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Document What is the Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR) for the NHS Pension Scheme?

If a pension scheme is registered with the HM Revenue & Customs, they are issued with a Pension Scheme Tax Reference (PSTR).

The 1995/2008 NHS Pension Scheme, the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme and the NHS Money Purchase AVC Scheme all have individual PSTR numbers.

NHS Scheme


1995/2008 NHS Pension Scheme


2015 NHS Pension Scheme




This is often requested by the receiving or discharging scheme if you are looking to make a transfer into / out of the NHS Pension Scheme.

It is also needed if you have an annual allowance charge as you will need this reference when you are completing your self-assessment tax return.

You will need to tell HMRC about your annual allowance charge and how you are intending to pay it.

If you usually complete a self-assessment tax return then you must tell HMRC about your pension input amount and liability to the annual allowance charge as part of this return. You will need to use the supplementary Additional Information form (SA101) of the tax return to confirm that the total pension input amount exceeds your annual allowance.

HMRC has published a help sheet, HS345 - ‘Pensions - tax charges on any excess over the lifetime allowance, annual allowance and on unauthorised payments’ to help you to complete the ‘Pension Savings Tax Charges’ section on page Ai4 of the additional information pages.

If you do not usually complete a self-assessment tax return or it has been some time since you last did so you will need to register for one by completing form SA1. It can take up to 20 working days to complete HMRC’s registration process at the end of which you will be given a Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR).

If you are a member of more than one NHS Pension Scheme the SA101 only allows you to insert one annual allowance charge and one PSTR number. If you want more than one NHS Pension Scheme to pay your charge then you need to add together the charges from each scheme and insert one of the above PSTRs.

Then in the additional information part you will need to include a note of the annual allowance charge for each scheme and provide the other PSTR number.

PSTR, Pension Scheme Tax Reference 

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