If you leave the pension scheme within the first month of joining you will receive a refund of your contributions. This is known as ‘opting out’.

Stopping contributions after the first month

If you stop contributing after the first month this is known as ‘ceasing membership’.

You will remain a member of the pension scheme, but your pension savings will stay with Smart Pension. You can transfer your pension savings to another provider or access them if you’re age 55 or older.

How to opt out or cease membership

You can opt out or cease membership by signing into your Smart Pension account.

If you haven’t signed in or registered your Smart Pension account before

You should have received an activation email or a letter from your employer with your temporary sign in details.

If you can find the above information, follow the instructions below. If you have been unable to, contact your employer in the first instance. If you no longer work for your employer, please call us on 0333 666 2626.

  1. Register your new account - It will ask you for your email address, account name(if you have more than one account) and a password. If you don’t know your password, you can click the forgotten password link. Your new password will need to be 14 characters long and include alpha, numeric and symbols.

Once you’ve signed in

1. Click ‘Account’ in the upper right corner of your screen and then ‘Manage membership’ highlighted in yellow below.

2. On the ‘Manage membership’ page, you will have one of two options. You will need to follow the on-screen instructions to either opt out or cease membership.

Please note you can only opt out or cease membership once you’ve been automatically enrolled.

Opt out of your pension scheme

You are within the first calendar month of joining and entitled to a refund of your contributions.

Cease membership of your pension scheme

You can stop contributing to the pension scheme but your pension savings will remain with Smart Pension.

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If you have signed in to your Smart Pension account before (quick steps below)

  1. Sign in to your account

  2. Click ‘Account’ and then ‘Manage membership’

  3. On this page, the following options will appear based on your membership status:

Opt out of your pension scheme - you are within the first calendar month of joining and entitled to a refund of your contributions.

Cease membership of your pension scheme - you can stop contributing to the pension scheme but your pension savings will remain with Smart Pension.

What happens next

The next steps depend on whether you have opted out or ceased membership.

If you have opted out of the pension scheme

You will get a refund of your personal contributions if you have opted out of the scheme within the first calendar month of your auto enrolment. Contributions made by your employer will be returned to them.

The refund will come through your employer and should be refunded to you at the next available payroll. You and your employer will receive an email confirming you have opted-out of the scheme.

If you have ceased membership of the pension scheme

If you have stopped contributing to the pension scheme as your opt out period has ended (the first calendar month has passed). You won’t get a refund on any of your pension contributions. However, your pension savings will remain in your Smart Pension account until you reach retirement age, or you can request to transfer to another pension provider.

I’ve changed my mind, can I rejoin?

Yes, you can rejoin at any time. Your employer does, however, have the right to only accept your rejoin request once in a twelve month period. Therefore if you cease membership and ask to rejoin multiple times within a twelve month period they may decline your request.

Will I be enrolled in the future?

If you carry on working for the same employer, they will check whether you need to be re-enrolled. This is a process which will then require you to action to opt out again should you wish to remain out of the scheme and not make any contributions.

This can occur every three years after your employer’s duties start date (this is the date your employer’s auto enrolment obligations started). This will require you to take action as any previous opt out or cease membership will be no longer valid.

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