It's important to be aware of the effect leaving the Scheme may have on your Retirement Account.
You should think carefully before opting out of the Scheme as it offers you and your dependents valuable benefits and Allen & Overy also contributes into your Retirement Account - this is money towards your pension from your Employer that you would otherwise not receive.
If you leave the Scheme with less than 30 days' Pensionable Service, you will be refunded via payroll any contributions that may have been deducted from your salary, and will have no holding in the Scheme.
If you leave the Scheme with at least 30 days' Pensionable Service, your Retirement Account will be retained in the Scheme (this is known as deferring your benefits). Your Retirement Account will continue to be invested according to your instructions until you retire at Normal Retirement Date (or earlier if the Trustee agrees).
You will continue to receive annual statements showing the value of your invested funds and you should monitor your investments by logging in to the 'My Pension' section of this website in the same way that you can as an active member. Alternatively, you have the right to transfer your entire deferred benefit to another registered pension scheme or qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme. Please see the question below titled Can I transfer my Retirement Account to another pension arrangement?, for more details.
At retirement you will have the same options as previously described in the 'What will I get when I claim my retirement savings?' section.
Once all the necessary paperwork has been received to action such a transfer, a request to sell your unit holdings will be sent to the Investment Manager, and once the realised fund value has been received in the Trustee bank account, payment will be made to your new provider. This process will normally be actioned in line with the same timescales outlined for investment switches referred to in the section 'How can I switch my Investment funds'.
You can opt out of the Scheme at any time provided that you give one month's notice. You may still have to be re-enrolled into the Scheme at a later date (see' How do I Join the Scheme' under ‘Can I choose not to join?). If you apply to rejoin the Scheme after leaving it, Allen & Overy's consent will be required and special terms may be imposed if your re-entry is permitted.
It is also possible to draw your benefits (in full) whilst still working at Allen & Overy, subject to a Minimum Pension Age of 55 and the approval of the firm. Please see the section 'What will I get when I claim my retirement savings?' for further information.