RPSM02101010 - Technical pages: registering a pension scheme with HMRC: pension schemes set up on or after 6 April 2006: schemes applying for registration from a date on or after 6 April 2006: form of application

[section 153(2) and (3)] 

For a scheme to be registered, the scheme administrator must submit to HMRC

  • a fully completed application in the form specified by HMRC (this is an online application), and
  • a declaration that the person making the application understands that they are responsible for discharging the functions conferred or imposed on the scheme administrator of the pension scheme by the tax legislation for registered pension schemes and intends to discharge those functions at all times, no matter whether resident in the UK, any other EU member state or non-EU EEA member state, and
  • such declarations as HMRC reasonably requires. Currently, this means a declaration that
    • the scheme meets all the criteria to be registered as a pension scheme under Finance Act 2004, and in particular, is established for the purpose of providing benefits in respect of persons listed at section 150 FA 2004, see RPSM02102000 and
    • to the best of the scheme administrator’s knowledge and belief the information given in the application to register the pension scheme for the purposes of tax relief is correct and complete and they understand they are responsible for providing any further information and declarations reasonably required by HMRC in order to consider the application, and
    • the instruments or agreements by which the pension scheme is constituted do not directly or indirectly entitle any person to unauthorised payments. In addition the way in which the pension scheme is to be administered will not knowingly entitle any person to unauthorised payments, (if the scheme contains members who are not UK resident see the first paragraph of RPSM13103050), and
    • as scheme administrator they are responsible for discharging the functions conferred or imposed on the scheme administrator of the pension scheme by Finance Act 2004, and they intend to discharge those functions at all times, whether resident in the United Kingdom or another EU member state or non-member EEA state. Failure to discharge those functions may result in a penalty and the pension scheme may be deregistered, and
    • the scheme administrator understands that they may be liable to a penalty and the pension scheme may be de-registered if a false statement is made on the application, or in any information provided in connection with the application, and that false statements may also lead to prosecution.

The intention of these declarations is to ensure that:

  • the scheme meets the criteria to be a registered pension scheme and has been set up to provide pension benefits in respect of persons in the circumstances listed in s150(1) FA 2004, and
  • all the required information has been provided and is correct so that the application can be considered, and
  • the scheme is not set up in such a way as to facilitate unauthorised payments, and
  • the scheme administrator will discharge their functions properly and understands that there will be a penalty if they do not, and
  • the scheme administrator understands that they may be liable to a penalty and that the pension scheme may be de-registered if a false statement is made on the application or in respect of any of the information provided on the application

In practice, this will all be one online form completed by the scheme administrator. However, in some cases it will be necessary for HMRC to ask further questions to support the online application. HMRC will only ask for information necessary to help inform the decision making process. For further details of the process, please see the Scheme Administrator pages of this chapter, in particular page RPSM02306040.

A scheme administrator must not make an application for registration before the scheme has been established. It is not possible to apply for registration in anticipation of establishing a scheme. Once the scheme is established an application for registration may be made before any contributions are paid to the scheme and before members join the scheme.

Only the scheme administrator can make the application for registration of the pension scheme. However, once the pension scheme is registered, the scheme administrator can authorise HMRC to deal with one or more practitioners acting on their behalf (see RPSM02307000).

HMRC must state the date from which the scheme is registered. The scheme qualifies for tax relief from this date. This will be the date that HMRC review the application and deem the scheme to meet the conditions to be a registered pension scheme (see RPSM02102000).


  Glossary (RPSM20000000)