Guidance

Register as a pension scheme administrator

All registered pension schemes must have at least one scheme administrator.

Who can be a scheme administrator

The scheme administrator can be one or more individuals, a company/organisation such as an employer, or a specialist pension administration company or a partnership. They must be a fit and proper person and be a legal resident of one of these countries:

  • the UK
  • another European Union member state
  • Norway
  • Liechtenstein
  • Iceland

Schemes approved before 6 April 2006

As long as there has been no change in the scheme administrator since 5 April 2006 the administrator will usually be the:

  • pension provider - for personal pensions, stakeholder pensions, free-standing additional voluntary contribution schemes and buy-out policies
  • trustee(s) - for most occupational pension schemes

Schemes registered on or after 6 April 2006

The scheme administrator will be the person appointed under the scheme rules to act as scheme administrator.

Become a scheme administrator

To become an administrator for an existing scheme or a new scheme, you must complete a declaration for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for every scheme that you’re the administrator for.

A new scheme can’t be registered without this declaration. This declaration is part of the tax registration process.

The declaration states that you:

  • understand that you’re responsible for carrying out the functions of a scheme administrator as set out in the Finance Act 2004
  • understand that you may need to provide further information or declarations as reasonably required
  • are a fit and proper person to be the scheme administrator
  • intend to carry out these functions at all times
  • understand that you may be liable to a penalty or prosecution if you make a false statement

You make this declaration using the Pension Schemes Online Service.

Amend scheme administrator name

Once registered, if you need to change the scheme administrator name, you will need to notify HMRC in writing. Please write to:

Pension Schemes Services
HM Revenue and Customs
BX9 1GH

You will need to include the following information in your letter:

  • current scheme administrator name
  • scheme administrator ID
  • new scheme administrator name
  • reason for the change
  • contact name, address and telephone number

If the scheme administrator changes, the new scheme administrator must submit a new declaration. The existing scheme administrator remains responsible for administering the scheme and paying any tax due until a successor is appointed.

Published 16 September 2014
Last updated 6 April 2017 + show all updates
  1. The postal address for Pension Scheme Services has changed.
  2. The postal address for Pension Scheme Services has changed.
  3. First published.