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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My employer stopped paying 3% into the company pension scheme

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My employer stopped paying 3% into the company pension scheme 6 years ago. I have a memo stating once business improved they would start paying back into the scheme and make up any short fall in the time they took a "pension holiday". This all seems forgotten about now and they are trying to get me to sign up to a new 1% pension from a totally different company. Can they legally do this?

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. can you tell me did you approve to the changes to you pension

Customer: Yes, we were asked to sign paperwork agreeing to the holiday.
Ben Jones :

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. Payments made in relation to pensions are specifically excluded from the definition of ‘wages’ in employment law so you cannot claim that the employer is making unlawful deduction from wages by not paying you the previously agreed pensions contributions. Instead you will have to pursue this as a breach of contract. You would be claiming that the employer has breached your original contract by not reinstating the original pensions contributions, even though business may have since improved. You did agree to the reduction in contributions on those grounds so if they no longer apply and you also had a promise for the shortfall to be reimbursed to you, then the employer’s failure to do so can amount to a breach of contract.


Initially, you would need to raise this matter through the internal grievance procedure and give the employer the chance to resolve this themselves. If there are a number of you affected by this then you may wish to consider raising a group grievance and all sticking together for greater effect.


If the grievance does not work and your employer does not resolve this, all you can do next is consider making a claim in the county court for breach of contract and seeking compensation for the unpaid contributions from the employer. When you get round to it the claim can be made through


Hope this clarifies your position?

Customer: Thank you, ***** ***** feeling that would be the case.
Ben Jones :

You are welcome, please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

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