The auto-enrolment solution for Northern Ireland

Members FAQs

Can I pay in more than the legal minimum contribution?

Yes, paying additional contributions allows members to make better provision for their retirement.  Members and/or employers may contribute more than the minimum employee percentages required by auto-enrolment. If you are interested in paying additional contributions download and complete the Contribution Change Form and pass it to your employer.

I’ve been automatically enrolled. Can I opt out?

After you’ve been enrolled in Workers Pension Trust you may opt out. Think carefully before opting out as you will lose the right to pension contributions from your employer and you may have a lower income when you retire.

What you need to know about opting out 

  • Your employer cannot ask you or force you to opt out.
  • If you are asked or forced to opt out, you can tell The Pensions Regulator.
  • If you change your mind, you may be able to opt back in – write to your employer if you want to do this.
  • If you stay opted out, your employer will normally put you back into pension saving in around three years.
  • If you change your job, your new employer will normally put you back into pension saving straight away.
  • If you have another job, our other employer might also put you into pension saving, now or in the future.

How to opt out

  • If you decide to opt out, contact Workers Pension Trust by telephone (028 90877142) or email on or after the commencement of the opt out period to request an Opt Out Form. The opt out period begins on the date on which you were automatically enrolled, or (if later) the date on which your employer told you that you had been automatically enrolled, and ends one calendar month from the start date.
  • Return the completed Opt Out Form to your employer. Your employer will stop deducting contributions from your pay and will refund any contributions already deducted at the next pay run.
  • If you want to leave the pension scheme after the opt out period has expired, you will not be able to opt out, instead you may cease active membership by informing your employer in writing. You will not be eligible for a refund of contributions from your employer. We will write to you to advise of your options on leaving the Scheme.
How does tax relief work?

When paying into a pension scheme, you may receive tax relief on contributions. This means that money that would have gone to the government as tax goes into your pension instead. Workers Pension Trust operates a net pay arrangement for tax relief. This means that pension contributions are deducted from pay before tax is calculated. 

If you are eligible for tax relief, your employer deducts your contributions from your pay before they deduct tax, giving immediate tax relief. (The tax you'd normally pay to the taxman is invested in your pension instead.)

If your earnings are below the starting rate for income tax (£11,850 2018/19) you do not benefit from the tax relief that a taxpayer would receive. However, this doesn’t affect the amount that is paid into your pension and you will continue to benefit from the money that your employer pays in.

Will I receive an annual statement?

Yes, you will receive an annual statement by post in March each year.

When can I claim my pension from the Scheme?

We will write to you in advance of your 65th birthday to provide you with your retirement options. You may however claim your benefits at any time from age 55 whether you leave your employer or not.

There are circumstances when you can take your retirement benefits earlier than age 55 (for example, if you are forced to retire due to ill-health or are terminally ill). Read What are my retirement options for more details.

What is the Annual Allowance?

There is a threshold for contributions, beyond which tax charges will be incurred. This threshold is set by HMRC and is called the Annual Allowance. The Annual Allowance for Pension Input Periods (PIP) ending in the 2018/2019 tax year is £40,000. If your income is greater than £150,000, this figure will reduce by £1 for every £2 of income above £150,000. The maximum reduction will be £30,000. Therefore those with earnings above £210,000 will have an Annual Allowance of £10,000.

Will I still receive a State pension if I have my own pension?

You will receive a State pension as normal. Your Workers Pension Trust pension is in addition to your State pension.

Will I lose my savings if I change jobs or die before I retire?

With Workers Pension Trust you can take your pension with you to your next employer. You can choose who to leave your savings to should you die before you retire by completing the Expression of Wish form.

Where can I get free and impartial pensions advice?

Free and impartial government guidance can be obtained from Pension Wise.


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