Employer Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes (EFRBS)

Produced by Tolley in association with John Hayward
Employer Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes (EFRBS)

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with John Hayward provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Employer Financed Retirement Benefit Schemes (EFRBS)
  • Introduction
  • EFRBS in the spotlight
  • EFRBS and disguised remuneration


A pension scheme that is not a registered scheme is known as an EFRBS. Since April 6 2006, the distinction between what were approved and unapproved pension schemes has been replaced with a distinction between registered and unregistered schemes.

The position as it applies with effect from 6 April 2006 relates equally to funded and unfunded arrangements. So both Funded Unapproved Retirement Benefit Schemes (FURBS) and Unfunded Unapproved Retirement Benefit Schemes (UURBS) became EFRBS.

The rules for EFRBS are closer to the rules as they previously applied to UURBS than to those associated with what were FURBS.


An EFRBS is defined as a scheme that consists of or includes relevant benefits. ‘Relevant benefits’ are defined by ITEPA 2003, s 393B as meaning any lump sum, gratuity or other benefit provided:

  1. on retirement or on death

  2. in anticipation of retirement

  3. after retirement or death in connection with past service

  4. on or in anticipation of, or in connection with any change in the nature of the employee’s service

  5. by virtue of a pension sharing order or provision

ITEPA 2003, s 393A(1)

This includes a non-cash benefit.

As unregistered pension schemes, EFRBS are not subject to the pensions taxation regime set out in FA 2004. Thus, contribution

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