Guidance

Find out about the pension scheme practitioner role

How to register as a practitioner, manage a scheme on behalf of the scheme administrator and tell HMRC you've stopped acting as a practitioner.

Who can be a practitioner

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

As an authorised practitioner you may be:

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

If you’re authorised as a practitioner of a scheme with a Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR) beginning with a ‘0’, HMRC will use the online service to send notifications to you instead of the scheme administrator.

How to register as a practitioner

To become a practitioner you’ll need to register and apply for a practitioner ID. You should follow the procedure to register online.

When this process is complete, it will allow a scheme administrator to authorise you to act on their behalf for the pension scheme.

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 a transfer of pension funds to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (known as QROPS)
  • notification if your scheme starts or stops being a master trust scheme
  • notification that you’re no longer the practitioner

Whether this information is given to HMRC by yourself or the scheme administrator will depend on your contract with the scheme administrator.

If you need to file any scheme reports on behalf of a scheme administrator for a scheme beginning with a ‘2’ you must contact Pension Schemes Services.

If you’re filing reports for schemes beginning with a ‘0’ you can do this on the online service.

What you cannot do on a scheme administrator’s behalf

Certain actions can only be carried out 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

Tell HMRC that you’ve stopped acting as a practitioner

Tell HMRC on form APSS150 if you no longer act on behalf of a scheme administrator, for a scheme that has either a:

  • PSTR that starts with 2
  • submission reference number

If you stop acting on behalf of a scheme administrator for a registered pension scheme with a PSTR that starts with a ‘0’ you should tell HMRC by using the online service or form APSS150 .

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 ends. 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 9 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Guidance updated with what an authorised practitioner cannot do on a scheme administrator’s behalf.
  2. First published.