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HMRC internal manual

Pensions Tax Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Information and administration: essential principles: retention of records

Glossary PTM000001
   

 

Requirement to keep records in respect of registered pension schemes
Specific requirements for schemes operating relief at source (RAS)
Requirement to preserve documents relating to lifetime allowance protection 
General requirement to keep records

 

Sections 251(1)(b) and 258(2) Finance Act 2004

Regulation 18 The Registered Pension Schemes (Provision of Information) Regulations 2006 - SI 2006/567

Requirement to keep records in respect of registered pension schemes

Any person who is or has at any time been the scheme administrator, a trustee, or a provider of administrative services to a registered pension scheme is required to preserve certain documents.

If the scheme is an occupational pension scheme, this requirement also applies to any person who is or has been a sponsoring employer or a director of an employer company.

The documents in question are those in their possession or under their control that relate to:

  • any monies received by or owing to the scheme
  • any investments or assets held by the scheme
  • any payments made by the scheme
  • any contracts to purchase a lifetime annuity in respect of a member of the scheme
  • the administration of the scheme.

The documents must be preserved for the tax year to which they relate and for the following six tax years.

If a person has ceased acting for the scheme or providing administrative services to the scheme, they are not required to retain the documents if they have transferred the documents to another person who has succeeded them in their duties.

Where a person fails to comply with this record keeping requirement they can be liable to a penalty of up to £3000.

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Specific requirements for schemes operating relief at source (RAS)

Regulation 16 The Registered Pension Schemes (Relief at Source) Regulations 2005 - SI 2005/3448

If a scheme operates relief at source (RAS) the scheme administrator is required to preserve any book, documents and other records in their possession or under their control that relate to:

  • any contribution paid to the scheme administrator
  • the scheme to which those contributions were paid, and
  • the individual who paid those contributions.

The records should be kept six years following the end of the latest tax year to which they relate.

Any information and declarations that a member is required to provide under regulations 4 to 8 of SI 2005/3448 before they make a contribution under RAS (see PTM044220) should be kept for six years following the end of the tax year in which the member stopped making contributions.

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Requirement to preserve documents relating to lifetime allowance protection

Where an individual notifies HMRC of their right to a form of lifetime allowance protection and HMRC gives them a protection certificate they must preserve documents as follows.

Fixed protection and fixed protection 2014

Regulation 13 The Registered Pension Schemes (Lifetime Allowance Transitional Protection) Regulations 2011 - SI 2011/1752

Regulation 13 The Registered Pension Schemes and Relieved Non-UK Pension Schemes (Lifetime Allowance Transitional Protection) (Notification) Regulations 2013 - SI 2013/1741

The individual must keep the protection certificate until no further benefit crystallisation event can occur in respect of them. This requirement stops when the protection certificate has been revoked.

Individual protection 2014 and 2016

Regulation 13 The Registered Pension Schemes and Relieved Non-UK Pension Schemes (Lifetime Allowance Transitional Protection) (Individual Protection 2014 Notification) Regulations 2014 - SI 2014/1842

Paragraph 21 Schedule 4 Finance Act 2016

The individual must keep all documents relating to the relevant notification including the calculation of their relevant amount for up to six years from the date on which the individual makes their relevant notification for individual protection 2014 or individual protection 2016.

The individual must also keep their protection certificate until no further benefit crystallisation event can occur in respect of them. This requirement stops when the protection certificate has been revoked.

Other forms of lifetime allowance enhancement factors and enhanced protection

Regulation 11 The Registered Pension Schemes (Enhanced Lifetime Allowance) Regulations 2006 - SI 2006/131

The individual must keep all documents relating to the information given in their notification for six years beginning with the date on which they made their lifetime allowance protection notification.

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General requirement to keep records

Section 12B Taxes Management Act 1970

Scheme members and trustees also have a requirement to keep records relating to their own tax position. This requirement applies whether or not they normally have to file a tax return as any member or trustee can potentially be sent a notice to file a tax return.

As a generic tax requirement guidance on this subject is in the Compliance Handbook:

  • what records should be kept - CH11200
  • how long record should be kept for - CH14500.