Help Centre for Employers

Will an employee / member get all their money back if they opt out?

Yes, if they opt out within the opt out period.

When an employee opts out within the time frame given in the regulations (currently one month after receiving their joining letter), any contributions deducted will be returned to the employee. The employer is responsible for repaying any employee deductions made back to the employee via payroll. This repayment to the employee must be made as soon as possible.

If they opt out after the opt out period, they will be treated as though they left the scheme and will not be able to claim any contributions back. Some employees may be eligible for a short service refund, but only if they were enrolled to the scheme before 1 October 2015.

It should be noted that a short service refund only relates to the employee contributions and will be subject to tax. Contributions made by the employer or under a salary sacrifice agreement cannot be refunded.

To find out whether an employee is eligible fo

pension refund, auto enrolment refund

r a refund, see ‘Who is eligible for a short service refund?’

An employee can opt back in at any time. See How can an employee opt back in? for more details.

Related resources

What is an opt out period?
Who is eligible for a short service refund?
Who processes and pays opt out refunds to the individual and the employer?

Why do we insist on having a choice of fund manager when the evidence shows there is usually no benefit to be gained…and there is always a negative impact in terms of cost? — Anthony Hilton financial editor of the Evening Standard writing in Pensions World, June 2013
NOW: Pensions' risk management and diversified growth fund are state of the art. — Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income Barclays Global Investors
NOW: Pensions is supportive, easy for our employees to understand and uncomplicated in terms of its implementation. Its structured approach removes the complicated investment choices & makes auto-enrolment a straightforward and simple process. — Mark Manaton, Managing Director, Blue Arrow Group
I am excited to be joining such a distinguished Board of Trustees, over-seeing a modern, transparent, cost efficient and high-performing pension fund. — Win Robbins, former Head of European Fixed Income Barclays Global Investors
I am backing NOW: Pensions, the ATP project, because I believe it will encourage transparency, low costs and decent returns for millions of British employees. — Nigel Waterson, former Shadow Pensions Minister