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HMRC internal manual

Company Taxation Manual

Corporation Tax: management expenses: pension contributions: meaning of employer

‘Employer’ for these purposes has a wide meaning and includes (but is not limited to) a former employer, a principal employer and a ‘sponsoring’ employer of a multi-employer or group pension scheme.

A sponsoring employer is one of the employers in respect of any or all of whose employees the pension scheme has or is capable of having effect so as to provide benefits. A group holding company may fall within any of the categories of employer which qualify but additionally it should be regarded as a sponsoring employer, if it is named as a sponsoring employer in the documentation of the scheme to which it makes contributions.

Group pension schemes may have most or all group members as participating sponsoring employers. See CTM08352+ where a contribution is made in respect of another group member’s pension liability.