Opting Out of Workplace Pensions in UK

What happens if you want to leave your workplace pension scheme? Information in this page explains workplace pension opting out procedures.

OPTING OUT PENSIONS UK: The action you must take depends on several key factors.

Whether you had ‘automatic enrollment’ in it by your employer – or not – is the determining factor.

There are financial consequences of leaving your pension or completely opting out. You may be able to reduce your payment contributions ‘temporarily’ instead.

Either way, your workplace pension provider will help you opt out of the company pension scheme.

Opting Out: Automatically Enrolled

If you were automatically enrolled in to the workplace pension scheme they will have sent you a letter. The letter gives you an option to leave ‘opt out’ of the work-based pension scheme.

Once you receive this letter you have up to one month to leave the scheme – or opt out. Doing so means you would still get back any money you have already paid in.

Opting Out: Not Automatically Enrolled

If you were not automatically enrolled it is best to check with your employer for directions on what to do next.

Note: Opting out after one month means you may not get your payments refunded. As a rule the funds stay in your pension until you retire from work.

Opting Back into a Workplace Pension

You can opt back into the scheme at any time. Write to your employer to make a request for opting back in to the workplace pension scheme. They must accept your request as long as it is only once in a 12 month period.

Rejoining a Company Pension Scheme

Your employer must follow their responsibilities and obligations set out by law. Thus, they will automatically re-enrol workers into the scheme every 3 years (from the date of enrollment). They will write to any workers who left the scheme before to achieve this.

If You Do Not Rejoin Automatically

Employees must continue to qualify to get automatic re-enrollment for the works scheme. Employers do not need to automatically re-enrol workers who chose to leave the scheme in the 12 months before the date they would have been re-enrolled.


About Workplace Pensions: An overview of workplace, work-based, occupational, or company pensions.
Joining a Workplace Pension Scheme: All employers must provide a works pension scheme by 2018.
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.
Changing Jobs: Find out what happens to your company pension if you change jobs or take leave.
Workplace Pension Helpline: Free information and advice taken from The Pensions Advisory Service.

How to Opt Out of a Workplace Pension Scheme in the United Kingdom