The Pensions Regulator has encouraged trustees to submit their annual Scheme Return later this month, ahead of early March deadlines. What information is required in the Scheme Return and how has it changed from last year?
Around this time every year, trustees of DB pension schemes are required to submit the Scheme Return to the Pensions Regulator, using the online Exchange facility (found at https://exchange.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk). Trustees have approximately a six week period to gather the information and submit it ahead of the Regulator’s deadline, which for most scheme is early March. In reality, the work has to be completed by the end of February. Most trustees ask their Scheme Administrator to carry out this exercise on their behalf. Here at TDC, we are delighted, ok too much, we are happy to deliver this service for all our pension scheme clients.
Information required in the Scheme Return
The Scheme Return is a 12 page document, consisting of seven sections (section 1 is an introduction with the following six sections to be populated with scheme or employer information).
Section 2: Scheme details
Scheme name, address, PSR number, scheme type, status, year end, HMRC reference number, membership at scheme year end between 1 Apr 2015 and 31 Mar 2016, information on AVCs.
Section 3: Trustees
Name and address, and contact details for all trustees, type of trustee. A new question for 2017 asks if trustees are professional trustees.
Section 4: Employer details
Name and address for all participating employers, employer type and status, Companies House reference number and new for this year, Experian Unique Identifier (EUID). The number of DB members allocated to each employer is required to be shown.
Section 5: Service provider details
Name, address and contact details for the Actuary, Auditor, third party administrator and any insurers involved with the scheme.
Section 6: Financial details
This section is arguably the most important section as it requires up to date information on the different types of actuarial valuations (Section 179 valuation, Scheme Specific Funding (Part 3) valuation, buy out valuation, accounting valuation)and the breakdown of the scheme assets. This section also asks about the indexation of benefits, both pre and post retirement, and the types of inflation used. Finally, details of any transfer values paid or incentive exercise undertaken need to be included.
Section 7: Contact details
Contact details for the scheme generally and for enquiries about the PPF levy, usually TDC in both cases for our clients.
The Pensions Regulator does not like it when trustees miss deadlines so please make sure your administrator is on the ball with the Scheme Return. If you would like assistance with this important exercise for your scheme, please do not hesitate to contact us.