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Active – Absence from work
Authorised unpaid absence

Introduction

If you take any authorised unpaid absence on no pay you won’t be paying towards your pension for this time. When you come back to work you can buy back the pension that you have lost by paying additional pension contributions (APCs). If you elect to buy back the lost pension within 30 days of returning to work, you’ll then pay one third of the cost while your employer pays two thirds. *
You can pay as a one-off lump sum or regular payments over a period of time (as long as the regular payment is more than £10 per month).

* As long as the unpaid absence is less than 36 months.

If you don’t elect to pay within 30 days, you can still buy back the ‘lost’ pension, but you would have to pay the whole cost under a regular APC contract and your employer wouldn’t pay any of the cost. This could make a big difference to how much you pay so act straightaway if you want to cover lost pension for this type of absence.

Find out more about buying back a lost pension .