Pensions Records UK

Basis of Retention and Disposition

There are a number of statutory obligations with regards the keeping of pensions records, governing administrators, participating employers and trustees.
A fundamental concept is that records evidencing an individual employee’s pension contributions and entitlement should be retained until the death of the member’s beneficiary.

Retention Rules Per Record Type

Record Type Minimum Retention Period Rationale
Actuarial and Accounts – Accounts and actuarial valuation reports relating to the scheme, Books and other records on which such accounts and reports are based 6 years from the end of the scheme year in which falls the date on which the accounts were signed, or, as the case may be, the report was signed
Records evidencing an individual employee’s pension contributions and entitlement should be retained until the death of the member’s beneficiary
Retirement Benefits Schemes (Information Provision) Regulations 1995
Pensions Regulator Detailed Guidance-9, Keeping Records, April 2017
Employers’ Duties (Registration and Compliance) Regulations 2010 s. 8
Administration and Financial – Relevant records of jobholders and workers who become members, Opt-in/opt-out notices, Joining notices, Contributions, Controlling directors as members of schemes, Insurance policy purchases, Membership records, Movement or transfer of assets, Participation of employers in a scheme, Payment to controlling directors, Payments in and out, Payments of pensions and benefits, Payments to leavers and employers, Payments to professional advisers, Purchase of annuities, Reporting of chargeable events, Retirement due to incapacity, Special contributions by employers, Transfers in and out End of the scheme year to which they relate or in which the event took place + 6 years
Or, as applicable
Last payment of benefit + 6 years

Records evidencing an individual employee’s pension contributions and entitlement should be retained until the death of the member’s beneficiary, including Death Benefit Nomination and Revocation Forms

Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations 1996 + Retirement Benefits Schemes (Information Provision) Regulations 1995 + Employers’ Duties (Registration and Compliance) Regulations 2010, regs. 5-8 + As accounting records
Pensions Regulator Detailed Guidance-9, Keeping Records, April 2017
Investment – All records of investment, borrowing transactions, including land, shares, money and other assets, Records of receipt of income End of the scheme year in which the transaction took place + 6 years Retirement Benefits Schemes Information Provision) Regulations 1995 + Limitation of legal action and support of financial record
Professional Advice – All records of written appointments terms of professional advisers Appointment ceases + 6 years Pensions Act 2004 + Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations 1996; Also supports limitation of legal action as a simple contract under Limitation Act, 1980, c 58 s 5
Schemes and Trustees – Details of Defined Contribution, Defined Benefit or Hybrid Scheme, Deeds and rules, Disputes procedures, HMRC approvals, Investment policies, Minutes of Trustee meetings, Statements of principles and policies as required by s. 35 of the Pensions Act 1995 Keep for life of scheme (or if merged with another scheme, 12 years after merging) Pensions Act 2004 + Evidence / Limitation of legal action + Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations 1996 – There is no statutory obligation beyond the need to keep Records of trustees’ meetings for at least 6 years from the end of the scheme year to which they relate (The Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations 1996, regs 13 & 14) and the need to keep scheme details as employer pension records re automatic enrolment under the Employers’ Duties (Registration and Compliance) Regulations 2010, regs. 5-8

However, Pensions Regulator guidance states “You will need to keep some records, including both common and scheme-specific data, for long periods of time. This means for as long as they remain relevant and are needed for the scheme to operate.”

A minimum of 12 years should be applied treating as speciality contract executed as a deed under Limitation Act, 1980, c 58 s 8; however, best practice to retain such vital records as evidence suggests retention for life of scheme
Pensions Regulator Detailed Guidance-9, Keeping Records, April 2017

Citations and Resources

Retirement Benefits Schemes (Information Provision) Regulations 1995 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/3103/part/I/made

Occupational Pension Schemes (Scheme Administration) Regulations 1996 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/1715/made

Employers’ Duties (Registration and Compliance) Regulations 2010 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/5/contents/made

Pensions Act 2004 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/35/contents

Pensions Regulator Detailed Guidance-9, Keeping Records, April 2017 https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/-/media/thepensionsregulator/files/import/pdf/detailed-guidance-9.ashx

The Pensions Regulator guidance on Record-keeping: employer duties https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/employers/managing-a-scheme/record-keeping-employer-duties

The Pensions Regulator guidance on Record-keeping for Trustees https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/trustees/managing-db-benefits/governance-and-administration/record-keeping

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