Archive Website of the UK government

Please note that this website has a UK government accesskeys system.

Public services all in one place

Main menu

Tuesday, 2 October 2023

Opting out of your workplace pension

You can opt out of saving into the workplace pension you are enrolled into. Find out how to opt out, what happens to your pension contributions and how to opt back in.

Opting out

When your employer enrols you into a workplace pension, you can opt out if you want to. To opt out, you have to contact the people who run your employer’s pension scheme and they will be able to tell you how to opt out. Your employer will provide you with their contact details.

If you opt out before a certain deadline, you will not become a member of the workplace pension. Any payments you have already made will be refunded. Your employer will let you know when the deadline is.

Stopping your payments

If you start saving into a workplace pension but you decide later you want to stop paying, you can do so. Your employer would probably stop paying in too. To find out if your employer would also stop paying in, check the pension scheme's information. In some situations, the payments you have made already would remain in your pension, which you get when you retire. In other situations, the payments can be refunded up to a two year limit. The government is currently reviewing whether these refunds will exist in future. This page will be updated when necessary.

Opting back in

If you decide you want to start paying into your employer’s workplace pension again, you can do so. You need to write to your employer to request to be enrolled. Your employer has to accept you back into their workplace pension once in every twelve month period. This means if you leave, join, then leave again within twelve months your employer does not have to accept you a second time. But they can choose to do so.

Being automatically enrolled back into a workplace pension

If you opt out of a workplace pension or you stop making payments, your employer will automatically enrol you back into their pension at a later date. This is usually every three years. This is because your circumstances may have changed and it may be the right time for you to start saving. Your employer will contact you and you can choose to stay in the workplace pension or opt out.

Reducing your payments

You might be able to reduce how much you contribute to your workplace pension. This is possible if your pension scheme rules allow it and your employer agrees. Usually, you’re only allowed to do this for a short time. If you want to do this, you need to get in touch with whoever runs your pension scheme.

If you do reduce your contribution, you might be paying in less than the minimum required by the government’s new standards. If this is the case, the government requires your employer to increase your contributions back to the minimum after a while. If this happens and you want to reduce your contribution again you would need to make a second request.

Information on the minimum contributions can be found on 'What to expect from your employer and your workplace pension'.

More useful links

Additional links

Being enrolled into a workplace pension

Starting from October 2012, millions of workers will be enrolled into a workplace pension

Access keys

If you would like to take part in our website visitor survey, please visit the site and then come back and select this link to take part in the survey.