Scheme Pays

HMRC have set a deadline for members to inform their pension provider that they want their pension scheme to pay the Annual Allowance (AA) charge on their behalf.


For the tax year 2017-18, the Scheme Pays Election form must be received by SPPA no later than 31st July 2019, and for 2018-19, no later than 31 July 2020.



In order to meet HMRCs Scheme Pays deadlines, members should estimate their liability for an AA charge based on available information. Members who have been provided with a provisional statement should use the information contained in their statement for tax purposes.


For mandatory scheme pays for 2017-18, no interest is payable if SPPA makes payment by 14 February 2020.


For voluntary scheme pays for 2017-18 the payment deadline is 31 January 2019. SPPA will pay the tax due in the next routine tax return following receipt of a completed election. Routine tax returns are submitted quarterly. The member is liable for any interest accrued in respect of scheme pays e.g. for 2017-18 interest would be accrued from 31 January 2019 until the tax is paid. SPPA will not pay any interest charges in respect of a voluntary Scheme Pays election.


Deadline for Voluntary Scheme Pays and Mandatory Scheme Pays can be found here.


Following receipt of an initial election notice within HMRCs deadline, a member can complete a second election if there is a change to the amount of their AA charge. This could occur if they received a provisional statement and their final statement shows the AA charge has either increased or decreased.



HMRCs deadline for changing an existing election notice is up to 4 years. For an AA charge relating to the 2017-18 tax year, an election to change the amount of AA charge must be received no later than 31st July 2022.


Further information about estimating the liability for an AA charge is available from HMRCs website



There are two restrictions that apply to pension savings. These are:

    • the amount you can increase your pension value by in any one year - the Annual Allowance (AA) and
    • the amount you can have as a total value from all your pension savings in your lifetime - the Lifetime Allowance (LTA).

In the SPPA the AA is worked out by the growth in your benefits in a year. The AA limit covers all your pensions, except your state pension, therefore all other pension savings need to be added together. From 6th April 2014 the Annual Allowance reduced to £40,000 a year.

A Scheme Pays election is where a member who is subject to an annual allowance (AA) charge, elects for the relevant pension scheme to pay the charge on their behalf.



Link to Scottish Government Website