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About the levy

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions sets the rate of the general levy each year. The levy is in place to cover the cost of running The Pensions Regulator (TPR), the Pensions Ombudsman Service and the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS).

The levy is due on 1 April every year. In most cases the collection date will be the 14th of the following month after set up, with the exception where direct debits are set up on the first and second day of the month, collection will be taken on the 14th of that month. Subsequent year payments will be taken on the same date each year following your first collection.

If you have an outstanding balance on your scheme at the time you set up your direct debit this will be taken in addition to the current year charge, if due. You'll also receive an advance notice by email, detailing your payment schedule.

Invoices must be paid within 28 days of the invoice date. You should continue to pay the levy until the scheme has wound up or reduced to less than two members.

How to pay the levy

You can set up a direct debit or debit card payment in four steps:

  1. Log on to Exchange.
  2. Navigate to the 'My schemes' page and select from your list of associated schemes (if you've not yet associated to your scheme, any existing associated Exchange user is able to provide you access to your scheme).
  3. Choose 'Maintain / View scheme levy' from the 'Scheme options' page.
  4. Select 'Set up a direct debit for levy payments'.

You'll receive an advance notice by email five days before collection of your direct debit payment, and as long as you're happy with the details, you need do nothing.

If there's a change to the amount to be collected you'll be notified of this change a minimum of five working days before collection. If you're not happy with the details contact us at ddnotifications@tpr.gov.uk.

Payment will be collected by WorldPay using our service user number (SUN) 247026 and your payee reference, which is the same as your Pension Scheme Reference (PSR) number.

Your balance will not be updated until we've successfully received payment. Once you can see the payment on your bank statement, please recheck your balance, allowing twenty four hours for the system to be updated.

You can cancel your direct debit at any time by contacting your bank or TPR at ddnotifications@tpr.gov.uk. If you cancel through your bank, please send us a copy of your letter.

Who can pay the levy

To access a scheme for the first time you need to contact the scheme trustees or manager who can do this on Exchange.

To set up a direct debit online you must be an authorised signatory for the pension scheme bank account. In setting up the direct debit you agree to become the levy contact and will receive the relevant correspondence. If you're not the authorised signatory, a paper instruction can be downloaded and sent to us, signed by the authorised signatory.

The levy contact is an authorised signatory for the pension scheme's bank account. The levy contact will receive the confirmation email for a debit card payment, and the advance notice for a direct debit payment. The levy contact details can be updated at any time without affecting any existing direct debit instruction.

If your account requires two signatories you'll need to download the instructions in 'set up a direct debit' in Exchange. Both signatories need to sign this before sending it to us.

Understanding your levy invoice

The general levy is based on the total number of members in the scheme at the end of the scheme year before last. You can update your scheme's membership using scheme maintenance in Exchange.

Here are some examples:

  • Levy payable on 1 April 2014 would be based on total scheme membership taken as at the scheme year end prior to 1 April 2013 - if the scheme year end is 5 April, membership will be taken as at 5 April 2012.
  • ABC Pension scheme is a defined contribution (money purchase) pension scheme and is eligible for the 2014 levy invoice. The membership figure of 200 was taken as at 5 April 2012. The general levy rate for 100 - 999 members is £2.08 per member, therefore the amount payable for the general levy is £2.08 x 200 = £416.

The amount to be paid depends on the band which the scheme falls into and may be subject to a minimum amount per band.

To view previous years' bandings, please see the levy archive.

For more information see the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (General Levy) (Amendment) Regulations 2017.

2018 levy

Occupational schemes

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not applicable £29
2 12-99 £2.88 per member Not applicable
3 100-999 £2.08 per member £290
4 1,000-4,999 £1.62 per member £2,080
5 5,000-9,999 £1.23 per member £8,100
6 10,000-499,999 £0.86 per member £12,300
7 500,000 or more £0.65 per member £430,000

Personal / stakeholder / group personal pension schemes

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not relevant - flat rate £12
2 12-99 £1.15 per member No minimum payment - rate per member
3 100-999 £0.81 per member £120
4 1,000-4,999 £0.69 per member £810
5 5,000-9,999 £0.46 per member £3,450
6 10,000-499,999 £0.35 per member £4,600
7 500,000 or more £0.26 per member £175,000

We collect the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) administration levy on behalf of the PPF. This levy is calculated in the same way as the general levy but uses a different banding. The bands for the PPF administration levy are shown in the table below.

Please note that we do not have any involvement in collecting or calculating the PPF risk and scheme-based levies.

To query eligibility in respect of payment of any PPF levies, please visit the PPF website.

Pension Protection Fund administration levy

Band Number of members Amount of levy calculated by reference to number of members Minimum amount of levy
1 2-11 Not relevant - flat rate £49
2 12-99 £4.88 per member No minimum payment - rate per member
3 100-999 £3.52 per member £490
4 1,000-4,999 £2.74 per member £3,520
5 5,000-9,999 £2.07 per member £13,700
6 10,000 and over £1.45 per member £20,700

Fraud compensation levy

The levy for the Fraud Compensation Fund, which is administered by the PPF, will be charged at 25p per member for 2018/19.

For more information on the Fraud Compensation Fund see the PPF website.

2017 levy

Occupational schemes

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not applicable £29
2 12-99 £2.88 per member Not applicable
3 100-999 £2.08 per member £290
4 1,000-4,999 £1.62 per member £2,080
5 5,000-9,999 £1.23 per member £8,100
6 10,000-499,999 £0.86 per member £12,300
7 500,000 or more £0.65 per member £430,000

Personal / stakeholder / group personal pension schemes

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not relevant - flat rate £12
2 12-99 £1.15 per member No minimum payment - rate per member
3 100-999 £0.81 per member £120
4 1,000-4,999 £0.69 per member £810
5 5,000-9,999 £0.46 per member £3,450
6 10,000-499,999 £0.35 per member £4,600
7 500,000 or more £0.26 per member £175,000

Pension Protection Fund administration levy

Band Number of members Amount of levy calculated by reference to number of members Minimum amount of levy
1 2-11 Not relevant - flat rate £49
2 12-99 £4.88 per member No minimum payment - rate per member
3 100-999 £3.52 per member £490
4 1,000-4,999 £2.74 per member £3,520
5 5,000-9,999 £2.07 per member £13,700
6 10,000 and over £1.45 per member £20,700

Levy archive

You can find the levy for previous years on the National Archives website.

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