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HMRC internal manual

Pensions Tax Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Information and administration: The Pension Scheme Return

Glossary PTM000001
   

Requirement to complete a Pension Scheme Return
Responsibility for submitting the Pension Scheme Return
Pension Scheme Return filing deadline
What the Pension Scheme Return may include
How to submit a Pension Scheme Return
What happens if the Pension Scheme Return isn’t filed on time or is inaccurate 

Requirement to complete a Pension Scheme Return

Section 250 Finance Act 2004

Regulation 4 The Registered Pension Schemes and Overseas Pension Schemes (Electronic Communication of Returns and Information) Regulations 2006 - SI 2006/570

The Registered Pension Schemes (Audited Accounts) (Specified Persons) Regulations 2005 - SI 2005/3456

The Pension Scheme Return (PSR) is a return that provides HMRC with information about the scheme. A Pension Scheme Return only needs to be completed if HMRC issue a notice to the scheme administrator requiring completion of the return. If HMRC has issues a notice to file a Pension Scheme Return must be completed and submitted to HMRC.

The notice to file a Pension Scheme Return will specify the period to be covered by the return. The period to be covered by the return may be:

  • the whole of the tax year
  • any part of the tax year
  • the period/s covered by any audited accounts of the pension scheme, if such accounts have been prepared for any period/s ending in the tax year.

The notice to file a return may be given electronically if the scheme administrator consented to the use of electronic communications for the delivery of information by HMRC.

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Responsibility for submitting the Pension Scheme Return

Section 250 Finance Act 2004

The scheme administrator is responsible for filing the Pension Scheme Return and ensuring it is accurate and complete.

A practitioner can file the Pension Scheme Return on behalf of the scheme administrator but the scheme administrator remains responsible for ensuring that it is submitted on time and the contents are correct. Where a practitioner files the Pension Scheme Return the scheme administrator should have seen and approved its content before it is submitted to HMRC. The practitioner must make a declaration that the scheme administrator has approved the contents before they can submit it to HMRC.

The scheme administrator is liable for penalties if the Pension Scheme Return is incomplete or inaccurate, including where they ask a practitioner to submit the report on their behalf.

The Registered Pension Schemes (Splitting of Schemes) Regulations 2006 - SI 2006/569

Where the registered pension scheme is a split scheme the sub-scheme administrator is responsible for filing the Pension Scheme Return due for their sub-scheme. The Registered Pension Schemes (Splitting of Schemes) Regulations 2006 specifies which schemes are split schemes, how they are split into sub-schemes and who the sub- scheme administrator is.

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Pension Scheme Return filing deadline

Section 250(7) to (9) Finance Act 2004

Where the notice to file the Pension Scheme Return (PSR) is issued on or before 31 October following the end of the tax year to which it relates the PSR must be submitted by 31 January following the end of the relevant tax year.

If the notice to file is issued on or before 31 October following the relevant tax year and the scheme has completed winding up by that date the Pension Scheme Return must be submitted within three months starting with the later of:

  • the date of completion of winding-up
  • the issue date of the notice to file.

Where the notice to file is issued after 31 October the Pension Scheme Return must be submitted within three months beginning with the issue date of the notice to file.

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What the Pension Scheme Return may include

The form of the Pension Scheme Return is prescribed by HMRC. A Pension Scheme Return may ask questions about any information relating to:

  • contributions made under the pension scheme
  • transfers of sums or assets held for the purposes of, or representing accrued rights under, another pension scheme so as to become held for the purposes of, or to represent rights under, the pension scheme
  • income and gains derived from investments or deposits held for the purposes of the pension scheme
  • other receipts of the pension scheme
  • the sums and other assets held for the purposes of the pension scheme
  • the liabilities of the pension scheme
  • the provision of benefits by the pension scheme
  • transfers of sums or assets held for the purposes of, or representing accrued rights under, the pension scheme so as to become held for the purposes of, or to represent rights under, another pension scheme
  • other expenditure of the pension scheme
  • the membership of the pension scheme, or
  • any other matter relating to the administration of the pension scheme.

The requested information may be restricted to a particular arrangement or arrangements under the pension scheme.

The notice to file may also require the scheme administrator to deliver with the Pension Scheme Return any accounts, statements or other documents relating to information contained in the return.

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How to submit a Pension Scheme Return

Regulation 4 The Registered Pension Schemes and Overseas Pension Schemes (Electronic Communication of Returns and Information) Regulations 2006 - SI 2006/570

The Pension Scheme Return must be sent in electronically using Pension Schemes Online. The scheme administrator will not have met their obligation to file a PSR until the submission has been accepted by Pension Schemes Online. The legislation treats any paper PSR as not having been delivered.

The Guide to using the Online Service for scheme administrators and practitioners (gov.uk website) sets out the practical steps of filing a PSR. External readers can find this guide at https://www.gov.uk/using-the-pension-schemes-online-service.

Once you have submitted the Pension Scheme Return any changes you want to make to it will be an amendment. You can amend a Pension Scheme Return using Pension Schemes Online after it has been submitted. You will need to wait for 24 hours after the Pension Scheme Return has been submitted before you can make amendments to it.

You can report an amendment to a submitted Pension Scheme Return by paper. There are set forms for this purpose; these are:

  • APSS301 - amendment to a Pension Scheme Return for occupational schemes
  • APSS 313 - amendment to a Pension Scheme Return for non-occupational schemes

These forms can be downloaded from the gov.uk website.

If the form is not completed correctly, signed and dated HMRC will return the form to the scheme administrator. If this is done no amendment will be made to the PSR. The scheme administrator will need to either:

  • send a correctly completed form APSS 301/313, or
  • amend the Pension Scheme Return using Pension Schemes Online.

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What happens if the Pension Scheme Return isn’t filed on time or is inaccurate

Section 257 Finance Act 2004

If the Pension Scheme Return isn’t filed on time the scheme administrator will be liable to a £100 penalty. Further penalties may be due where the Pension Scheme Return Report still hasn’t been sent in after this penalty has been raised. The further penalty can currently be up to £60 for every day that the failure to file a Pension Scheme Return continues. HMRC cannot impose a penalty after the Pension Scheme Return has been submitted and accepted by Pension Schemes Online.

If the information in the Pension Scheme Return is not correct the scheme administrator can be liable to a penalty for fraudulently or negligently making an incorrect return. This penalty can currently be up to £3,000.

The scheme administrator can also be liable to penalty of up to £3,000 if they for fraudulently or negligently deliver any inaccurate accounts, statements or other documents with the Pension Scheme Return.

Scheme administrators can appeal against a penalty using form APSS 413.