Setting up a registered pension scheme

Produced by Tolley in association with John Hayward
Setting up a registered pension scheme

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

  • Setting up a registered pension scheme
  • Introduction
  • Occupational pension schemes
  • Non-occupational pension schemes
  • Legal structure of a registered pension scheme
  • The pension scheme registration process (to October 2013)
  • The pension scheme registration process (from October 2013)
  • Appealing a rejected application to register a pension scheme
  • Registered pension scheme Administrator
  • Duties of the registered pension scheme Administrator

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marked the end of the Brexit transition / implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal fromthe EU. At this point in time, key transitional arrangements came to an end and significant tax changes associated with Brexit began to take effect. This document contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see the Brexit ― personal and employment tax implications guidance note.


HMRC automatically treated most pre-existing HMRC approved pension schemes as registered pension schemes under the current tax regime which came into effect from6 April 2006. Other tax-privileged schemes and pension contracts (such as retirement annuity contracts) were also automatically treated as registered pension schemes fromthe same date.

Since 6 April 2006, new pension schemes, if they are to enjoy the associated tax privileges, must register with HMRC. Registration is undertaken through an online process. HMRC began rolling out its new ‘Manage and Register Pension Schemes’ service on 4 June 2018 with a facility to register pension schemes. Registration via the previous pension scheme online service was no longer possible after 1 June 2018 (see the GOV.UK website).

Registered pension schemes comprise occupational schemes and non-occupational schemes.

Occupational pension schemes

An occupational pension scheme is defined in FA 2004, s 150 as a pension scheme which has been established by an employer or employers, and which provides benefits to or in respect of employees of the employer who has established the scheme, or employees of any other employer.

An occupational scheme may, under section 150, “provide benefits to or in respect of other persons”. In other words, an occupational pension scheme is not restricted in terms of membership to employees of the sponsoring employer; it may under its own rules open its membership to other parties, who may include minors or non-working spouses for whom contributions are paid by parents, grandparents or working spouses, and partners in a partnership as well as

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