Currently, members who leave an occupational pension scheme with between 3 months and 2 years' qualifying service may either transfer their benefits or take a refund of their own contributions – the latter being something which the Government has identified as being a hindrance to members building up pension savings over their working lives. The Government has therefore confirmed that, in relation to DC occupational pension schemes only, it intends to bring into force, from October 2015, legislative amendments which in practice will mean that refunds of contributions will not be permissible after the first 30 days of membership.    

The new provisions will only apply to individuals who become new members of occupational DC pension schemes after the date these provisions come into force.  For employers with a fast-changing workforce, this could significantly increase the administrative cost of the pension scheme, which may (and more likely in the case of occupational schemes, will) be borne by the employer.