Can employees opt in if they’ve previously left the pension scheme?

Your employee may change their mind and want to opt in to their workplace pension. They may have opted out or decided to stop paying contributions into the pension scheme in the past. Or maybe they’ve asked for their pension contributions to be reduced so the legal minimum contribution level isn’t met?

Your employee may later decide that they’d like to continue pension contributions and re-join the pension. They can ask to do this at any time, by sending an opt in request to you:

  • in writing – but this doesn’t have to be a formal document. It can be a letter or an email.
  • signed by the employee submitting it. If it was sent by email, it must include a statement from the employee confirming that they personally submitted the notice.

If the notice is given within 12 months of a previous opt in notice, and your employee has then stopped membership of the pension scheme, you’re not required to add them to the pension scheme, although you can choose to if you’d like.

Similarly, if an eligible employee has opted out and then asks to re-join, you’re not required to accept this more than once in a 12-month period.

Your employee’s enrolment status should be assessed again, based on their age and earnings at the time of their request.

The Pensions Regulator states notices must be kept in their original form for 6 years.

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