Skip to main content

Your browser is out of date, and unable to use many of the features of this website

Please upgrade your browser.

Ignore

This website requires cookies. Your browser currently has cookies disabled.

Pay the levy

Information about the general levy, including how to pay and applying for a levy waiver.

About the levy

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions sets the rate of the general levy each year. The levy is in place to cover the cost of running The Pensions Regulator, the Pensions Ombudsman Service and the Money and Pensions Service.

When the levy must be paid

The levy is due on 1 April every year.

In most cases, the collection date will be the 14th of the following month after being set up on direct debit. Where direct debits are set up on the first or second day of the month, collection will be taken on the 14th of that month. 

Subsequent year payments will be taken on the same date each year following your first collection. Any outstanding levies or credits from previous years will also be taken into account on this date.

Invoices must be paid within 28 days of the invoice date. You should continue to pay the levy until the scheme has wound up or reduced to less than two members.

How to pay the levy

You can pay the levy by:

  • direct debit
  • debit card
  • Bacs transfer

Pay by direct debit or debit card

You can set up a direct debit or debit card payment in four steps:

  1. Log on to Exchange.
  2. Go to the 'My schemes' page and select from your list of associated schemes. If you've not yet associated to your scheme, any existing associated Exchange user can give you access to your scheme.
  3. Choose 'Maintain / View scheme levy' from the 'Scheme options' page.
  4. Select 'Set up a direct debit for levy payments' for direct debits, or select ‘Make a debit card payment for outstanding levy’ to make a payment by debt card.

You can also complete a direct debit form (PDF, 39KB, 1 page) and send it to us.

Outstanding balances, collection and amount changes

If you have an outstanding balance on your scheme at the time you set up your direct debit this will be taken in addition to the current year charge, if due. 

You'll receive an advance notice by email five days before collection of your direct debit payment, and if you're happy with the details, you don’t need to do anything.

If there's a change to the amount to be collected, you'll be notified a minimum of five working days before collection. If you're not happy with the details, please contact us at debtrecovery@tpr.gov.uk.

Your balance will not be updated until we've successfully received payment. Once you can see the payment on your bank statement, please recheck your balance, allowing 24 hours for the system to be updated.

Cancelling your direct debit

You can cancel your direct debit at any time by contacting your bank or us at debtrecovery@tpr.gov.uk. If you cancel through your bank, please send us a copy of your letter.

Pay by Bacs transfer

If you choose to pay your levy by Bacs transfer, please send the payment to:

Payee: The Pensions Regulator

Sort code: 40-14-03

Account number: 42012669

Please quote your PSR number as the reference number for your payment. If you don’t include the PSR number, we may not be able to allocate your payment and will return it as ‘unrecognised'.

Who can pay the levy

To access a scheme for the first time you need to contact the scheme trustees or manager who can do this on Exchange.

To set up a direct debit online you must be an authorised signatory for the pension scheme bank account. In setting up the direct debit you agree to become the levy contact and will receive the relevant correspondence. If you're not the authorised signatory, a paper instruction can be downloaded and sent to us, signed by the authorised signatory.

The levy contact is an authorised signatory for the pension scheme's bank account. The levy contact will receive the confirmation email for a debit card payment, and the advance notice for a direct debit payment. The levy contact details can be updated at any time without affecting any existing direct debit instruction.

If your account requires two signatories you'll need to download the instructions in 'set up a direct debit' in Exchange. Both signatories need to sign this before sending it to us.

If you’re struggling to pay the levy

If you're struggling financially or are suffering with ill health, it may be possible for us to discuss and agree a payment plan for you to clear your debt. Please contact us at DebtRecovery@tpr.gov.uk or call 0800 169 0325 to discuss options with our Debt Recovery Team.

Please note that we use high court enforcement officers in England and Wales to collect unpaid debt. We don't use county court bailiffs. If you're unsure about any contact you've received claiming to be acting on behalf of The Pensions Regulator, please contact us on 0800 169 0325 and we'll be able to confirm.

If you’re struggling with debt, please contact one of the free advice services offered across the UK:

Applying for a levy waiver

Who can apply for a levy waiver

Occupational pension schemes qualify for a waiver where:

  • there are no employers participating in the scheme

Or

  • all employers participating in the scheme are insolvent

Common insolvency events include:

  • in liquidation
  • in administration
  • being under a company voluntary arrangement (CVA)
  • dissolved

You can check the insolvency status of a company at Companies House.

If the principal employer is insolvent but the participating employer is active, the levy is still payable.

Trustees of defined contribution (DC) schemes will also need to confirm that there are not enough unallocated assets in the scheme to pay the levy.

Where the scheme is a segregated multi-employer scheme, some sections may be treated as separate schemes.

If you’re unsure if your scheme qualifies for a waiver, consult the scheme’s legal advisers.

How to apply for a levy waiver

You can apply for a waiver online. Simply log in to Exchange select 'my scheme options' and 'set a waiver.' Then follow the instructions on screen.

You do not need to apply for a waiver each year unless the circumstances of the scheme change. For example, the status of the employer changes or a new employer joins the scheme. You must update these details in Exchange as soon as possible.

Understanding your levy invoice

The general levy is based on the total number of members in the scheme at the end of the scheme year before last. You can update your scheme's membership using scheme maintenance in Exchange.

Here are some examples:

  • Levy payable on 1 April 2014 would be based on total scheme membership taken as at the scheme year end prior to 1 April 2013 - if the scheme year end is 5 April, membership will be taken as at 5 April 2012.
  • ABC Pension scheme is a defined contribution (money purchase) pension scheme and is eligible for the 2021 levy invoice. The membership figure of 200 was taken as at 5 April 2019. The general levy rate for 100 - 999 members is £2.29 per member, therefore the amount payable for the general levy is £2.29 x 200 = £458.

The amount to be paid depends on the band which the scheme falls into and may be subject to a minimum amount per band.

To view previous years' bandings, please see the levy archive.

For more information see the Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (General Levy) (Amendment) Regulations 2017.

2022 levy payment bands

Occupational schemes: defined benefit and hybrid

Number of members Rate (2022 to 2023) Minimum payment per scheme (2022 to 2023)
2 to 11 - £54
12 to 99 £5.33 Not applicable
100 to 999 £3.85 £530
1,000 to 4,999 £3.00 £3,850
5,000 to 9,999 £2.28 £15,000
10,000 to 499,999 £1.59 £22,800
500,000 or more £1.20 £795,000

Occupational schemes: defined contribution (non-master trust)

Number of members Rate (2022 to 2023) Minimum payment per scheme (2022 to 2023)
2 to 11 - £38
12 to 99 £3.74 Not applicable
100 to 999 £2.70 £370
1,000 to 4,999 £2.11 £2,700
5,000 to 9,999 £1.60 £10,550
10,000 to 499,999 £1.12 £16,000
500,000 or more £0.85 £560,000

Occupational schemes: master trust

Number of members Rate (2022 to 2023) Minimum payment per scheme (2022 to 2023
2 to 11 - £32
12 to 99 £3.08 Not applicable
100 to 999 £2.23 £300
1,000 to 4,999 £1.73 £2,230
5,000 to 9,999 £1.32 £8,650
10,000 to 499,999 £0.92 £13,200
500,000 or more £0.70 £460,000

Personal / stakeholder / group personal pension schemes

Number of members Rate (2022 to 2023) Minimum payment per scheme (2022 to 2023)
2 to 11 - £13
12 to 99 £1.23 Not applicable
100 to 999 £0.87 £120
1,000 to 4,999 £0.74 £870
5,000 to 9,999 £0.49 £3,700
10,000 to 499,999 £0.37 £4,900
500,000 or more £0.28 £185,000

Pension Protection Fund administration levy

We collect the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) administration levy on behalf of the PPF. This levy is calculated in the same way as the general levy but uses a different banding. The bands for the PPF administration levy are shown in the table below.

Please note that we do not have any involvement in collecting or calculating the PPF risk and scheme-based levies.

To query eligibility in respect of payment of any PPF levies, please visit the PPF website.

Number of members Rate (2022 to 2023) Minimum amount of levy
2 to 11 - £49
12 to 99 £4.88 Not applicable
100-999 £3.52 £490
1,000-4,999 £2.74 £3,520
5,000-9,999 £2.07 £13,700
10,000 and over £1.45 £20,700

Pension Protection Fund fraud compensation levy

Pension Protection Fund Fraud Compensation Levy non Master Trust rate £1.80
Pension Protection Fund Fraud Compensation Levy capped Master Trust rate 65p

2021 levy payment bands

Occupational schemes: defined benefit and hybrid

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not applicable £32
2 12-99 £3.17 per member Not applicable
3 100-999 £2.29 per member £310
4 1,000-4,999 £1.78 per member £2,290
5 5,000-9,999 £1.35 per member £8,900
6 10,000-499,999 £0.95 per member £13,500
7 500,000 or more £0.72 per member £475,000

Occupational schemes: defined contribution (non-master trust)

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not applicable £32
2 12-99 £3.17 per member Not applicable
3 100-999 £2.29 per member £310
4 1,000-4,999 £1.78 per member £2,290
5 5,000-9,999 £1.35 per member £8,900
6 10,000-499,999 £0.95 per member £13,500
7 500,000 or more £0.72 per member £475,000

Occupational schemes: master trust

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not applicable £31
2 12-99 £3.02 per member Not applicable
3 100-999 £2.18 per member £300
4 1,000-4,999 £1.70 per member £2,180
5 5,000-9,999 £1.29 per member £8,500
6 10,000-499,999 £0.90 per member £12,900
7 500,000 or more £0.68 per member £450,000

Personal / stakeholder/ group personal pension schemes

Band Number of members General levy Minimum payment per scheme
1 2-11 Not applicable £13
2 12-99 £1.21 per member Not applicable
3 100-999 £0.85 per member £120
4 1,000-4,999 £0.72 per member £850
5 5,000-9,999 £0.48 per member £3,600
6 10,000-499,999 £0.37 per member £4,800
7 500,000 or more £0.27 per member £185,000

Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levy

Band Number of members Amount of levy calculated by reference to number of members Minimum amount of levy
1 2-11 Not relevant - flat rate £49
2 12-99 £4.88 per member No minimum payment - rate per member
3 100-999 £3.52 per member £490
4 1,000-4,999 £2.74 per member £3,520
5 5,000-9,999 £2.07 per member £13,700
6 10,000 and over £1.45 per member £20,700
Pension Protection Fund Fraud Compensation Levy
Rate is based on per member charge (whole members) £0.75*

*Capped at 30 pence per member for master trusts.