You can stop payments into your pension whenever you want. However, as tight as things are for many of us right now, stopping these may have important long-term consequences which you need to consider.

This is because stopping payments may mean you’ll miss out on valuable additional contributions from the government and, possibly, your employer. If you’re a basic rate taxpayer, every £100 of pension savings will only cost you £80 because the government typically adds an extra £20 in tax relief. And, if you’re in a workplace pension, your employer will typically be making contributions too.

If you’re worried about money, consider reducing what you pay into your pension in the short term rather than stopping them altogether. The money you save now will be used to buy investments at a lower price compared with what they were at the start of the year.

If you’d like to reduce or stop your payments and are in a workplace pension, you may need to check with your employer first (or use your employer’s online benefits service if there is one). Some employers have different rules on how and when you can do this. If you decide to stop or reduce your payments, you may be opted out of your workplace pension. When you’re ready to re-join or increase your payments, you’ll need to contact your employer rather than wait to be automatically re-enrolled, which can take up to three years.

If you have a personal pension, you can make changes to your payments by logging in to our online service.

For more help in making ends meet in the current environment, read the Money Advice Service’s guide on emergency government relief and benefits.

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