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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

Employment income provided by third parties: exclusions: pension schemes

Sections 554E and 554Z17(2) ITEPA 2003

If a pension arrangement is one of the schemes listed below, no relevant step taken under it will give rise to Part 7A income.

  • An arrangement the sole purpose of which is the provision of ‘excluded benefits’ see EIM15021.
  • A pension scheme (within the meaning of Part 4 of FA 2004) set up by a government outside the United Kingdom for the benefit of its employees (or primarily for their benefit). You will find this definition of ‘pension scheme’ in RPSM20000000 (Registered Pension Scheme Manual: glossary).
  • A registered pension scheme.
  • An arrangement the sole purpose of which is the making of ‘payments’:

    • to which Section 161(4) FA 2004 applies in relation to a registered pension scheme (or a registered pension scheme which has been wound up), and
    • which are authorised in relation to that scheme by Section 160(1) of FA 2004.

‘Payment’ here has the same meaning as in Part 4 Chapter 3 FA 2004 (payments by registered pension schemes) and thus includes a transfer of assets and any other transfer of money’s worth.


An EFRBS will not come within the last of those bullet points. That bullet point will only apply where:

  • the sole purpose of an arrangement is to make payments to or in respect of a member, and
  • statute deems the payments to be paid by a registered pension scheme (even though in reality they are not).

The most common example of such an arrangement is where a registered pension scheme provides a pension by purchasing an annuity from a life insurer for payment to the member.

The exclusion will not apply where the payments under the arrangement:

  • would have been authorised payments if they had been paid by a registered pension scheme, but
  • are neither so paid nor treated as so paid for the purposes of FA 2004.

Relevant steps within Sections 554Z18 and 554Z19

If the statutory conditions are met, a relevant step within Section 554Z18 or 554Z19 can come within a Section 554E exclusion.

On Sections 554Z18 and 554Z19 (undertakings given by employers etc in relation to retirement benefits etc: earmarking etc and provision of security), see EIM45150 and EIM45155 respectively.