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DC scheme return

Additional information and resources to help you prepare for and complete a scheme return for a defined contribution (DC) scheme.

See scheme return for further information about completing the scheme return, including the most common queries.


Some (mainly larger) DC schemes need to complete a scheme return in two parts this year.

This page is for schemes completing the usual scheme return process (the same as previous years). See two-part DC scheme return for details of the two-part process, including the new questions.

Example scheme return

When to complete your scheme return

If you need to complete a scheme return this year, we will send your scheme return notice between July and December 2022.

You must complete the scheme return by the due date in your scheme return notice.

You must submit a scheme return for all DC schemes you’re responsible for. A DC scheme with between two and 11 members is requested to complete a scheme return every three years. A DC scheme with 12 or more members is requested to complete a scheme return every year.

Prepare for your scheme return

Update your scheme contacts using Exchange

Before taking any other action, please log into Exchange and make sure your scheme contact details are up to date. This is so we can make sure any communications we send go to the right people.

Check what information you need

Take some time to familiarise yourself with the example DC scheme return and gather the information you might need.

The 2022 scheme return questions will be the same as last year. If you have any queries about the scheme return, contact us.

Complete your scheme return

Complete and submit your scheme return to us using Exchange, our online service.

Select the help icon in Exchange for further guidance on a particular scheme return question. You can view all the help text for scheme return questions without having to log in to Exchange. Some of the help text headings may appear more than once due to the way Exchange manages information.

See further information on how to use Exchange, including how to associate to a registered scheme.

Your legal responsibility

As a trustee or manager of a registrable scheme, it’s your legal duty to complete a scheme return by the deadline stated in the scheme return notice, unless the number of scheme members falls below two, or the scheme has been wound up.

 If a scheme return hasn’t been completed and submitted by the deadline stated in the scheme return notice, this may be a breach of the Pensions Act 2004 and you risk being fined.