Workplace pensions

7. If you want to leave your workplace pension scheme

What you do if you want to leave a workplace pension depends on whether you’ve been ‘automatically enrolled’ in it or not.

If you haven’t been automatically enrolled

Check with your employer - they’ll tell you what to do.

If you’ve been automatically enrolled

Your employer will have sent you a letter telling you that you’ve been added to the scheme.

You can leave (called ‘opting out’) if you want to.

If you opt out within a month of your employer adding you to the scheme, you’ll get back any money you’ve already paid in.

You may not be able to get your payments refunded if you opt out later - they’ll usually stay in your pension until you retire.

You can opt out by contacting your pension provider. Your employer must tell you how to do this.

Reducing your payments

You may be able to reduce the amount you contribute to your workplace pension for a short time. Check with both your employer and your pension provider to see if you can do this and how long you can do it for.

Opting back in

You can do this at any time by writing to your employer. They don’t have to accept you back into their workplace scheme if you’ve opted in and then opted out in the past 12 months.

Rejoining the scheme automatically

Your employer will automatically re-enrol you in the scheme every 3 years (from the date you were first enrolled) if you’ve previously left the scheme. They’ll write to you when they do this.

You can leave the scheme again, but only once you’ve been re-enrolled.

When you don’t rejoin automatically

You won’t be automatically re-enrolled if you no longer qualify for the scheme.

Your employer doesn’t have to automatically re-enrol you if you chose to leave the scheme in the 12 months before the date you would have been re-enrolled.