Temporary changes to pension processes as a result of COVID-19

By Technical Team on 30 Apr 2020

HMRC has provided guidance on temporary changes to some pension processes to help pension scheme administrators during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes apply until June 2020, when HMRC will provide a further update, and include:

  • Rent and loan payment holidays (independent valuation not required to avoid an unauthorised payment charge);
  • APSS105 relief at source repayment claims (what to do if you cannot get a wet signature);
  • R63N repayment request for registered pension schemes (what to do if you cannot get a wet signature);
  • Relief at source excess relief (what to do if you cannot submit schedules);
  • Accounting for Tax return submission and payment delays (what to do to get penalties and interest cancelled if the AFT return for quarter ended 31 March 2020 is not filed and paid by 15 May 2020);
  • APSS262 reporting transfers to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS) ((what to do if you get a penalty relating to late reporting of an overseas transfer);
  • Re-employment in response to COVID-19 (statement regarding potential loss of protected pension age and resulting tax charges where an individual retired before age 55 and took benefits and is re-employed);
  • Pension scheme returns for 2019 to 2020 (notices to file pension schemes returns for 2019 to 2020 are not being issued);
  • Benefits crystallisation event 1 and valuing sums and assets held within a registered pension scheme (guidance on special circumstances when valuing quoted shares and securities); and
  • Other pension scheme valuations (use normal valuation methods if possible but alternative ‘fair and reasonable valuation’ methods may be used).

Full information on these changes can be found in Pension schemes newsletter 118 – March 2020 and Pension schemes newsletter 119 – April 2020.