Can I reduce my pension contributions?

You could think about joining the 50/50 section where you pay half contributions for half your normal pension. Regardless of the section you're in, you get full life assurance cover and ill health benefits.

If my pay is reduced, what impact will this have on my pension?

This will depend on the reason for the reduction:

If I'm on sick leave?

  • If you're off work due to sickness or injury a notional pay figure is used to make sure your pension is not affected. You'll continue to pay contributions on any pay you receive while you're off sick. If you're on unpaid sick leave, you'll not pay any contributions.

If I'm granted a period of authorised unpaid leave? 

  • If you take unpaid leave, the period won't count towards your pension unless you choose to buy back the lost pension lost during your absence. You can find more information and an online calculator at If you choose purchase the lost pension through APCs within 30 days of returning to work (or a longer period if your employer allows it), the cost will be split between you and your employer.

If you're on maternity, adoption, or paternity leave, or shared parental leave

During child related leave your pension is worked out using your assumed pensionable pay (where this is higher than the amount of pensionable pay you actually receive to make sure your pension is not affected by the reduction in pay.  If you're in the 50/50 section and go onto no pay during ordinary maternity & adoption leave (usually the first 26 weeks) or paternity leave you will be moved to the main section at the next pay period. Any period of unpaid additional maternity or adoption leave (normally from weeks 39-52) or unpaid shared parental leave will not count for pension purposes unless you elect to pay Additional Pension Contributions (APCs) to purchase the amount of pension lost during that period of unpaid absence.