Business tax – guidance

HMRC: pension schemes reconciliation services

If you're a Pension Scheme Administrator (PSA), find out how to identify all the members of your contracted-out pension schemes.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) provide a number of services to help pension scheme administrators of contracted-out pension schemes.

Scheme Reconciliation Service (SRS)

The SRS allows pension scheme administrators to reconcile their membership and Guaranteed Minimum Pension (GMP) data against the records held by HMRC. Registration for this service is the first step in the process to support the ending of Contracting-out in April 2016.

The service:

  • provides a list of contracted-out periods and GMP data for members who have left contracted-out employment including early leavers, pensioners, widows, widowers and surviving civil partners
  • is available to all defined benefit schemes that have contracted-out rights preserved within the scheme

Schemes must send an expression of interest to use the SRS before 5 April 2016. If you do not register before this date you cannot use the service. HMRC will continue to offer support to deal with any queries up until December 2018.

You can’t use this service if you have ongoing work within the scheme cessation area.

SRS timelines

The SRS activities and timelines are given in the table below.

Date Activity
December 2013 to April 2016 Registration for SRS
April 2014 to April 2016 SRS for non-active members
Scheme Contracted-out Number (SCON) mandation via Real Time Information (RTI) for active members
HMRCbusiness as usual
April 2016 Tracking ends
December 2016 HMRC will close all active member records and provide Schemes with details of their active members
April 2016 to December 2018 HMRC support for queries generated from SRS
HMRC support for business as usual queries
December 2016 to December 2018 HMRC support to reconcile active members following active member lists being issued to schemes
December 2018 Pension statements issued to all individuals
December 2018 to April 2020 HMRC support for queries generated by statements to individuals
April 2016 to April 2046 GMP Portal (limited HMRC support)

Scheme reconciliation information

HMRC uses Shared Workspace to provide your SRS data - view an example of the data output.

You can also request contributions and earnings information to carry out GMP reconciliation, but HMRC will manage them via your Shared Workspace e-room.

For information the:

  • membership categories are determined by the members’ status at the date the data is produced
  • early leavers are members who are under State Pension age when the data is produced
  • pensioners are members who are over State Pension age when the data is produced
  • widows, widowers and surviving civil partners provides information about deceased members who have a surviving spouse or civil partner when the data is produced - the data shows the member’s details not the spouse/surviving civil partner
  • incomplete record category contains information where HMRC have identified the individual as being a member of the scheme but are unable to give details of the member’s contracted-out period or GMP amount
  • contracted-out employment periods include any transfers in to scheme membership
  • GMP amount for:
    • early leavers is the amount when the member left the scheme
    • pensioners is the amount when the member reaches State Pension age
    • widows, widowers and surviving civil partners is the amount at the member’s death - unless the member was over State Pension age at the date of death and their spouse was under State Pension age in which case any post 1988 GMP will be half the GMP at the member’s State Pension age
  • revaluation rate for:
    • periods which include transfers, the revaluation rate provided is the revaluation rate shown against the final contracted-out period
    • pensioner members who worked up to their Final Relevant Year (FRY) the revaluation rate shown will be S148

Making a scheme reconciliation request

Now that the 5 April 2016 cut-off date has passed, the on-line link to the registration form has been removed. However, HMRC will, as stated in Countdown Bulletin 16, consider Expressions of Interest submitted by PSAs after 5 April. Each application will be treated on its merits and on a case by case basis, and these requests must be submitted in writing, via email, to crm.schemereconciliationservice@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk detailing the circumstances leading to the late submission. The SRS Customer Relationship Manager will carefully consider the request, advise the PSA of the outcome and set out in detail the steps they will need to follow.

Further information

HMRC have released a series of Countdown Bulletins providing more information on the ending of contracting-out.

Manuals, leaflets and contracted-out National Insurance tables

Contracted-out pension schemes forms

National Insurance Services to Pensions Industry online order form

Contact HMRC

To use any of the services HMRC offers or if you want any more information contact the Pension schemes helpline.