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  • How to make payments as a pension scheme administrator

How to make payments as a pension scheme administrator

This guide tells you about options for making pension scheme payments to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if you're a pension scheme administrator. It also tells you about the payment deadlines.

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Pension scheme payments deadlines

Pension scheme administrators report tax charges in the Accounting for Tax Return which they file using HMRC's Pension Schemes online service. The deadlines for reporting and paying the tax charges are the same. If you do not pay on time you may have to pay a penalty. For details of payment deadlines see our guidance about Accounting for Tax Returns.

Completing an Accounting for Tax Return

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Using the right payment reference

When you make a payment to HMRC it is important you use the right reference. This makes sure the payment reaches your account and that you won't get reminders after you've paid.

HMRC's Pension Schemes online service gives you an online receipt with a payment reference number when you file your pension scheme's Accounting for Tax Return. Use this reference number when you make your payment.

Your reference number is made up of 14 characters for example XAR12345678912.

Make sure you enter your Accounting for Tax reference number with no spaces between the characters or your payment may take longer to reach your account.

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Online debit or credit card using BillPay

If you have a debit or credit card issued by a UK bank, you can make pension scheme payments online using the BillPay service provided by Santander Corporate Banking.

If you pay by credit card you will have to pay a transaction fee of 1.4 per cent.

HMRC does not accept American Express or Diners Club cards.

Make a debit or credit card payment now (Opens new window)

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Bank details for Bacs Direct Credit, Faster Payments by online/telephone banking or CHAPS

You can use your bank or building society services to pay by:

  • Bacs Direct Credit
  • Faster Payment by online/telephone banking
  • CHAPS

Setting up and making payments

To make a payment as a pension scheme administrator using any of these payment methods you'll need to set up the payment details with your bank. You'll need to give them:

  • HMRC's bank account details
  • your pension scheme reference number

Find out HMRC's bank details

Faster Payments

This is a service that has been introduced by the banking industry for sending online or telephone banking payments on the same or next day, providing the value of the payment does not exceed the value limit set by the sending bank.

More about the Faster Payments Service

Information about Faster Payment limits (Opens new window)

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Using the Government Banking Service

Employers such as government departments and health authorities who have an account with the Government Banking Service (GBS) can make a pension scheme payment using the GBS online service. This will transfer the funds direct to HMRC's GBS bank account.

Provided you make the payment by the GBS deadline, it will reach HMRC on the same day.

Please take care if you need to enter HMRC's GBS account details. If you make a mistake there may be a delay updating your record or your payment may not reach HMRC.

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Paying at your bank by Bank Giro

If your bank or building society offers the Bank Giro service you can make a payment at your own bank branch by cheque or cash. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post.

If paying this way:

  • take your HMRC pension scheme payslip to your own bank branch (other banks may refuse to accept it or may charge you for this service)
  • make cheques payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by your pension scheme reference number

Please allow at least three bank working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

When paying by Bank Giro please only use an official HMRC payslip. HMRC payslips contain the correct HMRC bank account information and ensure payment reaches your account on time.

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At the Post Office

You can make a pension scheme payment at the Post Office by cheque, cash or debit card without charge. This is more efficient and secure than sending a payment by post. If paying at the Post Office this way:

  • take your HMRC pension scheme payslip with you (or you will be charged for using this service)
  • make cheques payable to 'Post Office Ltd'

Please allow at least three bank working days for your payment to reach HMRC. Bank working days are Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

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By post

HMRC recommends that you make your payments electronically using one of the methods covered in this guide. If you use the right reference number electronic payments are more efficient and secure.

If you need to pay by post:

  • make your cheque payable to 'HM Revenue & Customs only' followed by your pension scheme payslip reference
  • send the cheque and payslip to HMRC using the pre-addressed envelope if you were sent one or the address below
  • do not fold the payslip or cheque and do not fasten them together

Please allow three working days for your payment to reach HMRC. This allows for any delays in the post outside of HMRC's control.

If you do not have an HMRC pre-addressed envelope please send your payment to:

HM Revenue & Customs
Bradford
BD98 1YY

Postdated cheques

HMRC only accept a postdated cheque:

  • before your payment is due - if you send a cheque for the full amount and it arrives by the due date
  • after your payment is due - if you have an agreement with HMRC to pay with postdated cheques

HMRC have automated the way they deal with payments sent by post. So you need to send a covering letter with your  postdated cheque. Otherwise HMRC won't know that the cheque is postdated and will present it straight away.

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Payment receipt requests

If you have made your payment electronically using one of the methods covered in this guide you can confirm from your own bank or building society statement that payment has cleared your account.

If you send your payment by post you will need to send a letter with your payment if you want a receipt. Please don't write on your payslip as they are processed automatically.

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More useful links

Find out what you can do if you have a problem making a payment

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