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Can employees reduce their pension contributions?

  • Remember that employees will also be making contributions on any reduced wage under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The amount contributed may be less, but the contribution rate will be the same, unless the following applies.
  • Employees may reduce their DC employee contributions if their scheme rules allow them to do so, but no further than the statutory minimum if the scheme qualifies as the employer’s auto-enrolment vehicle.
  • Employees might choose to opt-out or cease active membership of their scheme, which might cause a spike in administration at a time when administrators are likely to be understaffed. It is important that employers remember they must not do anything to encourage or induce employees from leaving an auto-enrolment vehicle as this may constitute an offence.
  • Employees who leave their scheme in this way will have to be re-enrolled in due course as and when required by law.
  • For DB schemes, specific considerations apply (see the last section, below).