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Pensions (No. 2) Act (Northern Ireland) 2008

Section 8: Jobholder’s right to opt out

This section establishes the right of a jobholder who has been automatically enrolled (or re-enrolled) into an automatic enrolment workplace 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 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 subsequently free to cancel membership at any time and this section does not interfere with that established right.

Once a jobholder has opted out they will be treated as if they had never been a member of that qualifying scheme. In effect this means that they will not have any rights in the scheme and any contributions collected from the jobholder and the employer will be refunded (subsection (2)(b)).

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

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Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly 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 accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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