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

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...

Pension scheme record-keeping requirements


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

    8. the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2013, SI 2013/2734, reg 18E

  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

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