If you stop paying into the Scheme, and leave, you have a number of options available with respect to the benefits you have built up:
- You may be able to receive a refund of your contributions
- You may choose to become a deferred member
- You may transfer your benefits to another approved pension arrangement
Refund of contributions
If you were a member of the Scheme for less than two years, you may choose to receive a refund of your contributions with interest, less your share of the cost of reinstating your contracted-out contributions (before 2016) and less tax.
Leave your pension in the Scheme
If you have at least two years’ pensionable service, or had made a transfer from another pension provider into the Scheme, you can leave your pension in the Scheme until you retire.
There is more information here.
Transfer your pension
If you were a member of the Scheme for at least three months, you may transfer the value of your benefits to another pension scheme (e.g. your new employer’s pension scheme), instead of taking a refund of contributions. The transfer value is a cash sum representing the value of the benefits you have earned while a member of the Scheme.
Major pension reforms were announced in the Government’s 2014 Budget, with further changes in the 2015 Budget. These changes introduce significant flexibilities for members of defined contribution schemes retiring from April 2015 onwards. Because the Scheme is a defined benefit scheme, the changes do not affect your Scheme benefits directly.
However, members may wish to understand the flexibilities that are available and the implications of transferring out of the Scheme. Go to Pension changes.
Members should seek independent financial advice and be aware of pension scams.