Guidance

Register as a pension scheme administrator

Find out how to become a pension scheme administrator.

Who can be a scheme administrator

All registered pension schemes must have at least one 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.

If you or your organisation wants to become a scheme administrator, you must be a legal resident of one of these countries:

  • the UK
  • another EU member state
  • Norway
  • Liechtenstein
  • Iceland

How to become a scheme administrator

In order to become a scheme administrator, you’ll need to:

  • 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
  • be 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 must complete a declaration in relation to all of the above as part of your registration. You cannot register a new scheme without making this declaration and you’ll also need to make it when you take over as administrator for an existing scheme.

Only the scheme administrator can make the declaration as part of the registration.

In addition, you must be appointed to the role of scheme administrator in line with the scheme’s rules.

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 approved after 6 April 2006

The scheme administrator will be the person appointed under the scheme’s rules to this role.

How to register

Company

If you’re a company registering as a scheme administrator, you’ll need the following:

  • your company name
  • your company registration number
  • your Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) - this will need to be the one for your role as an administrator
  • your company’s address address and previous address - these are the ones for your role as an administrator and is the one we’ll send correspondence to
  • a contact email and telephone number
  • the name and address of any pension advisors that you plan to use
  • your company’s PAYE and VAT registration numbers if you have these
  • the names, addresses, previous addresses, National Insurance numbers and UTRs of any directors associated with your company
  • the telephone numbers and email addresses of any directors associated with your company

Individual

If you’re an individual registering as a scheme administrator, you’ll need the following:

  • your name, address, previous address and National Insurance number
  • a contact email address and telephone number

Where to register

Only a scheme administrator can complete the registration online.

How you’ll register as a scheme administrator will depend on the scheme’s Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR) number that you will administer. It will be 10 characters, 8 digits followed by two letters.

If your PSTR starts with a 0, you’ll need to contact Pension Schemes Services, who will give you log in details and information on how to complete your scheme administrator registration.

If you’re registering as a scheme administrator so you can apply to register a new pension scheme you should use the Manage and Register Pension Schemes service.

Where you’re registering in relation to multiple schemes, and you have a mixture of both of these options, you’ll need to contact Pension Schemes Services.

If you want to register as a scheme administrator you’ll need a Government Gateway user ID. You can create a user ID before you register if you do not already have one. You will also need to select the type of government gateway account that applies to you either individual or organisation.

If you want to declare yourself as a scheme administrator for retirement annuity contract or a deferred annuity contract, you must not register online.

Non-trading companies and public sector organisations

If you’re a public sector organisation or non-trading company wishing to become a scheme administrator, you’ll need a 10 digit provisional Corporation Tax UTR to use the service. You’ll need to email pensions.administration@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk with the following:

  • your organisation’s name
  • its address

You must put ‘MaRPS - Corporation Tax UTR’ in the subject line of your email.

HMRC will then send you a provisional Corporation Tax UTR by post which your organisation will need to use in order to apply to register as a scheme administrator.

As you only need it once, the Corporation Tax UTR will not be active and there will be no Corporation Tax requirements placed on your organisation as a result of having it.

What to do if you are an existing scheme administrator

If you’re already registered as a scheme administrator, but have not used the Manage and Register Pension Schemes service, you’ll need to complete some enrolment details the first time you sign into it.

Published 16 September 2014
Last updated 10 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Changes to the registration section to clarify how and when to register.
  2. Changes have been made to take account of the introduction of the Manage and Register your Pension Schemes service.
  3. The postal address for Pension Scheme Services has changed.
  4. The postal address for Pension Scheme Services has changed.
  5. First published.