Opting out of the Pension Scheme
If you decide that you don’t want to put money aside for your retirement just yet, you have the right to opt out. You must do this within your one month opt-out period, which starts three days after you’ve been enrolled into NEST. Your welcome pack should arrive around this time and will include information on how to opt out and the date your opt-out period ends. So let’s look at opting out of the pension scheme…
You can’t opt out until you’ve been enrolled and have received your NEST ID. You’ll find this in the letter NEST sends to you.
Once you’ve received your NEST ID there are several ways to opt out. You can:
- opt out online at nestpensions.org.uk/optingout
- call NEST’s automated telephone line
- request a paper opt-out form from NEST and then fill it in and send it back to us.
You’ll find more detail about opting out in your welcome pack.
Don’t contact NEST to opt out before you’ve been automatically enrolled as they won’t have set up your account yet and you won’t be able to opt out.
If you haven’t received your welcome pack within date five days after you have been enrolled and think you’ll want to opt out, check with our payroll department to make sure you’ve been enrolled and your welcome pack has been sent to the right address. Your one month opt-out period starts three days after the day you’re enrolled even if your welcome pack doesn’t reach you. You can find out more on NEST’s website at nestpensions.org.uk/savers
What happens if you opt out?
Opting out means you’ll be treated as though we never enrolled you into the scheme. Once a valid opt-out notice has been received, we’ll refund to you any member contributions you’ve made through your salary.
If you change your mind after opting out, you can opt back in again if you want to. We’ll have a duty to make that happen once in any 12 month period if you ask us to.
If you choose to opt out you’ll normally be automatically re-enrolled back into the pension scheme at a later date. This is usually around every three years after the date these new duties first apply to us. This will also happen if you stay in NEST but stop making contributions.
This happens because the reasons you had for opting out or stopping contributions originally may have changed and you might be ready to start building a retirement income. Again, you can still choose at that point whether you want to stay in or opt out of the scheme.
Once you’re a member of NEST and the opt-out period has ended you might want to stop making contributions or take a break from contributing later on. NEST lets you do this. There’s no need to opt out in the first month just because you think you might want to take a contribution break later.
If you do take a break and decide to start contributing again, you just need to let NEST or us know. If you choose to stop contributing, the contributions you’ve made so far will stay in your retirement pot.
Remember that while you’re not contributing you won’t get employer contributions from us either. If you decide to begin contributing again and you also want us to make employer contributions, and you’re eligible to receive them, you’ll need to let us know by dropping us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opting out online
Workers can opt out online without logging into their online NEST account. They’ll need to verify their identity by providing necessary details as instructed on the website. Workers who have logged into their online NEST account can opt out by logging in and using the details they’ve already provided. In either case, the opt-out page will only be available during the workers opt-out period.
Opting out by telephone
Our automated telephone service allows workers to opt out by choosing from a series of menu options. They’ll need to verify their identity by entering their details as instructed by the automated telephone service. They’ll need to call us on 0300 020 0090 to opt out.
Opting out by paper form
We encourage workers to use the automated opt-out methods but they can also call us or email through their online NEST account to request a paper opt-out form. The form contains statutory information and includes a unique reference number which you’ll need in order to process their request. The unique reference number also prevents a worker requesting the form and passing copies to their colleagues.
Getting more information
For information about your NEST retirement pot, you can activate your online account using the details in your welcome pack – or contact NEST directly on:
NEST, Nene Hall, Lynch Wood Business Park, Peterborough, PE2 6FY.
Online live help: nestpensions.org.uk/livehelp
Member enquiries: 0300 020 0090
You can find out more about pensions and being a member of NEST by visiting their website at www.nestpensions.org.uk or search online for NEST pensions.
You can also get general information on pensions and saving for later life from gov.uk/workplace-pensions