Of interest to all schemes contracted-out on a DB basis is HMRC’s publication of the fourth edition of its regular Countdown bulletin, which aims to help scheme administrators deal with technical queries in the run-up to abolition. The latest bulletin focuses on encouraging use of HMRC's scheme reconciliation service and highlights the potential consequences for schemes that do not reconcile their records ahead of the end of DB contracting-out in April 2016.

The latest edition includes:

  • confirmation of the April 2016 deadline for schemes to request assistance from the reconciliation service. Queries will be dealt with by HMRC until December 2018, but HMRC recommends requests are submitted “as early as possible”;
  • advice to schemes that HMRC will close all active member entries on its records in December 2016, using members' scheme contracted out number (SCON). December 2018 is also the deadline for schemes to agree or query their active membership; and
  • confirmation that with the introduction of the new state pension from 6 April 2016, HMRC will no longer issue statements to individuals and schemes advising of GMP liability.

View the Countdown Bulletin.