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Pensions Act 2008

Section 16: Qualifying schemes

54.This section defines a qualifying scheme. Qualifying schemes are those that meet minimum standards and quality requirements, which can be used by employers in discharging their obligations under section 2.

55.A qualifying scheme can be either an occupational pension scheme or a personal pension scheme. Qualifying schemes must meet the quality requirement for the scheme type (see sections 20 to 27). They must also be registered under Chapter 2 of Part 4 of the FA 2004, which means that they are registered for tax relief.

56.Subsection (2) enables regulations to disapply the requirement to be tax registered for schemes based outside the UK if they meet further requirements to be prescribed in regulations. The further requirements are likely to refer to schemes operating outside the UK with members who will receive UK tax relief on their contributions.

57.The Secretary of State may in regulations set out the circumstances in which a scheme, that would otherwise qualify, is not a qualifying scheme. This can be where the payments and contributions – for example annual management charges - that must be made to the scheme exceed a prescribed amount (subsection (2)(a) and (b)); or the scheme provides average salary benefits and contains prescribed features (subsection (2)(c)).

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