How to opt out of a workplace pension scheme

February 28, 2017

If a nanny is enrolled into a workplace pension scheme, he or she has the right to opt out.

Your employer has to automatically enrol you into a workplace pension scheme if you’re over 22 years of age and earn more than £22,000. But you don’t have to stay in the scheme if you don’t want to. You can opt out.

However, the decision to opt out must be freely taken by you – ie your employer cannot ask you to opt out.

When you can opt out

Once you’ve been enrolled into your pension scheme you’ll have one calendar month to opt out and get a full refund of contributions. The opt out period starts from whichever is later:

  • The date membership of the scheme became active
  • The date you received a letter from your employer with the enrolment information.

If you decide to leave the scheme outside of this period you will be ‘ceasing active membership’ and may not get a refund (this will depend on the pension provider rules).

The opt-out notice

If you want to opt out you will have to get an opt-out notice from the pension scheme provider, or fill out an online form. This is to avoid any employer involvement in the decision to opt out. You can find out how to opt out in the letter you are sent about your pension scheme and on the pension provider website.


You will get a refund of any contributions that have been paid into the pension scheme as long as you opt out within a calendar month.

What happens next?

If you change your mind then you may be able to opt back in but you’ll need to check with your pension provider if this is possible.

Opted out employees will normally be put back into the scheme at re auto enrolment which happens three years after the scheme was set up.