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Exchange: online service

Exchange allows you to share information about your work-based pension scheme with The Pensions Regulator.

Use our online service Exchange to register your scheme online, submit notifiable events, report breaches of the law, set up a direct debit and more.

How to access Exchange 

Exchange 
Use our online service to share information about your scheme with TPR.

Top Exchange queries

On the Exchange login page there is a link to reset your password. You will need to input your email address you use for your account and then answer your two security questions in lower case.

If you have forgotten the answers to your security questions, please contact us and we will reset these for you.

If you have forgotten your password for Exchange please ensure you enter the answers to your security questions in lower case.

You will need to ask the trustees of the scheme to associate you on Exchange. They can do this by logging into the scheme record on Exchange and selecting 'manage who can access this scheme online'. They will need your email address to complete the association of the scheme.

Log into Exchange and select ‘update scheme details’ or ‘complete outstanding scheme return’.

If there is already an outstanding scheme return on the scheme, you will need to answer the initial questions before being able to access copies of your previous return.

Once you are on the ‘scheme maintenance’ page or ‘scheme return overview’, there will be a link with a PDF sign next to it called ‘print options’. Your historic scheme returns will be listed here and can be printed or viewed in PDF.

You can pay the levy by logging into Exchange, under scheme options click on ‘maintain / view scheme levy and then you will be able to either set up a direct debit or pay by debit card.

Alternatively, you can pay via cheque or BACS / CHAPS transfer. The details of which are located on the back of your invoice.

We are unable to accept payments by credit card.

Please quote the Pension Scheme Reference (PSR) number as the payment reference.

Log in to Exchange and click ‘select’ on the relevant scheme record and under the ‘scheme options’ section you will be able to view your levy invoices on ‘maintain / view scheme levy'.

Accessing Exchange

A Pension Scheme Registration number (PSR) is issued to a scheme once it has been registered with The Pensions Regulator (TPR). Most occupational and personal pension schemes have to be registered with TPR. A scheme must be registered with TPR if it is, or becomes, a registrable scheme. Registrable schemes include occupational or personal pension scheme which have two or more members and which have been registered with HM Revenue and Customs. There are other criteria which make a scheme registrable, too.

If you've completed a scheme return online you'll already have access to your scheme's details online and all other Exchange services. If you need to access a scheme for the first time, you will need to contact the scheme trustees who can grant you access by logging into the scheme on Exchange and selecting 'manage who can access this scheme online'. They will need your email address to complete the association of the scheme.

Once a scheme has been segregated into more than one section each with a separate PSR number, you will no longer be able to access the scheme information against the previous scheme PSR number via Exchange. However, you will be able to update the scheme details for each section via Exchange in the normal way.

Each section will be required to complete a scheme return when requested to do so.

You should update changes to your scheme's details as soon as possible and for registrable information as soon as reasonably practicable.

Registration

You have three months from the date on which the scheme first becomes a registrable scheme to register your scheme with TPR.

It's a legal requirement to register the scheme with TPR within three months from the date on which the scheme first becomes a registrable scheme. The scheme trustees or scheme managers could face a fine if they don't do this on time.

For many schemes the information we require is very straightforward, such as the name and pension scheme tax reference number, details of the trustees, employer(s), insurer (if appropriate) and number of members.

Your IFA, scheme adviser or pension provider should be able to supply any information that you don't have in the scheme's accounts, benefit statements, trust deed and rules.

No, TPR will contact the scheme administrator directly with a request to register the scheme with TPR.

The scheme is required to be registered by the personal pension provider. The scheme is not required to be registered by an employer who is connected to this type of scheme.

No, these schemes do not need to be registered with TPR.

You should register the scheme now, please contact us.

We'll contact you separately for the previous membership figures we need to enable us to calculate the levies that should have been paid.

No, a scheme is not registrable with TPR until it has two or more members. If any members join the scheme, you'll need to register it with us.

The scheme will be levied for a part-year so if the scheme first became registrable in June, the scheme will be liable for a levy from June till the following 31 March.

Once you've registered your scheme you'll be able to access the scheme details to make the required amendments. This is where you can change the scheme status.

Once you've submitted your registration, please print off the last page. This will act as your confirmation of submission.

We would encourage trustees to keep a paper copy of their scheme details for reference. If you want to keep a copy of what you've submitted online, you can select the print option at the end of the form.

Pay the levy

To set up a direct debit, you'll need your bank or building society account number, sort code and account name.

To make a debit card payment, you'll need your debit card and cardholder details.

You can make payment using the following card types:

  • Maestro
  • Solo card
  • Visa Delta
  • Visa Electron

Levy is charged on an annual basis and 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.

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.

Your balance will not be updated until we have successfully received payment.

Our website will be updated overnight with your status as a direct debit payer and your balance will clear overnight on the day payment has been received

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.

Anyone that is associated to your scheme has the ability to set up a direct debit. The person who sets up the direct debit becomes the levy contact, so please check with them first.

No. You're not able to view or amend the account details - you can only view the account name for identification purposes when canceling a direct debit.

In order to set up your direct debit, you'll need to download the paper instruction at the top of the page in the 'Set up a direct debit' screen. Both signatories need to sign this before sending it to us.

In order 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.

You can check with your bank or building society or against your bank statement. Direct debits will be shown with our service user number (SUN): 2470026.

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

Yes. You do not need to make a payment for the outstanding balance. This amount will be collected on the 14th day of the following month.

If you have made a payment for the outstanding balance by another payment method before the direct debit has been collected, the original outstanding balance will still be taken from your account by direct debit on the 14th day of the following month.

If you believe any unauthorised transaction has been made, you should contact your bank or building society.

All organisations using the direct debit system are sponsored by their bank or building society. They are checked for integrity, sound financial standing and administrative capability before being permitted to offer direct debit to their customers.

You can update your scheme's membership using scheme maintenance in Exchange. This will ensure our records are up to date and that you are invoiced correctly. Once the membership has been updated a full credit and a new invoice will be generated and sent to you within fifteen working days.

If you set up a direct debit, you will also receive an advance notice by email confirming the change in the amount.

Yes, levy is still payable for that year.

This depends on how many members there are in the scheme. This affects which levy band applies and therefore how much the levy will be.

The Pensions Regulator General levy is due on 1 April every year. Invoices must be paid within twenty eight days of the invoice date.

The membership data has been taken from the latest membership figures we hold. This will most likely have been provided to us on your latest scheme return.

For occupational schemes it's the trustees' responsibility to ensure payment is made.

For personal pension schemes it's the responsibility of the manager to arrange payment.

Until the scheme has wound up or reduced to less than two members.

You should contact the Pension Protection Fund directly if you have any questions about the Pension Protection Fund levies payable.

Waiver

Schemes where all the employers are either insolvent or have ceased participation within the scheme may be eligible for a waiver.

Defined contribution schemes will also need to confirm that there are no unallocated assets in the scheme to pay the levy.

In this situation, the levy is still due.

All employers have to be either insolvent or no longer participating in the scheme to be eligible for a waiver, and, in the case of defined contribution schemes, have no unallocated assets to pay the levy.

You can apply for a waiver online. Simply log in to Exchange select 'my scheme options' and 'set a waiver.'  Then follow the instructions on screen.

No, this is not necessary if the circumstances of the scheme have not changed.

However, if, for example, the trading status of the employer changes or a new employer joins the scheme, you must update these details online as soon as possible.

You should contact the Pension Protection Fund directly if you have any questions about the Pension Protection Fund levies payable.

Companies House should be able to provide you with this information.

Recovery plans

Log into Exchange and select any DB or hybrid scheme that you're associated with, as normal. You will then see an option to 'Submit / view a recovery plan'. Select this and follow the on-screen prompts.

If you need to access a scheme for the first time, you will need to contact the scheme trustees who can grant you access by logging into the scheme on Exchange and selecting 'manage who can access this scheme online'. They will need your email address to complete the association of the scheme.

The scheme return doesn't constitute the formal submission of the scheme's valuation. You will still need to upload signed copies of the recovery plan and schedule of contributions and complete the valuation summary form.

The new system allows the upload of PDF files, so you can still send signed copies of the recovery plan, schedule of contributions and any other documentation to support the submission.

When you submit the valuation summary form and the supporting documentation (including the recovery plan), we will send you an email confirming its receipt into our systems.

There is no legal requirement to submit a recovery plan for a scheme which shows a surplus as at the effective valuation date. However, you will need to update the valuation details under the 'Scheme maintenance' function.

In addition, you should be aware that TPR has an internal procedure for proactively checking a cross section of surplus valuations every year, and may request a copy of the scheme's valuation at a later date to enable this assessment.

You will need to obtain these before you can submit the recovery plan to The Pensions Regulator. If you have partially completed the process, you can save your progress while you obtain this information.

It is necessary to provide both the RPI and CPI assumptions.

It is necessary to provide both the RPI and CPI assumptions. TPR assumes that it is necessary for the trustees to determine the appropriate RPI assumption in order to derive the CPI assumption, because no financial instruments are available from which to derive a market related CPI assumption.

It is only necessary to complete the RPI assumption.

Reporting material payment failures

You may report material payment failures as they occur, a regular monthly report on which ever day of the month is most convenient to you or a mixture of the two.

You can find more information on reporting material payment failures in The essential guide to reporting the late payment of contributions (PDF, 673KB, 15 pages).

Where fraud is suspected we recommend you report it immediately and then follow up by contacting us by phone.

No, this will not be necessary. You should only load reports where there is a material payment failure to report.

We will decide whether we need to take any enforcement action  against the employer that is reported to us for material payment failures. If the employer is using the scheme for automatic enrolment it is likely the enforcement action will consist of an Unpaid Contributions Notice being issued with possible further actions including a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £400 and escalating penalties.

We need all the data items included to help us process your reports accurately and efficiently. The data items were agreed following a consultation with a number of pension scheme providers. We need the employer information so we can accurately identify the employer who has failed to pay contributions to the scheme. The other data fields help us inform our enforcement process.

You can find more information on the data items in The essential guide to reporting the late payment of contributions (PDF, 673KB, 15 pages).

A material payment failure is a payment failure that is likely to be of material significance to The Pensions Regulator. You can find more information on identifying material payment failures in the relevant codes of practice - 05: reporting late payment of contributions to occupational pension schemes and 06: reporting late payment of contributions to personal pension schemes. Both codes set out a non-exhaustive list of circumstances which are likely to be material and which should be reported.

We do not stipulate in the codes and guidance when a material payment failure should be reported other than the legal duty to report after 90 days. If your own risk assessment indicates that a particular late payment is likely to be material (for example in the case of repeated non-compliant behaviour) you may report whenever appropriate.

You should report the earliest and latest outstanding due dates and the maximum number of due dates in any period. For example, if a scheme has weekly and monthly payments, you should report the number of missing due dates as five to cover one monthly and four weekly periods that have been missed.

You can find a list of all the reports you have previously submitted in your portal. Find the correct report and change the status from ‘ongoing’ to ‘employer paid’ in the drop down menu.This closes the report and stops all enforcement action against the employer by us. It is important that you report compliance to us in a timely fashion so we do not pursue enforcement action when the issue has been resolved.

No. You should only change the status once the employer has paid all the outstanding contributions towards the scheme, or if they have entered into an agreed payment plan.

You should change the status of the report from ‘ongoing’ to ‘employer paid’ in the drop down menu. This will ensure all enforcement action by us will be stopped for that employer. If the employer defaults against the payment plan then you will need to report that employer again. This is because you cannot re-open a report once it’s been closed.

Within the maintaining contributions portal each provider can have their own dedicated portals, the benefit of this is so all your reports sit in the same area and this allows you to upload bulk reports as CSV files. To get yours set up please contact: mcreportingsupport@tpr.gov.uk.

Yes. You can have as many portals as your business requires. This may be especially useful if you have different outsourced functions reporting different areas of your business for you. Users can only be associated with one portal at a time therefore one user can not view multiple portals. You just need to email mcreportingsupport@tpr.gov.uk to let us know how many portals you require and what name you would like to give each portal.

There’s no maximum limit on the number of users that can be associated to a portal. All users must have Exchange accounts and to add users all you need to do is add their valid email address under the ‘maintain users’ link.

You can add or remove users from your portal through the ‘maintain users’ link at the top of the page. All users can add or remove other users, but a user is unable to remove themselves from the portal. This ensures that there’s always one user associated with each portal.

The amounts you provide should be as accurate as possible but if these are estimated then that is sufficient for us to use when considering whether to take enforcement action. You can base your estimates on the previous month’s contributions, or on the payment schedule that has been set up.

No, once you have closed a report you cannot re-open it. If the same employer defaults again, you will need to submit a new report as before.

You should report multiple material payment failures on different schemes by an employer separately.

Segregated and desegregated schemes

Segregation can only apply where a scheme includes DB benefits. It is not possible to have a segregated sectionalised scheme where the only benefits in the scheme are DC.

The segregation request can be requested via Exchange by selecting scheme options and 'submit / view a segregation request'.

Complete the relevant fields and use the help text buttons (by selecting the question mark icon exchange help icon ) to help you complete the fields. Once TPR has received your submission, we will contact you if we have any queries.

Please note that before you submit the segregation request, it will be useful to ensure you have retrieved and retained all information you need on the current scheme details in Exchange. To do this, go to Exchange and navigate to the scheme details page. Select 'print options' and view the current details. This can be saved as a PDF.

Once a scheme has been segregated into more than one section each with a separate PSR number, you will no longer be able to access the scheme information against the previous scheme PSR number via Exchange. However, you will be able to update the scheme details for each section via Exchange in the normal way.

We aim to process these requests within 10 working days.

When the scheme has been separated into sections each with a new PSR number, you will be notified so that you can complete the full details for each section via Exchange.

You will then need to contact the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) to make them aware of the new sections and for them to confirm whether they have any requirements.

You must also consider whether you need to report to us if a notifiable event has occurred if benefits have transferred from one scheme to another.

Once the new sections have been created, you will be required to submit block transfer certificates via Exchange from the scheme into each relevant section. Please contact us to help you submit the block transfers. You will no longer have access to the main scheme details in Exchange to do this yourself. Transfer certificates must be completed before the end of June following the date on which the scheme has segregated into separate sections. PPF require the block transfers certification to be completed by 5pm on the last working day of June each year.

Following the segregation into separate sections, please consider the position regarding any contingent assets. Where a contingent asset certificate is to be registered against a specific section of the scheme, please ensure that the contingent asset is registered against the appropriate section via Exchange. The PPF require all contingent asset certificates to be submitted before end of March each year.

Yes, please contact us in order for us to explain how we can process this for you.

If a scheme has formally ceased to be a segregated sectionalised scheme or should never have been changed into one, please contact us in writing confirming the full reason behind the decision and enclosing legal documentation confirming the requirement to change the scheme so that it is not longer a segregated scheme.

Valuation submission acknowledgment letters

Nothing material has changed to the way in which you submit your valuations through Exchange. Please follow the normal processes that you have used to date. However we have updated our internal filtering approach to actuarial valuations that are subject to Part 3 of the Pensions Act 2004 – this relates to most defined benefit pension schemes or pension schemes with a defined benefit element.

We have made this change so that we can focus our resources and intervention on schemes that we believe pose the greatest risk and where our intervention may have the greatest impact. This change to our filtering process will also have an impact on what communication you receive from us in respect of your valuation submission. You will see changes to letters from June 2013 onwards.

After filing a summary of your valuation and related documents with us in the past you may have received a letter from us that confirmed we did not intend using our scheme funding powers in respect of that valuation – the letter may also have had some more generic feedback in respect of assumptions, employer affordability and / or other regulatory matters.

With effect from June 2013 we have changed the style of this letter to be a simple acknowledgement and no comments will be made.

We will not be providing the high level feedback that we have previously provided in our correspondence.

Yes – but only following interaction with a case team. In the past you may have received some quite specific feedback from us in respect of your scheme’s actuarial valuation in circumstances where we did not investigate your scheme any further following our initial review.

Going forward we will only be providing feedback to those schemes which we have investigated further. In those instances any feedback provided by us will also be more focused on the specific issues of your scheme.

Once you have filed your summary valuation on Exchange you will receive an email confirming the information entered has been received successfully and that no further action is required from you at this time.

We will then review your valuation submission and contact you again (as explained further below).

Once the valuation has been through an initial high level review process you will either receive a valuation submission acknowledgment letter or you will be contacted by a case manager. Due to the fluctuations in the levels of submissions throughout the year we are unable to provide a firm indication of how long it will be before this second communication is made.

However, we aim for this to be within three months of your submission through Exchange. We may further develop the communication, its method and the process around it later in the year.

The valuation submission acknowledgement letter confirms that we have no further questions in respect of the valuation submission.

View a sample copy of the valuation submission acknowledgment letter (PDF, 91.1kb, 2 pages).

In the event that we do have further questions you will be contacted by one of our case managers. 

The scheme will be contacted by one of our case managers to inform the trustees that the valuation is one which we would like to explore in more detail and discuss how to take this forward.

Our first step is likely to be a request for further information to understand the decision-making process and the overall funding proposal.

That depends on the reasons why we wish to explore the valuation further. Our defined benefit (DB) annual funding statements detail the areas that we are likely to focus our attention on.

You can find our DB annual funding statements for 2012 and 2013 in our statements section.

Yes – depending on whether or not we wish to explore your valuation further with you, you may receive a valuation submission acknowledgement letter or be contacted by one of our case managers.

We appreciate that some trustees have already completed and submitted their valuations through Exchange a few months ago and have not yet had a response from us other than the system generated email receipt.

This is because we held back the early Tranche 7 Valuation submissions (valuations with effective dates between 22 September 2011 and 21 September 2012) in order to compare the actual funding of Tranche 7 Valuations with our expectations and to ensure that our filter was set appropriately so we engage further with the right schemes.

This is something we have done for the last few years and has helped us to focus our resources more effectively and to better target risk.

No. This is because the move away from a triggers based method of selecting schemes for further regulatory interaction means that we are no longer in a position to provide the same level of feedback as previously unless we have interacted with you.

Our new approach is more risk based and designed to give us the opportunity to focus our resources in a more proportionate manner and in line with our statutory objectives. Our defined benefit (DB) annual funding statements identifies the areas of scheme risk that we may be interested in.

You can find our DB annual funding statements for 2012 and 2013 in our statements section.

We will be launching a consultation on our revised scheme funding code of practice as well as on our approach to the regulation of defined benefit schemes later in the year.

You will have the opportunity to raise any concerns on this aspect of our approach through this consultation. You can subscribe to our news-by-email service to keep up to date with developments or visit our website nearer the time.

Wound up

Simply log in to Exchange, select 'my scheme options' and choose 'scheme wound up'.

This will take you to some questions relating to the winding up of the scheme. Please note before you start this, you should make sure all the scheme details are up to date. This is because the scheme will be removed from your 'scheme listings page' once you've submitted notification that it has wound up.

No, a scheme is not classed as wound up until its liabilities have been dealt with and the trustees have received their statutory discharge.

It's the trustees' responsibility to set aside money to pay the levy. You'll need to write to us with details of your situation.

Yes, an annual levy will be payable until the scheme has fully wound up. If a scheme winds up after 1 April there may still be general levy due for payment.

Invoices are issued between 1 April – 31 March and therefore a scheme could be invoiced after it is wound up. If there is any doubt on this point it is important that the scheme contacts us to establish if there is a further levy payment due.

Please contact us to speak with one of our advisers.