Guidance

Find out about the pension scheme practitioner role

How to register as a practitioner and manage a scheme on behalf of the scheme administrator.

Who can be a practitioner

You can act on behalf of a pension scheme administrator to manage a pension scheme if authorised by them.

As an authorised practitioner you may be:

  • a third party provider of administration services
  • an accountant
  • a legal adviser

How to register

Register as a practitioner for a pension scheme registered with a PSTR beginning with ‘2’

You’ll need to register as a new pension scheme practitioner if you are:

  • not already registered as one with HMRC

  • only registering to be a practitioner for a pension scheme with a PSTR beginning with ‘2’

You’ll need your organisation Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you register. You must choose ‘organisation’ when asked what type of user you are.

When you sign in to the Managing Pension Schemes service, you can choose to register as:

  • an individual scheme practitioner
  • a company scheme practitioner
  • a partnership practitioner

When registering as a scheme practitioner, you will only get one practitioner ID for each Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), Partnership UTR or National Insurance number.

Once registered, a scheme administrator can authorise you to act for them. You’ll then be able to view and manage any pension scheme you are authorised to.

Register as a practitioner for a pension scheme with a PSTR beginning with ‘0’

You’ll need to contact Pension schemes services to register. They will give you a scheme practitioner ID. Once registered, a scheme administrator can then authorise you to act for them.

Once you get your scheme practitioner ID, you’ll need to enrol for the Managing Pension Schemes service. Once you’ve enrolled, you can become a practitioner of a pension scheme on the Managing Pension Schemes service.

Get more information on how to use the Pension schemes online service for schemes with a PSTR beginning with ‘0’.

Company

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

  • company name
  • Corporation Tax UTR — this is one you use for your role as a practitioner
  • company’s address, as we’ll send correspondence to this address
  • company email and telephone number

Individual

If you’re an individual registering as a scheme practitioner, you’ll need your:

  • name
  • current address
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • contact email address and telephone number

Partnership

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

  • partnership name
  • self assessment UTR
  • partnership’s current address
  • a contact email address and telephone number

Non-trading companies and public sector organisations

Before you can register you will need a Corporation Tax UTR.

You should send an email with your organisation’s name and address, putting ‘MPS — Corporation Tax UTR’ in the subject line to: pensions.administration@hmrc.gov.uk.

HMRC will then send you a provisional Corporation Tax UTR by post.

As you only need it once, the Corporation Tax UTR will not be active. There will be no Corporation Tax requirements.

Enrolling on the Managing Pension Schemes service

If you’re an existing practitioner with a practitioner ID beginning with ‘0’ you can enrol on the Managing Pension Schemes service and keep your existing ID.

To make sure you keep the same practitioner ID, you’ll need to enrol using the same credentials (user ID and password) that you use for the Pension schemes online service.

You’ll need to provide details as if you’re registering, but your existing practitioner ID will be confirmed back to you when you’ve successfully enrolled.

Access the service

Lost user ID or password

If you’ve lost the user ID or password associated with your practitioner ID, you’ll need to contact the Pension schemes helpline. You’ll need your practitioner ID.

‘Admin’ users of a business tax account can reset the user ID and password for any other users on the same business tax account, under the ‘Manage account’ section.

Managing user accesses

If you’re a practitioner with multiple users under your practitioner ID, you can set up and assign them services through your business tax account.

Each user will have their own set of credentials to sign in to the service.
To set up a new user, you’ll need to:

1. Sign in to your business tax account.

2. Select ‘Manage Account’ above ‘Business tax summary’.

3. Select ‘You can give permission to others to access your business tax account’ under ‘Team member account access’.

4. Select ‘Add a team member’.

5. Check the email address associated with your account, as you’ll be sent the new user’s temporary password which you’ll need to give to them. If the email address associated with your account is wrong you should go to ‘Manage Account’ and select ‘View or change your business tax account details’ under ‘Account details’.

6. Check the new user appears in the list of team members. If they are not, you should check that all of these steps have been followed correctly.

The new user will then be sent an email containing their user ID. They can use it and the temporary password you have been given to access their own business tax account.

To give a new user access, you’ll need to:

1. Select ‘Manage Account’ above ‘Business tax summary’.

2. Select ‘Give a team member access to a tax, duty or scheme’ under ‘Team member account access’.

3. Select ‘Manage taxes and schemes’.

You’ll need to assign the Pension schemes online service and Managing Pension Schemes service separately.

To assign them separately you’ll need to do the following:

  • Pension schemes online service — select ‘Pension Schemes for Practitioners’ from the assign services page
  • Managing Pension Schemes service — select ‘Pensions Online Digital Service HMRC-PODSPP-ORG’ from the assign services page

There is no limit on the number of users that can be set up under a practitioner ID.

You need to keep your scheme practitioner details up to date on the service. If your scheme practitioner ID starts with ‘0’, you’ll also need to update these details on the Pension Schemes Online service.

How to manage a scheme on behalf of a scheme administrator

As an authorised practitioner of a registered pension scheme you can provide HMRC with:

  • Event Reports
  • Accounting for Tax (AFT) returns
  • annual return of information (if you’re the practitioner of a relief at source scheme)
  • unauthorised borrowing reports
  • notification of pension funds transferred to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS)
  • notification if your scheme starts or stops being a master trust scheme
  • notification that you’re no longer the practitioner

This information can be given by you or the scheme administrator depending on the contract you have them.

Find information on how to send pension scheme reports if you’re a scheme administrator.

You cannot be authorised by more than one pension scheme administrator for the same pension scheme.

What you cannot do on a scheme administrator’s behalf

Certain actions are only done by the scheme administrator and cannot be delegated.

As an authorised practitioner you cannot:

  • submit an application to register a pension scheme
  • make a scheme administrator declaration, in line with section 270 Finance Act 2004
  • amend scheme administrator personal details
  • report the cessation as scheme administrator — see PTM154000 for more information
  • authorise a practitioner
  • add yourself as scheme administrator
  • associate a new scheme administrator to a pension scheme
  • register a scheme administrator on Manage and register pension schemes or on the previous online system Pension schemes online

De-authorise yourself from a pension scheme

If you no longer act on behalf of a scheme administrator for a pension scheme you’re authorised to, you can de-authorise yourself from the pension scheme.

To de-authorise yourself as a practitioner from a pension scheme, you’ll need to provide the date that you stopped being a practitioner for that scheme.

If the pension scheme has a PSTR beginning with ‘0’, you’ll also need to de-authorise yourself as a practitioner from the Pension Schemes Online service.

When a scheme administrator stops acting on behalf of the pension scheme

If a scheme administrator stops acting on behalf of a pension scheme, any authority they have given to HMRC to deal with or provide information to a practitioner also stops. We’ll contact you to tell you when this happens.

You’ll only be able to act for the scheme when the new scheme administrator gives us authority to deal with or provide information to you.

Published 4 June 2018
Last updated 17 November 2022 + show all updates
  1. Guidance about managing user accesses has been updated.

  2. We have added some guidance on how to de-authorise yourself from a pension scheme.

  3. We have added guidance on accessing the service including manging user access and how to get a lost user ID or password associated with your practitioner ID.

  4. Information about how to submit an Accounting for Tax return on behalf of a scheme administrator has been updated.

  5. Guidance about enrolling on the Managing Pension Schemes service has been added.

  6. Information about how to register and what you’ll need to register has been added. A new section about How to submit an AFT return using the Managing Pension Schemes service for a scheme with a PSTR beginning with ‘2’ has been added.

  7. Guidance updated with what an authorised practitioner cannot do on a scheme administrator’s behalf.

  8. First published.