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Scheme return 2017-18

Find out what important information you'll need in order to complete your scheme return:

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Introduction to the scheme return

  • What's a scheme return?

    A scheme return is how we capture information about pension schemes that we use to help maintain our register of pension schemes. You can complete your scheme return using our online service, Exchange.

    We share the information we collect with the Pension Protection Fund and the Pension Tracing Service.

  • Do I need to complete a scheme return?

    If the scheme has been formally wound up or the total membership has reduced to less than two, a scheme return will not be required. However, you are legally obligated to inform us of the change in the scheme’s status:

    If you have received your scheme return notice

    You can let us know if the number of members in your scheme falls below two, or the scheme has been wound up, under the initial questions in Exchange.

    If you have not yet received your scheme return notice

    If your scheme membership has reduced to less than two members, please confirm your scheme name, Pension Scheme Registration (PSR) along with the date the membership reduced, by writing to us at exchange@thepensionsregulator.gov.uk to ensure you are not unnecessarily issued with a scheme return.

  • Who completes a scheme return?

    It's the legal responsibility of the trustees (or managers of the scheme) to complete a scheme return, unless the number of scheme members falls below two or the scheme has been wound up.

  • What happens if I don't complete a scheme return?

    As a trustee of a pension scheme (or a manager of a non-trust-based registered pension scheme) you have a legal obligation to supply us with information about your pension scheme by completing a scheme return.

    We use this information to ensure the register of pension schemes is up to date and to identify pension schemes where there’s a risk or potential risk to members’ benefits. We also use this information to calculate annual levy charges.

    Failure to complete the scheme return by the date specified in the scheme return notice is a breach of the Pensions Act 2004 and could lead to the scheme trustees (or managers) being fined.

  • What information do I need to complete a scheme return?

    To enable you to complete the scheme return, it may be useful to have the following documents to hand:

    Your scheme's advisers will be able to help you obtain any additional information you may need to provide us with.

  • What preparation can I do before I receive the scheme return?

    Before the return is issued you can:

    • Check your files to ensure you have the scheme’s governing documentation, most recent scheme report and accounts and any recent statements of the scheme assets / contributions.
    • Check you have access to the scheme details through our online service Exchange. If not, a trustee may need to contact us to request access or have access granted to a third party.
    • Check with the scheme’s key personnel (eg trustees, managers) for any changes in their contact details. If there have been any changes you should update the scheme registration immediately to ensure the scheme return notice is sent to the correct address.
    • Review the DC scheme return example form or DB scheme return example form to identify any further details you may need regarding your scheme.
    • If applicable, request any missing information from your scheme provider / insurance broker / IFA / accountant. Please note that most insurers will take at least 10 working days to provide scheme information, and this can be significantly longer during peak times.
  • Do I provide the same information for each scheme return?

    We regularly review the data that we request from you as part of the scheme return. We only collect information that we use to maintain the register of pension schemes or is reasonably required for us to exercise our regulatory functions in relation to the scheme.

  • When will I receive a scheme return request?

    This depends on what type of pension scheme you have. We send out requests to complete scheme returns no more frequently than once a year and no less frequently than once every three years.

    The benefit structure of your scheme determines when we request your scheme return, as outlined below:

    • DB and hybrid schemes: scheme returns requested annually, return notifications usually sent in January each year.
    • DC schemes with 12 or more members: scheme returns requested annually, return notifications sent between the months of May to December each year.
    • DC schemes with less than 12 members: scheme returns requested once every three years, return notifications sent between the months of May to December each year.
  • How much time do I have to complete the scheme return?

    The scheme return due date is stated on the scheme return notice and on Exchange.

    We aim to give you six weeks to complete your scheme return. We cannot offer any extension to the deadline. If you are unable to complete the scheme return by the due date contact us.

Completing your scheme return online (using Exchange)

Questions about your scheme

  • What do I do if I'm not sure of the benefit type of the scheme?

    The benefit type of your scheme will be one of the following three types:

    • defined benefit (DB) - offers a pension based on how much a member earns and how long they are an employed member of the pension scheme
    • defined contribution (DC) - offers a pension based on value of the fund that has accrued as a result of contributions that have been made together with the investment returns
    • hybrid scheme - a combination of DC and DB.

    Please refer to your scheme trust deed and rules which should indicate the benefit structure of your scheme.

  • What do we mean by active, deferred and pensioner members?

    Broadly active, deferred and pensioner members are:

    • Active members: members of an occupational pension scheme who are at present accruing benefits under that scheme in respect of current service.
    • Deferred members: members of an occupational scheme who have accrued benefits under that scheme relating to their past service and who are no longer active members but have not yet retired. These members may continue to work for the employer, or have left the employment of the employer associated with the scheme. This category of membership will remain until every individual in that category either transfers their pension entitlement to an alternative pension arrangement or starts to take their pension entitlement as a retirement pension.
    • Pensioner members: members who are entitled to payment of a retirement benefit that is payable by the trustees or managers of the pension scheme in respect of their pensionable service. This will include individual annuities in payment where the annuity is written in the name of the trustees or managers of the scheme. A member who has taken their pension entitlement by purchasing an annuity in their own name is not classed a pensioner member.
  • Is it still necessary to complete a scheme return if my scheme is winding up?

    Yes. You're still legally required to complete a scheme return even if your scheme is in the process of winding up. If your scheme is winding up and you're experiencing problems with completing your scheme return contact us.

    If your scheme has wound up and you have not yet notified us, please log into Exchange and update the scheme membership and scheme status (including the effective date of the wind up), to ensure you are not unnecessarily issued with a scheme return.

     

Further scheme return guidance

After you complete your scheme return

  • What happens after I submit the scheme return?

    Once you have submitted your scheme return you will receive a confirmation email (the email is sent to the Exchange user account from which the scheme return was submitted).

    Trustees (and managers) are legally required to notify us of any changes to their registrable information. This includes changes to the following details:

    • name and / or address of the scheme
    • employer or trustee
    • scheme's status
    • number of scheme members.

    You can access your scheme information via Exchange at any time to update any information that has changed. Keeping your scheme information up to date will also help you complete your scheme return more quickly and efficiently.

  • Can I change any information on the scheme return after I submit it?

    Trustees (and managers) are legally required to notify us of any changes to their registrable information. This includes changes to the following details:

    • name and / or address of the scheme
    • employer or trustee
    • scheme's status
    • number of scheme members.

    You can access your scheme information via Exchange at any time to update information that has changed. Keeping your scheme information up to date will also help you complete your scheme return more quickly and efficiently.

    In the past you may have used form PR10 to let us know of any changes. However, you can now access this online scheme maintenance system at any time, enabling you to update your scheme information with changes as and when they happen. You no longer need to complete a form PR10.

Scheme return enquiries

Phone:  0345 600 5666 (option 2)

exchange@thepensionsregulator.gov.uk

Or you can write to us.

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