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Changes to your pension

Over the lifetime of your pension, your employer or trustees might want to make changes to your scheme. If this happens, you should be consulted if they affect how you build up your pension.  Unless you agree, any change shouldn’t alter the benefits you’ve already built up. As well as legislation, your scheme rules will outline what your provider can and can't do.

The power to make changes in your scheme rules

Defined benefit scheme

If you’re a member of a defined benefit scheme, the power to make changes should be set out in your scheme’s rules

It's important that these rules are followed. If they’re not, the changes might be invalid.

Similarly, any changes shouldn’t breach the terms of your employment contract.

If you're unsure what the rules of your scheme are, it’s a good idea to ask your pension scheme administrator for a copy, or visit your scheme website.

If your scheme is a defined benefit scheme, the changes might include:

  • changing the rate at which your benefits build up
  • stopping the build-up of your benefits temporarily
  • changing the definition of earnings used to work out your pension
  • changing the way pensionable service (the work that counts towards your pension) is worked out
  • closing the scheme to new members
  • closing the scheme so that you can no longer build up benefits
  • closing the scheme completely.
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Defined contribution scheme

If you’re a member of a defined contribution scheme, your employer must inform you. They must then give you time to think about the changes and comment (or give your employee representatives this chance).

It could be that they’re considering reducing their contributions to the scheme, or changing your provider.

You must also be told of any changes to the investment options you have. 

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free, impartial help for all your money and pension choices. Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

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