Guidance

Register as a pension scheme administrator

Find out how to become a pension scheme administrator if you're an individual, partnership or business.

Who can be a pension scheme administrator

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

The scheme administrator can be:

  • one or more individuals
  • a company or organisation such as an employer
  • a specialist pension administration company
  • a partnership

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

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

How to become a pension scheme administrator

To register as a scheme administrator, you’ll need to:

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

As part of your scheme administrator registration you must complete declarations in relation to all of the above.

To apply to register a new scheme or to take over as the scheme administrator of an existing scheme you must:

  • be appointed to the role of scheme administrator in line with the scheme’s rules

  • complete further declarations

Only the scheme administrator can make these declarations.

Pension schemes registered on or after 6 April 2006

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

Pension 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
  • trustees - for most occupational pension schemes

How to register

Registering as a scheme administrator to administer pension schemes registered from 4 June 2018

If you have not already registered as a pension scheme administrator with HMRC and are only registering:

  • so that you can apply to register a new pension scheme
  • to become the scheme administrator of a pension scheme that was registered after 4 June 2018

You’ll have to register as a new scheme administrator online.

You’ll need your Government Gateway user ID to do this. If this is the first time you’ve used the Government Gateway you can create your user ID the first time you register.

When you create your Government Gateway account you should only choose one of:

  • individual
  • organisation
  • agent

Only a scheme administrator can complete the scheme administrator registration online.

Once you’ve registered as a scheme administrator you’ll be able to view your scheme administrator details, as well as details of the schemes you’re the administrator of, when you sign in to the online service.

Registering as a scheme administrator to administer pension schemes registered before 4 June 2018

If you’re registering to become the scheme administrator of a scheme or schemes that were registered before 4 June 2018 you’ll need to contact Pension Schemes Services, who will give you a scheme administrator ID and information on how to complete your scheme administrator registration online.

You can find guidance on how to use the Pension Schemes Online Service for schemes registered before 4 June 2018 in the Pension Schemes Online user guide.

Registering as scheme administrator to administer multiple pension schemes registered before and after 4 June 2018

If you’re registering in relation to multiple schemes, and you have a mixture of both of these options, you must not register on the service. Instead you should contact Pension Schemes Services.

HMRC will set up a record for you on the Pension Schemes Online service and will give you a scheme administrator ID and information on how to complete your scheme administrator registration online.

You’ll then be able to provide any existing scheme administrator or administrators with your new scheme administrator ID and they’ll use this to associate you to an existing pension scheme.

You’ll then also be able to apply to register any new scheme on the Manage and Register Pension Schemes service.

When you use the Manage and Register Pension Schemes service for the first time, you’ll need to complete some enrolment details when you sign into it.

Administer a retirement annuity or deferred annuity contract

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

Company

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

  • your company name
  • your company registration number
  • your Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) - this UTR will need to be the one you use for your role as an administrator
  • your company’s address, as we’ll send correspondence to this address, and previous address - if the company has been at their current address for less than 1 year
  • a contact email address and telephone number for the company - these should be details used for other HMRC services
  • the names and addresses 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 - if they’ve been at their current address for less than 1 year, National Insurance numbers, date of birth 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:

  • your name, address, previous address - if you’ve been at your current address for less than 1 year, date of birth and National Insurance number
  • a contact email address and telephone number
  • the names and addresses of any pension advisors you plan to use

If you’re an individual who’s registered as a pension scheme administrator on the Pension Schemes Online service, before you can become the scheme administrator of a scheme that was registered through the Manage and Register Pension Schemes service, you’ll need to register to get a scheme administrator ID.

Partnership

If you’re a partnership registering as a scheme administrator, you’ll need:

  • partnership name
  • self assessment UTR
  • partnership’s current and previous address - if they’ve been at their current address for less than 1 year
  • a contact email address and telephone number
  • the names, addresses, previous addresses - if they’ve been at their current address for less than 1 year, National Insurance numbers, date of birth and UTRs of any partners
  • the telephone numbers and email addresses of any partners
  • the names and addresses of any pension advisors that you plan to use
  • PAYE and VAT registration numbers if you have these

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:

  • your organisation’s name
  • your organisation’s 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.

Published 16 September 2014
Last updated 13 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Guidance on how to register as a pension scheme administrator has been updated.
  2. Changes to the registration section to clarify how and when to register.
  3. Changes have been made to take account of the introduction of the Manage and Register your Pension Schemes service.
  4. The postal address for Pension Scheme Services has changed.
  5. The postal address for Pension Scheme Services has changed.
  6. First published.