusts has been added.
  2. First published.