Joining and auto-enrolment

Discover more about joining the RPS, which is open to all eligible rail employees and those who have a legal right to join.

Joining the Railways Pension Scheme

The Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) is one of the largest private-sector pension schemes in the UK, representing more than 150 rail companies. 

Joining the Scheme

You can join the Scheme if:

  • it’s part of your employment contract. You will need to speak to your employer for further details about this
  • you have a legal right to join
An ID card, showing the picture of a man. It's labelled Railways Pension Scheme.
  • your employer has chosen the RPS as their suitable auto-enrolment pension scheme and you are eligible to join under auto-enrolment law. You can find more information about auto-enrolment below
  • your employer offers you membership of the Scheme

Please speak to your employer if you haven’t been offered the chance to join the Scheme and think you might be eligible. If you’ve already been enrolled in the Scheme and are not sure why, please check with your employer to find out. You can read more about what you’ll get as a member of the Scheme on the benefits of my membership page.

Make sure to check out the YouTube video above on being a part of the Scheme. 

Understanding auto-enrolment

If you meet certain criteria and you are not already being enrolled for another reason - as listed above - then by law your employer must automatically enrol you into a pension scheme.

This process is known as auto-enrolment.

Your employer can choose which pension scheme to automatically enrol you into. They will write to you to explain what is happening but do not need to ask your permission first.

Even if you don’t meet the auto-enrolment law criteria listed below, you may still be able to opt-in or join your employer’s auto-enrolment pension scheme. You will need to speak to your employer to find out if this is possible.

If you think you’ve been auto-enrolled by mistake please contact your employer.

A blue lightbulb

Auto-enrolment law applies to anyone who:

  • works in the UK
  • is at least 22, but under State Pension age
  • earns above the minimum level set for auto-enrolment. This is known as the earnings threshold and is currently set at £10,000
  • isn’t already in a suitable workplace pension scheme
What auto enrolment means for you in the RPS

If your employer has chosen to auto-enrol you into the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS), they will get everything set up on your behalf, without you having to do anything.

Once the auto-enrolment process is complete, you’ll get a welcome letter from the Scheme. This will be followed by a new joiner pack, giving you more information about your membership.

You’ll also be able to register for a myRPS online account to find more details about your pension.

The money you’re paying into your pension will be taken directly from your wages, so you won’t have to worrying about setting up any payments. This also means you benefit from tax relief too.

You can read more about what you’ll get as a member of the Scheme on the benefits of my membership page.

If you've just joined, please see the I’m new to the Scheme page for details of what to do next. 

Opting-out of the Scheme

Paying into a pension is one of the most secure ways of saving for your life after work. But if you have been enrolled into the Scheme and decide it's not right for you, then you can leave or opt-out.

How you leave the Scheme depends on whether you were auto-enrolled or were enrolled for a different reason. You can find more information on the leaving the Scheme page.

If you do opt-out, your employer may be required to automatically enrol you back into the Scheme or another suitable pension scheme after 3 years. This is in line with auto-enrolment law and is designed to give you another chance to start saving for your future. You should speak to your employer if you need more information.

Manage your pension

The easiest way to manage your RPS pension and actively plan for retirement is to use your myRPS account.

You can get a copy of your Member Guide, ask for estimates, use planning tools, check/update your details... and more!

A man relaxes on the sofa looking at a tablet computer and smiling

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