Registration: registering a pension scheme: HMRC registers the scheme
Section 156(6) and (7) Finance Act 2004
Registration applications made on or after 4 June 2018 will have been made using the Manage and Register Pension Schemes service. If HMRC decides to register the pension scheme, the scheme’s Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR) will be shown on the online service to Manage and Register Pension Schemes and the scheme status will be updated to ‘Open’. HMRC will issue a notification of registration to the scheme administrator.
Registration applications made before 4 June 2018 will have been made using the Pension Schemes Online service. If HMRC decides to register the pension scheme the scheme status will be updated on Pension Schemes Online to show the ‘Registration for Tax’ date. HMRC will send a notification of registration to the scheme administrator by post.
The notification of registration will state the:
- date from which the scheme is registered and
- scheme’s Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR).
The registration date is the date that HMRC makes the decision to register the scheme; registration cannot be backdated. Tax reliefs only run from the registration date so if, for example contributions were made to the scheme before it was registered they will not qualify for tax relief.
The scheme administrator must keep the registration notification as this is the confirmation that the scheme is a registered pension scheme.
For any scheme where the application for registration was submitted via Pension Schemes Online on or after 21 October 2013 the notification of registration letter will not be available to view on Pension Schemes Online. This is regardless of whether or not the scheme administrator provided their email address during the application process.
If the scheme administrator loses the registration notification letter they will have to contact HMRC for a copy. The duplicate notification will be issued only to the scheme administrator shown on Pension Schemes Online, or on the online service to Manage and Register Pension Schemes, so it’s important to keep the online record up to date.