Do I have to join the pension scheme?

No. If you want to, you can opt out if you have been auto-enrolled, or leave at any time, as the Pensions Regulator explains. However, for your employer it is legal to:

  • assume you will join unless you actively opt out (they can not actively encourage staff to opt out); and
  • require you to discuss it with somebody first, and get you and your spouse to sign a document to say that you realise what you are giving up.

It is almost always a good idea to join a workplace scheme if the employer makes a contribution towards it. If you choose not to, you are taking an effective pay cut, because you will lose the employer's contribution.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.