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Step by step guide to navigating HMRC Pension Schemes product

Once you have registered to use the Pension Schemes Online, you will be able to perform the following tasks:
  • View and amend your details
  • Register a new pension scheme with HMRC
  • Register to operate relief at source for a pension scheme
  • Notifying HMRC that you are a Scheme Administrator
  • Notifying you have ceased as a Scheme Administrator
  • View and amend information about the pension scheme
  • Authorise Practitioners
  • File reports and returns for those schemes.

You can perform these tasks using HMRC’s Pension Scheme product or third party software. Follow the steps below to access and use HMRC’s Pension Scheme product:

1) Go to the Home page

2) From the ‘do it online’ menu on the left hand side of the screen, select ‘Pension Schemes’

3) Under the ‘Existing users’ section of the ‘Welcome to Online services’ page enter your User ID and Password and select ‘Login’

4) From the ‘Your Services’ screen, select ‘Access service’ for either ‘Pension Schemes for Administrators’ or ‘Pension Schemes for Practitioners’

5) Under the section ‘File your forms and returns’, select ‘Pension Schemes’ to use our free online Pension Schemes product or ‘third party software’ if you prefer to use your own software.

If you select ‘Pension Schemes’ you will then be presented with the ‘Pension Schemes Welcome Page’

The Pension Schemes - Welcome Page

Our Pension Schemes product is designed to be flexible and secure, only allowing information to be viewed by those entitled to view it. The Pension Schemes Welcome Page allows you to navigate through our Pension Schemes product. There are links enabling you to complete actions not associated with a scheme such as registering a new scheme for tax relief and exemptions, or viewing and amending Scheme Administrator and Practitioner details.

Other links on the Welcome Page allow you to start actions for a scheme that you are not yet authorised to view. This includes starting an Accounting for Tax return or an Event Report for a Retirement Annuity Contract or Deferred Annuity Contract. After you have filed such a return or report you will then be able to access the Pension Scheme Summary for that scheme.

Details of pension schemes you are authorised to view can be accessed by navigating to the ‘Pension Scheme Summary’. You can view registration details and forms and returns submitted for a scheme from the Pension Scheme Summary. Some of the actions which can be completed from here are:

  • Associating another Scheme Administrator to the scheme.
  • Authorising HMRC to deal with a Practitioner on your behalf if you are the Scheme Administrator of a scheme. Blanket authorities cannot be given.
  • Ceasing as Scheme Administrator of a specific pension scheme.

The Welcome Page is divided into 5 sections. These are:

Incomplete Tasks

If you have previously used the online service and have started to complete an action, for example, you have begun to enter information for a Pension Scheme Return but have not yet submitted the report to HMRC, an incomplete task is created. By selecting the ‘continue’ option alongside the description of the task, you can directly access the incomplete return or report. The data expiry date shows the data that the information will be removed from the system if you do not submit the return or report to HMRC.

View your Pension Service messages

Pension Schemes Online contains a Noticeboard. This is the delivery point for any notices and reminders we send you online. For example, if you have registered a pension scheme, a copy of the registration certificate will be posted here. You will also receive online copies of notices to file Pension Scheme Returns or audited accounts. If you are a Practitioner, messages will be posted on your noticeboard when HMRC have been authorised or de-authorised to deal with you by a Scheme Administrator. If the Practitioner has been authorised to receive a copy of the registration certificate when a new scheme is registered, a copy of the certificate will also be posted here.

Select ‘view messages’ to see a summary of the messages you have received.

As long as an email address has been provided, an email alert will be sent informing the customer that a new message is available to view on their Pensions Noticeboard. Those Scheme Administrators who use Pension Schemes Online but have chosen to receive paper and online notices will receive both.


This section of the Welcome Page allows you to register a new scheme for tax relief and exemptions or, declare yourself as the Scheme Administrator for a Deferred Annuity Contract. You can also register an existing pension scheme to operate relief at source by entering the Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR) for the scheme or the scheme name.

Select a Pension Scheme

To access a specific pension scheme record, you should enter a PSTR and select ‘Go’. This will take you to the Pension Scheme Summary. If you do not know the PSTR, you can also search for the scheme using the pension scheme name or, if you have other information relating to the scheme, select the advanced search option. Once you have traced the pension scheme, you will be able to access all of the information you are entitled to see.

Select an Action

Rather than going to a Pension Scheme Summary and then choosing an action to take, you can undertake a specific action, for example, adding yourself as a Scheme Administrator of a scheme or viewing all of the notices that have been issued to you for all the schemes where you are the Scheme Administrator.

You can also begin start an Event Report, Registered Pension Scheme Return or an Accounting for Tax Return using the links within this section. You can also compile, view and amend reports or returns in progress or already submitted.