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Key points

  • Managers of public service schemes must ensure their annual scheme return is completed accurately and on time.
  • They must also let us know of any changes to their scheme’s ‘registrable information’ and provide the up-to-date information as soon as possible.
  • Public service pension schemes that are registered with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and have more than one member must be registered with us.

Scheme returns

Public service pension schemes are legally required to provide ‘registrable information’ to us. This includes completing a scheme return each year. We also ask for some additional information to help us build up as accurate a picture of public service schemes as possible. Failing to complete the scheme return by the required date could lead to us fining the scheme manager or taking other action.

Read a quick guide to the scheme return for public service pension schemes (PDF, 85KB, 3 pages).

When you receive your scheme return notice you should complete it using our online service Exchange.

We use the information from the scheme return for a number of purposes. This includes maintaining our register of pension schemes and calculating schemes’ annual levy charges.

You need to complete your scheme return by the date stated on your scheme return notice and on Exchange. This will be at least four weeks from the date of the notice.

If you're unable to complete the scheme return by the due date, contact us.

Once you've submitted your scheme return you'll receive a confirmation email to the Exchange user account from which the scheme return was submitted. If you don't receive the email, please contact us.

Getting started with Exchange

If you've used Exchange before, log on using your registered email address and password. Choose the scheme from the 'My schemes' page and select the 'Scheme maintenance' option.

If you haven't used Exchange before you'll need to register.

If you need to give someone else access to the scheme details in Exchange, log in to the scheme and select 'Manage who can access this scheme online' from the 'Scheme options' menu.

Keep scheme information up to date

It is a legal requirement for managers of a scheme to tell us about changes to their scheme’s registrable information as soon as reasonably practicable. This includes keeping up to date the person you have identified as the scheme contact. Managers of schemes can be fined if they don't tell us about changes to registrable information.

You can view and update your scheme’s information at anytime using Exchange.

Register a scheme

Managers of public service pension schemes that are ‘registrable schemes’ must register their scheme with us. A ‘registrable scheme’ is an occupational or personal pension scheme that is registered with HMRC and has more than one member.

Public service schemes are those principally for:

  • the armed forces
  • civil servants
  • firefighters
  • health service workers
  • the judiciary
  • local government workers
  • the police
  • teachers

In due course they may also include some public body schemes.

Managers of public service pension schemes that need to register with us must do so within three months of registering with HMRC and having more than one member. Managers could face a fine if they don't register on time.

If you need to register a scheme, contact us.

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