The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley in association with John Hayward provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:
HMRC automatically treated most pre-existing HMRC approved pension schemes as registered pension schemes under the current tax regime which came into effect from 6 April 2006. Other tax-privileged schemes and pension contracts (such as retirement annuity contracts) were also automatically treated as registered pension schemes from the 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.
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 the partnership’s employees.
Any employer who establishes or participates in an occupational pension scheme is referred to as a ‘sponsoring employer’ in respect of the scheme. The identity of the sponsoring employer(s) should be clear from the scheme documents.
The rules concerning who can establish a registered pension scheme that is not an occupational pension scheme were amended with effect from 6 April 2007.
Non-occupational pension schemes applying for registration with HMRC on or after that date
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