Leaving the Scheme

There may come a time when you wish to leave the RPS – if so, here are some of the ways you can go about it:

Opting out after auto-enrolment

If you’ve been auto-enrolled, but feel that paying into a pension scheme isn’t right for you at the moment, that’s fine. The good news is that you can opt-out in three easy steps:

Step one: You need to give an opt-out notice to your employer and you must do this within one month of the terms given by your Scheme. You can download a copy of the opt-out notice or contact Railpen to request one by calling 0800 012 1117 or emailing: csu@railpen.com.

When contacting Railpen, please quote your pension reference number – you can find this when you log into your myRPS account or by contacting the Helpline.

If you don’t manage to opt-out within the opt-out period, don’t worry. You can still leave the Scheme at any time, but you have to do so by ceasing active membership and leaving the scheme via the normal way as described in your scheme rules.

Step two: Once they have your opt-out notice, your employer will stop your membership of the Scheme as if you had never joined. This includes stopping future contributions and refunding any contributions that may already have been deducted from your pay.

Step three: You will get another chance. What might not necessarily be right for you at this point in time, may be right later on in life. With auto-enrolment you’ll be automatically enrolled back into the scheme your employer has chosen later (usually every three years). This isn’t to annoy you, but to give you another chance to start saving for your future if you’ve had to opt out now because it’s not right for you at the moment. If you want to know more, you should speak to your employer.

Thinking about retiring

Getting close to giving up the world of work can be both an exciting and daunting time, which may throw up plenty of questions for you.

There's plenty of information on this site that will give you support if you're planning for retirement.

It’s also worth logging into, or registering for, your personal myRPS account and reading your Member’s Guide for further details.

Leaving before claiming your benefits

If you leave the RPS and haven’t claimed your benefits, you’ll become what’s known as a ‘preserved’ member.

Your benefits are frozen, or ‘preserved’, because you and your employer are no longer contributing to them. However, the benefits will receive an annual increase until you retire. This increase is set by government orders and has historically been in line with inflation.

Implications of leaving the Scheme

If you choose to leave the Scheme then you will give up all of the benefits that come as part of your DB pension, including:

  • the income for life for you and your dependents
  • the regular contributions being made by your employer

 This may mean that you run out of money when you retire.

You be also be exposed to other risks if you opt for an alternative pension, for example you

  • may see the value of your pension pot go down, as well as up 
  • may be more exposed to pension scams

For these reasons, both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Pensions Regulator (TPR) believe that it will be in most people’s best interests not to leave their DB pension.  You can read more about on the FCA’s website here

Get advice

Making any changes to your pension, could have a significant impact on your future and how much you leave your dependents if you die. Before making any changes, you should seek independent financial advice.

Liverpool Victoria (LV) has been chosen as the official partner to give RPS members access to financial advice. LV can be contacted on 0800 023 4187.  

You are still free to choose your own Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). You can find an IFA in your area at unbiased.co.uk


Contact us

If you do wish to leave the RPS please let us know as soon as possible. Click here for more details