Re-joining your scheme
If you leave your pension scheme, you may be able to rejoin at a later date.
If you leave your pension scheme, you don't lose the benefits you have built up. Your benefits continue to belong to you and you have several options for what to do with them. Your scheme administrator or pension provider should tell you which options apply to you.
If you're still working for the same employer, you can ask your scheme administrator or pension provider whether it is possible to rejoin the scheme. If, for example, the scheme that you were a member of has closed to new members, you may be offered the opportunity to join a new scheme. This may not offer the same benefits that your original scheme offered.
If you're not an active member of your employer’s workplace pension scheme, they will put you back into a workplace pension, usually every three years, if you are eligible for automatic enrolment. This scheme may not be the same scheme that you previously belonged to. It may have different contribution levels and may offer different benefits.
If you have rejoined an employer that you have previously worked for and you had been a member of that employer’s pension scheme, you may be able to rejoin the same scheme. The scheme administrator or pensions provider should tell you your options.
If you've transferred your deferred pension benefits to another pension scheme, you will be treated as a new member if you rejoin your employer’s workplace pension scheme.
Rejoining a defined benefit pension scheme
If you rejoin your defined benefit pension scheme, the scheme’s rules determine how you are treated. You may be treated as if you had never left the scheme, so your two (or more) periods of service are added together to determine the pension benefits that you’ll receive at retirement.
Alternatively, your two (or more) periods of scheme membership may be treated separately, so, for example, at retirement you would receive your deferred pension based on your first period of membership plus pension benefits based on each of your subsequent periods of membership.
This can be a complex area and you may want to discuss it with your scheme administrator or pension provider. You can also talk to us.
Rejoining a defined contribution pension scheme
If you rejoin your defined contribution pension scheme, the new contributions will be added to your pension pot and it will continue to grow, based on your chosen investments.
Where can I find out more?
If you need more information, please contact us. A pension specialist from our team will be happy to help with whatever pensions-related question you have. Our help is always free.