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Employment Changes and Workplace Pension

The main advantage of a workplace pension is that it always belongs to you. That means you keep your pension pot even if you change jobs or take leave from work.

CHANGING JOBS: There is one important factor about changing jobs and workplace pensions.

Your contributions remain invested for you. Thus, they stay invested throughout any periods where you stop paying into the scheme.

You get the payments once you reach the age eligibility for the kinds of pension plans that you have.

Changing jobs does not always mean you will lose your pension. You can enrol in another workplace scheme after you change your employment circumstances.

Pensions and a Change in Working Circumstances

As a rule, you can continue making contributions to your old pension. So, transferring your pension (combining the old and new schemes together) is possible in some cases. Your fund provider will offer you the best advice about your options if you take a new job or take leave from work.

Leaving a job within two years means you might qualify for a refund of any paid contributions. Contact your scheme provider for more information if this applies to you.

Note: Paying in to an old pension after moving jobs may result in a loss of some fund benefits. Some pension benefits are only available for current workers.

Work-based Pension during Paid Leave

Both you and your employer should continue making pension contributions if you take paid leave. The salary you receive while you are on paid leave determines the amount you must pay into the fund.

But, your employer continues to make the same contributions as before. Their amounts get based on your typical salary before you took the paid leave from work.

Works Pension during Unpaid Leave

During unpaid leave you may still be able to make pension contributions if you want to. Your employer or the scheme provider can advise you.

Company Pensions during Maternity or Parental Leave

What if you are receiving pay for Maternity or Parental Leave? In these situations, you and your employer should continue to make pensions contributions.

There may be times when you take time off work due to pregnancy and not getting paid. Your employer must continue making pension contributions in the first 26 weeks of your leave. This is part of ‘Ordinary Maternity Leave‘.

They must carry on making contributions afterwards if your employment contract says so. It is best to check the maternity policy of your employer.

Pension Contributions after becoming Self-employed

What if you become self-employed or you stop working altogether? In this case you could consider using ‘National Employment Saving Trust‘. NEST is a workplace pension scheme. They are best suited for self-employed people or sole directors of limited companies.

Alternative options include setting up a personal retirement scheme or a stakeholder pension. You can also get help and advice using the Workplace Pension helpline (see below).


About Workplace Pensions: An overview of workplace, work-based, occupational, or company pensions.
Joining a Workplace Pension Scheme: All employers must now provide a works pension scheme.
Payments and Contributions: Check what you, your employer, and the government pay into the pot.
Workplace Pension Protection: The type of scheme you have determines how a pension gets protected.
Workplace Pension Management: The role of a pension provider and how they manage pension pots.
Opting Out: Check your rights and the correct process for ‘opting out’ leaving a workplace pension.
Workplace Pension Helpline: Free information and advice taken from The Pensions Advisory Service.

How Changing Jobs or Taking Leave affects Workplace Pensions in the United Kingdom