TT110: Pension Scheme Administration

January 23, 2008

Urgent action may be required

If you are a pension scheme trustee, urgent action may be required on your part, or on the part of your Scheme Administrator.

Who is your Scheme Administrator?

Under recent pension scheme changes, all registered pension schemes should have a Scheme Administrator (SA) appointed. The SA has various legal duties, amongst which is reporting various matters to H M Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

If your company has an occupational pension scheme (OPS) then it is important that you understand who the SA is. For Barnes Roffe clients a common OPS is a Small Self Administered Scheme (usually referred to as a SSAS).

If however, the company only makes contributions to Personal Pension Schemes such as stakeholder schemes, group personal pension schemes or self invested personal pensions then the SA’s duties will be undertaken by the pension provider (e.g. the investment company).

What has to be done and when?

There is a requirement for OPSs to deliver a Registered Pension Scheme Return for their schemes (a ‘Return’), but only if HMRC have issued a notice requiring such a Return. HMRC has indicated that most SSAS and a sample of other schemes have been sent such a notice.

The filing deadline for a Return for the year ended 5 April 2007 is the later of 31 January 2008 or 3 months after the notice to deliver one was given. The Return needs to be filed on-line. For nearly all notices issued the deadline will be 31 January 2008.

The filing of this return is the responsibility of the SA who should be registered as such with HMRC. However, it has also become apparent that some SAs have not yet registered with HMRC. A rough sample has shown that, for reminders received at our office, four out of five do not have a SA appointed – probably leading to the conclusion that this is why the Return remains outstanding.

Barnes Roffe Topical Tips:

  • If you do not already know who your SA is, it is important that you contact your pension scheme adviser.
  • You should also confirm that your SA is registered with HMRC and is aware whether a request to file a Return has been received from HMRC.
  • The good news is that for next year HMRC have confirmed that they will only send out notices to deliver such Returns on a sample basis.

Consult your Barnes Roffe LLP contact Partner for guidance in this important area.

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