There are two sections in the scheme from 1 April 2014 – the main section and a new option called ‘50/50’.
You will automatically be placed in the main section of the scheme and pay normal contributions and get the normal pension build up.
However, you can elect to move to the 50/50 section if you wish. If you do, you will pay half the amount of contributions you would pay in the main section, but you will only be building up half the normal pension.
If you have more than one employment you can elect for the 50/50 option in one, some or all your employments.
Regardless of the section you are in, you get full life assurance cover and full ill health cover.
Any active member of the scheme can elect to pay into the 50/50 section at any time. An election to join this section must be made in writing to your employer. The 50/50 election form can be downloaded here.
The 50/50 section is designed to be a short-term option, for example during financial hardship. Because of this your employer will be required to re-enrol you back into the main section of the scheme approximately every three years at the same date as their automatic re-enrolment date under the Pensions Act 2008. If you wish to continue in the 50/50 section at that point you would need to make another election to remain in that section.
If you are in the 50/50 section and move onto a period of no pay due to sickness or injury then you will be moved back into the main section of the scheme from your next pay period if you are still not in receipt of pay at that time.
You can choose to revert back to the main section of the scheme at any time by informing your employer in writing and you will then start to build up full benefits in the main section of the scheme from your next available pay period. The form to opt back into the main section is available to be downloaded here.