5. Changing jobs and taking leave

If you change jobs

Your workplace pension still belongs to you. If you don’t carry on paying into the scheme, the money will still be invested and you’ll get a pension when you reach the scheme’s pension age.

You can join another workplace scheme if you get a new job.

If you do, you may be able to:

Ask your pension providers about your options.

If you move jobs but pay into an old pension, you may not get some of that pension’s benefits - check if they’re only available to current workers.

If you worked at your job for less than 2 years before leaving, you may be able to get a refund on what you’ve contributed. Check with your employer or the pension scheme provider.

Paid leave

During paid leave, you and your employer carry on making pension contributions.

The amount you contribute is based on your actual pay during this time, but your employer pays contributions based on the salary you would have received if you weren’t on leave.

Maternity and other parental leave

You and your employer will continue to make pension contributions if you’re getting paid during maternity leave.

If you’re not getting paid, your employer still has to make pension contributions in the first 26 weeks of your leave (‘Ordinary Maternity Leave’). They have to carry on making contributions afterwards if it’s in your contract. Check your employer’s maternity policy.

Unpaid leave

You may be able to make contributions if you want to - check with your employer or the pension scheme provider.

If you become self-employed or stop working

You may be able to carry on contributing to your workplace pension - ask the scheme provider.

You could use the National Employment Saving Trust (NEST) - a workplace pension scheme that self-employed people or sole directors of limited companies can use.

You could set up a personal or stakeholder pension.

You can get help and advice.