Search Legislation

Pensions Act 2008

Section 8: Jobholder’s right to opt out

39.This section establishes the right of a jobholder who has been automatically enrolled (or re-enrolled) into an automatic enrolment pension scheme to opt out of that membership by providing a signed notice to their employer within a prescribed period indicating that they choose not to participate. The form and content of this notice will be set out in regulations, as will the prescribed period during which they can choose to opt out, to whom the jobholder must give notice of opt out and arrangements which must be made to give effect to an opt out decision. The opt out notice must include information relating to the effect of opting out on the jobholder. Opting out in this context refers to the specific decision not to participate in a pension scheme from the point of enrolment. Once in a scheme, an active member is free subsequently to cancel membership at any time and this section does not interfere with that established right.

40.Once a jobholder has opted out they will be treated as if they had never become a member of that qualifying scheme through that automatic enrolement. In effect this means that they will not have any rights in the scheme and any contributions collected from the jobholder and the employer (subsection (2(b)) will be refunded. However, when a jobholder chooses to opt out after being enrolled or re-enrolled in a pension scheme, any refund of contributions due is only for the current period of membership and not for previously accrued rights from past periods of active membership (subsection (1)).

41.Regulations will also establish how and by when refunds must be made and how they are calculated.

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources