As reported in our March 2014 update, HMRC has put in place the Scheme Reconciliation Service ("Service") in order to assist trustees and scheme administrators of DB schemes in the run-up to the abolition of contracting out. The Service is designed to help to reconcile administrators' records of the guaranteed minimum pension relating to deferred members and beneficiaries with the HMRC's records. The Service has now been live for several months, and HMRC has provided, in its Countdown Bulletin, an update which addresses various questions which have been raised by trustees and administrators.

The update confirms that HMRC is considering, based on feedback it has received, providing contributions and earnings information directly to schemes via a clerical process, or an automated process. HMRC is also considering whether to provide further details such as surviving spouses' details and members' addresses.

HMRC has requested that schemes which intend to use the Service in the future submit their requests to do so as soon as possible, even if they do not intend to use the data immediately, to assist with HMRC's future planning.

The full update can be found in the HMRC's Countdown Bulletin here.