Once automatically enrolled, the employee is entitled to opt out of the Scheme any time they want to. There is an opt out period of three months from entry (or three months from the date on which they are provided with statutory information about their enrolment) within which jobholders will be entitled to a refund of their contributions. If the employee opts out within this timescale then both the employee and employer contribution must be refunded, and the employee put in the same position as if they had never joined the Scheme.
Jobholders can choose to cease membership of the Scheme at any stage, but they will not be entitled to a cash refund of contributions after the end of the three month opt out period under the automatic enrolment regulations. Instead they will retain the benefits they have built up in the Scheme to that date but will not build up any further benefits. In these cases neither the employer nor the employee contributions would be refunded.
However, under Scheme rules if a member leaves with less than two years’ total membership, and has not brought a transfer into the Scheme, they may take a refund of their contributions, less any deductions for tax and the cost of buying back into the State Second Pension Scheme.