Leaving the Plan

What options do I have if I leave the Plan?

You will leave the Plan if your employment with your employer ceases, or if you choose to opt out while remaining in employment with your employer.  For further details about how you can opt out of the Plan please contact the DC Plan administrator (tel: 01733 353 414; email: my.pension@aegon.co.uk).

You will not be treated as leaving the Plan if you leave employment with one employer that participates in the Plan and immediately become employed by another employer that participates in the Plan. In this case, you would remain entitled to benefits from the Plan on the same basis as previously and will continue to make contributions to your Investment account.

The law regarding refunds of contributions has changed with effect from 1 October 2015.

Joining from 1 October 2015:
If you joined the Plan on or after this date and have less than 30 days of Qualifying service, you will receive a refund of your contributions.  If you have 30 or more days of Qualifying service, your Investment account will remain invested in the Plan and will move in line with investment returns between your date of leaving and your Pension age. You have the option of transferring the value of your Investment account to another approved pension arrangement.

If you joined prior to 1 October 2015:
If you have over three months’ and less than two years' Qualifying service, you have the option of transferring the value of your Investment account to another approved pension arrangement. You will have three months from your date of leaving service to complete a transfer. If a transfer is not completed within three months from your date of leaving service, or if you do not request a transfer, you will automatically receive a refund of the invested value of your contributions paid into the Plan, less the appropriate tax.

The Plan administrator will inform you of the options available to you in relation to refunds should you decide to leave the Plan.

Be aware of pension scammers:  Please be aware your pension can become a target for illegal activities, scams or inappropriate and high risk investments.  Before you make any transfer you should read the hints and tips about spotting a scam issued by the Financial Conduct authority and The Pension Regulator.  Click here to see their advice.

You may retire early after age 55 if you give written notice to the Trustee that you wish to retire from the Plan and be paid your pension via an annuity or alternative option that you select. If you retire early, it is likely that your Investment account will be lower than if you had remained in service until pension age as fewer contributions would have been made and they would have been invested for a shorter period. Your pension will also be lower, as the insurance company will expect to pay it for a longer period.

For further details about the options available if you leave the Plan, please contact the DC Plan administrator (tel: 01733 353 414; email: my.pension@aegon.co.uk).

Once you have left the Plan you may, under certain circumstances, re-join the Plan (but please see "Introduction to the plan", for more information).