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Active – Absence from work
Maternity, paternity and adoption leave

Introduction

Absence because of maternity, paternity & adoption leave are covered under the pension scheme rules and if you’re absent from work and getting reduced or no pay for any of the reasons in the list below, we’ll protect your pension by using your assumed pensionable pay instead, which is just the pay you would have got if you weren’t absent. So you won’t lose out, pension-wise:

  • Ordinary maternity leave on reduced or no pay*
  • Ordinary paternity leave on reduced or no pay*
  • Ordinary adoption leave on reduced or no pay*
  • Additional maternity leave on reduced pay
  • Additional paternity leave on reduced pay
  • Additional adoption leave on reduced pay

* Your employer can tell you how long this is.

If you take any additional maternity, paternity or adoption leave 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 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.