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What do I need to do if a worker opts out?

There’s nothing you need to do if a worker opts out using the phone or online options. We’ll send a notification to your secure mailbox when a worker opts out using either of these methods. The worker will also move to the Inactive workers section on the Manage workers area of your online home page and will be removed from future contribution schedules. Please see How can I track opted out workers and their contribution refunds? for further information.

If a worker has requested a paper opt-out form, they’ll need to complete this and give it to you before the end of their opt-out period. You’ll then need to tell us the worker has opted out using a contribution schedule.

You can let us know that the worker has opted out using any unpaid contribution schedule that they appear on. It doesn’t have to be the one that covers the period in which they opted out.

When you receive an opt-out form from your worker you need to check that:

  • it’s been signed and dated by the worker
  • the relevant boxes have been ticked
  • the form was received before the end of the worker’s opt-out period.

You can check if the worker is still within their opt-out period on the Manage workers area of your Nest account home page. The opt-out expiry date will only show if the worker is still within their opt-out period. You can also find the opt-out expiry date in a file attached to the worker enrolment confirmation letter you received when you enrolled the worker.

The opt-out form contains statutory information and includes a unique reference number. This prevents a worker from requesting the form and passing copies to their colleagues.

If you receive a form during the opt-out period but it hasn’t been completed as described above, you’ll need to return the form to the worker and ask them to submit a new one. If this happens the opt-out period is extended to six weeks from the beginning of the period. The worker must return a valid opt-out form to you during this extended period or you won’t be able to accept it.

It’s your responsibility to refund any contributions you’ve deducted from them. You’ll also need to keep a record of when the worker opted out. This is important as every three years you must re-enrol any of your workers who previously opted out if they’re eligible for auto enrolment and they aren’t already in a qualifying scheme. All eligible workers need to be re-assessed on the re-enrolment date you choose. You won’t need to re-enrol anyone who has opted out within the 12 months running up to your re-enrolment date. For more information please see How do I manage my three-year re-enrolment duties?

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