You can opt out and rejoin the scheme at any time. If you opt out, you may be re-enrolled every three years under auto-enrolment.
If you are thinking of opting out, you may want to consider moving to the 50/50 section as an alternative. This section of the scheme allows you to pay half your normal contributions and build up half your pension benefits.
If you would like to opt out, please complete the opt out form below and send it to your payroll department.
Opting out or leaving
Less than three months' membership
- If you are opting out, you will be treated as never having joined the scheme and any contributions you may have paid will be returned to you less any tax due through your pay.
- If you are leaving, the Pensions Team will contact you about any possible refund of contributions.
Between three months' and two years' membership
- If you opt out or leave, you can either take a refund of contributions or transfer your benefits to another pension scheme.
- The Pensions Team will contact you with the options available.
More than two years' membership
- If you opt out or leave before you reach your normal pension age (NPA), your benefits will be frozen (deferred) until you retire, or you may transfer your benefits to another pension scheme.
These deferred benefits will be revalued each year in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).
A statement of your deferred benefits will be published each year via Hartlink Online.
On reaching your NPA, and providing you have left your local government employment, you can draw your pension in full. The Pensions Team will contact you before your NPA to confirm the benefits due to you.
You can also choose take payment from age 55 onwards (again, providing you have left your local government employment), but your pension may be reduced to reflect that it will be in payment for longer. If you suffer from ill health you may be able to claim you pension unreduced from any age.
More information on taking your pension is available on How do I take my pension?
Please contact the Pensions Team if you wish to transfer your benefits to another pension scheme.