Aries monitors every development in new and proposed legislation and official guidance.   Clients are kept up to date via the website, email alerts and tweets.   Aries serves as a one-stop source of intelligence on everything that is going on and coming up.   Aries doesn't miss anything of significance.

Here is a selection from our most recent headlines. You can get the fuller details by sending us an email - just click here to fire one off.

As promised, HMRC met its revised deadline for the launch of the first phase of the Manage and Register Pensions Schemes service on 4 June 2018 and published an accompanying Newsletter. HMRC will continue to develop the service over the next two years. Existing scheme administrators are encouraged to complete the new (one-off) enrolment information as soon as possible.

From 11 June 2018, the service will display a list and status of schemes the user

has applied to be registered. A necessary evil here will be the temporary closure of the service on 9 and 10 June 2018.

Whilst the PTM is yet to receive a promised update, HMRC has updated main guidance on how to:

There is also a new guide on registering as a practitioner.

Non-trading companies or public sector organisations will only be able to register if they have a 10-digit Corporation Tax unique taxpayer reference (UTR) - or a provisional UTR given for the purposes of using the service.

This Phase One will receive a . . .

04 June 2018  

As we reach numbers an England cricketer can only dream of, the 99th Pension Schemes Newsletter leads with a note that from 6pm today (1 June 2018) it will no longer be possible to register as a pension scheme administrator or apply to register a pension scheme using Pension Schemes Online. We await a new dawn on Monday (4 June) when its replacement, Manage and Register Pension Schemes (MRPS), is launched.

HMRC has meanwhile fixed a validation problem with the form APSS262.

For some months now HMRC has not been even trying to fix errors with Pension Schemes Online. Following sustained pressure, this PSN mentions one obliquely. As noted by Aries and HMRC (as long ago as PSN 79) there have been faults with online guidance defining the circumstances in which a Pension Savings Statement needs to be reported (Event 22). HMRC notes that when reporting

event 23, the individual's details must be reported under event 22 to get to event 23.

In relation to another issue raised at the recent Stakeholder Forum, there is some clarification of PTM 146000 (Genuine errors). For taxation purposes, the genuine errors guidance can be applied to the actions of an independent financial advisor (IFA) or other agent where . . .

01 June 2018  

The Upper Tribunal has confirmed that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) was right to use its powers to seek financial support from ITV for the 2,800 members of the Box Clever [clubroom/yans/20170830.htm] pension scheme.

This is the first anti-avoidance case to be heard in full by the tribunal - some six years after TPR issued a financial support direction against the ITV group. The targeted companies now have six months to comply.

One notable ruling is that TPR was right to consider events that took place before the relevant legislation came into force.

TPR has warned schemes that it will continue to use its powers to protect pension savers; there are a number of examples in its latest quarterly compliance and enforcement bulletin (January to March 2018). Compared to last quarter:

  • 7,416 more enforcement powers were used (35,862 in total).

  • 3,721 more fixed penalty notices were issued.

  • 2,037 more compliance notices were issued.

  • 431 more unpaid contribution notices were issued.

In an enforcement example from this quarter, TPR has fined a healthcare . . .

31 May 2018  

The draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Master Trusts) Regulations 2018 have been laid for approval by resolution of each House of Parliament. Once that is achieved, this instrument will fully commence the powers in the Pension Schemes Act 2017 (PSA 2017) to provide for a new authorisation and supervision regime for Master Trust pension schemes.

The Regs have been drafted to allow some "flexibility in applying the new authorisation regime" and "to enable the

Regulator to provide more practical details of what will be required in its Code of Practice" - the consultation period for which ended on 8 May 2018.

Authorisation will be a one-off application process; the onus being on the Master Trust to satisfy the Pensions Regulator (TPR) that it meets five authorisation criteria:

  • The persons involved in running the scheme are fit and proper (matters

to be taken into account here are set out in Schedule 1).

  • The scheme is financially sustainable: a business plan, in accordance with Schedule 3, must be submitted and must comply with requirements set out in the forthcoming Code of Practice in relation to the matters listed in Schedule 2 of the draft Regs.
  • . . .

25 May 2018  

HMRC opened our latest twice-yearly meeting on 9 May with an apology for the very late appearance of Minutes of the previous meeting in October 2017. Only two action points remained outstanding and were addressed in this meeting.

Policy Team update

Another apology was offered, this time for the short consultation period on the recent amendments to the Relief at Source (RAS) Regs which require scheme administrators

to submit the annual return of individual information within 3 months of the end of the year of assessment (ie by 5 July) instead of the previous 6 months. The Regs also introduced a new 90-day time scale from 6 April 2018 for the reporting and repayment of excess relief claimed in an interim claim, along with an interest charge if the reporting and/or repayment is made after the 90-day period. (It could have been worse: this 90-day period was originally going to be limited to 30 days.) However, HMRC understood the concern

about time required for system changes and will introduce transitional arrangements for 2018/19.

Two further SIs were laid in March relating to the overseas transfers regime, covering the attribution rules (amount which attracts UK tax when a payment is made out of a RNUKPS) and transfers back to the UK, the latter finally tackling a potential carousel to obtain multiple PCLSs . . .

11 May 2018