If you're a member of a registered pension scheme that was set up by your employer, the pension belongs to you no matter why you leave your job. If you leave, but you're not retiring, there are options as to what you can do with your pension.
On this page:
If you're no longer working for the employer that set up your pension you may be able to:
Contact your pension scheme administrator before you make any decisions because your scheme may have different rules.
If you leave work and don't get a new job, your pension will be frozen until you retire. This means that you’ll still qualify for the benefits you've built up - such as death benefit - together with any growth. If you belong to a:
If you leave work and stop contributing to the pension scheme you might not be entitled to some of the benefits of that scheme. For example the scheme may not pay a pension to a surviving dependant if you die before pension age.
If you carry on making payments to your pension you're still entitled to tax relief on your payments.
You can usually only get your pension contributions refunded if you've been a member of a pension scheme for less than two years. This option isn't available for any pension savings you have in a personal pension, stakeholder pension or retirement annuity contract.
If you get a refund of your pension contributions, tax will be deducted at:
The scheme administrator will deduct tax before paying you the refund. The tax deducted reflects the tax relief previously given on your contributions. You can't reclaim the tax deducted but no further tax will be due on the lump sum payment.
If you start to receive a state benefit such as Jobseeker's Allowance your pension won't be affected.
If you leave your job because of ill health you may be able to start getting your pension immediately.
If you leave work and start to take payments from your pension pot your pension scheme might offer you different options on taking your pension.