Pension and employer benefit consultants

In Revenue & Customs Brief 09/13: "VAT: 'Corporate pensions - FSA's Retail Distribution Review' treatment of 'consultancy charges' for services supplied to employers", HMRC states that:

“Businesses (such as EBCs [Employee Benefit Consultants]) that advise and assist employers and/or employees in connection with contract-based Group Personal Pension plans” in the majority of cases should be charging VAT on the service they supply.

They also state that:

“businesses that advise and assist employers in relation to the setting up and/or ongoing administration of Group Personal Pensions should charge standard rated VAT to employers on services provided to them in return for 'consultancy charges' or other fees”

and that:

“in order to fall within the finance or insurance exemptions, it is necessary for the provider to act as an intermediary (or one of the intermediaries) between the individual employees and the pension provider with a view to the conclusion of an individual pensions contract.”

We know that many consultants are altering the way they charge so if you work with consultants highlight that the way that they provide and charge for services will impact the VAT treatment.