The benefits of tax registration are generous to the extent that it is almost inconceivable that an employer or pension provider would not apply for registration. However, since a change in the legislation that accompanied the introduction of an earnings cap in 1989, employers have used the facility to top up retirement benefits by way of a scheme that originally was not approved for tax purposes and latterly is not registered. The term used to describe these schemes has developed from ‘funded (or unfunded) unapproved retirement benefit schemes’ (FURBS or UURBS) to non-registered schemes or ‘employer-financed retirement benefit schemes’.

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