There are two different ways to leave a pension scheme. Which one you use will depend on how long you've been a member.

  • if you're automatically enrolled by your employer but you don't want to be a part of the scheme, you can opt out of membership if you've been a member for less than a month. You'll receive a refund for any contributions you've made.

  • if you've been a member of the scheme for more than one month, but want to stop making contributions, you need to cease membership. Your contributions and your employer's contributions will stay invested. 

How to leave a Smart Pension scheme

  1. Sign in and go to the Account tab, at the top right of the page.

  2. Select Manage membership from the drop down menu

  3. Make sure you've read and understood the messages telling you what will happen when you opt out.

  4. Click the red button. If you're still in the opt out window, the button will say I wish to opt out. Otherwise, it will say I wish to cease membership.

  5. If you're ceasing membership, there's nothing more to do. If you're opting out, a pop up will appear. Type "I wish to opt out" in the box, to confirm you'd like to opt out. Then, click the red I understand the consequences button.

Depending on whether you opt out or cease membership, there are some differences in what happens next.

Opting out 

To opt out of a pension scheme, you need to tell us you want to leave within one month of being automatically enrolled. This is the opt out window. If you leave in the opt out window, you'll get a refund on any contributions you've made so far. The refund will come via your employer.

If you choose to opt out of your workplace pension scheme, you can request to opt in again at any time, but your employer only has to accept your request once every 12 months.

Ceasing membership

If you leave your pension scheme after the opt out window has ended, you won't get a refund on any of your contributions. This money – including any employer contributions – will stay invested.

If you decide you want to rejoin, you can ask your employer any time. They might not accept this request if you leave and try to rejoin multiple times in a twelve-month period.


If you carry on working for the same employer, they will check whether you need to be re-enrolled roughly every three years from when they first set up a workplace pension scheme. If you opted out less than a year from when they carry out re-enrolment they won't include you in these checks, but they will include you the next time. 

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