Re-joining a workplace pension scheme

If you leave your employer’s pension scheme, you might be able to re-join at a later date. 

Your options if you leave your pension scheme

If you leave your pension scheme, you won’t lose the benefits you’ve built up (although if you are in a defined contribution scheme, the value of your investments can go down as well as up. See below for more details).

What you have built up continues to belong to you, and you have several options for what to do with it. Your scheme administrator or pension provider should tell you which options apply to you.

Are you still working for the same employer? Then you can ask your scheme administrator or pension provider whether it’s possible to re-join the scheme.

Has the scheme that you were a member of now closed to new members? Then you might be offered the opportunity to join a new scheme. But be aware that this new scheme might not offer the same benefits as your original one.

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Automatic enrolment

If you opted out of your employer’s workplace pension scheme, they’ll put you back into a workplace pension. This usually happens every three years – as long as you’re eligible for automatic enrolment. 

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This scheme might not be the same one that you belonged to before. It might have different contribution levels, and offer different benefits.

Have you re-joined an employer that you’ve worked for before – and had been a member of their pension scheme? Then you might be able to re-join the same scheme. The scheme administrator or pensions provider should tell you your options.

Re-joining a defined benefit pension scheme

If you re-join your defined benefit pension scheme – the scheme’s rules determine how you’re treated.
You might be treated as if you had never left the scheme. This means your two (or more) periods of service are added together to determine the pension benefits that you’ll receive when you retire.

Or, your two (or more) periods of scheme membership might be treated separately. So, for example, when you retire, you would receive your pension, which would be based on your first period of membership, plus pension benefits based on each of your later periods of membership.

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Re-joining a defined contribution pension scheme

If you re-join your defined contribution pension scheme, the new contributions will be added to your pension pot. It will continue to grow, based on your chosen investments.

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MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
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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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