Pension scheme record-keeping requirements
Produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP
Pension scheme record-keeping requirements

The following Pensions practice note produced in partnership with Wyn Derbyshire of gunnercooke LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pension scheme record-keeping requirements
  • Trustees accountable for record-keeping
  • Accountability despite delegation of administrative functions
  • Reporting on record-keeping through the scheme return
  • General requirement to keep books and records
  • Exemptions
  • Penalties
  • HMRC record-keeping requirements
  • Main requirement
  • Requirements specific to schemes operating relief at source
  • More...


The general obligation upon trustees of registered occupational pension schemes to maintain adequate scheme records derives from a variety of sources, including:

  1. general trust law and fiduciary principles, such as those requiring trustees to act in the best interests of their beneficiaries, a duty which in practice requires adequate record keeping

  2. statutory obligations arising under pensions legislation, in particular:

    1. the Pensions Act 1995 (PA 1995), ss 49(2) and 49A

    2. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations 1996, SI 1996/1715, regs 12–13

    3. the Registered Pension Schemes (Provision of Information) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/567, reg 18

    4. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Winding-up Notices and Reports etc) Regulations 2002, SI 2002/459, reg 13

    5. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Winding Up) Regulations 1996, SI 1996/3126, reg 11(1)

    6. the Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Funding) Regulations 2005, SI 2005/3377, reg 11

    7. the Employer’s Duties (Registration and Compliance) Regulations 2010, SI 2010/5, regs 5–8

  3. requirements to maintain adequate records contained in a pension scheme’s governing trust documentation

  4. guidance and expectations from the Pensions Regulator

Trustees accountable for record-keeping

Record-keeping requirements are traditionally placed on scheme trustees, as illustrated by the record-keeping requirements set out in this Practice Note.

Accountability despite delegation of administrative functions

While trustees may choose to delegate such responsibilities (and other administrative functions) to a scheme administrator (including to a third party), trustees remain ultimately accountable.


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